Wilcox will discuss her book Revolutionary Bodies: Chinese Dance and the Socialist Legacy, which was released in Chinese translation this May by Fudan University Press. In this award-winning monograph, Wilcox traces the history of dance in the People's Republic of China, analyzing major dance works by Chinese choreographers staged over an eighty-year period from 1935 to 2015. Using previously unexamined film footage, photographic documentation, performance programs and reviews, and other historical and contemporary sources, Wilcox challenges the commonly accepted view that Soviet-inspired revolutionary ballets are the primary legacy of the socialist era in China’s dance field. Instead, she demonstrates that the genres now known as "Chinese dance," which take their inspiration from local material but are transnational in their origins and development, are the major contribution of revolutionary experiments in China's dance-making.
Emily Wilcox is Associate Professor of Chinese Studies at William & Mary and formerly Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan. Wilcox is the author or co-editor of five books: Revolutionary Bodies: Chinese Dance and the Socialist Legacy (University of California Press, 2018, winner of the 2019 de la Torre Bueno Prize from the Dance Studies Association); Corporeal Politics: Dancing East Asia (University of Michigan Press, 2020), 革命的身体：重新认识现当代中国舞蹈文化 (Fudan University Press, 2023); Inter-Asia in Motion: Dance as Method (Routledge, forthcoming 2024); and Teaching Film from the People’s Republic of China (Modern Language Association, forthcoming 2024). She is also co-creator of the University of Michigan Chinese Dance Collection. In fall 2023, Wilcox will be a member in residence in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, where she is writing a book on international dance exchange in Mao-era China.