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Dr. Lindsey Drury


Research Associate at the Division of Dance Studies, Institute for Theater Studies, Freie Universität Berlin

Member, Research Area 5: Building Digital Communities

Lindsey Drury is an historian and artistic researcher whose research addresses 'literary dances' and the history of dance's performative intermediation. As a Postdoc member of the Cluster of Excellence Temporal Communities: Doing Literature in the Global Perspective, Drury works alongside her colleages in "RA5, Building Digital Communities" to bring digital humanist perspectives and digital arts methods to the Cluster and develops a data-rich approach to the cultural history of dance through her Postdoctoral research project, "In the Mirror of ‘Pagan Dance’: North American indigenous dance and the quest for European origins"

Drury completed her doctorate (2019) in Early Modern Studies as a part of the consortium Erasmus Mundus PhD program Text and Event in Early Modern Europe at the Freie Universität-Berlin and the University of Kent at Canterbury. As a doctoral student, Drury researched what literary expressions of dance contributed to wider early modern discourses on embodiment.  Her PhD dissertation, "Three Imagined Dances: the somatics of early modern textual mediation" thus explored the interrelated expressions of dance that emerged from otherwise vastly different literary sources in the early modern period: printed books of hours, the Renaissance erotic novel Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, and the medico-theological writing of Paracelsus. Prior to her PhD studies, Drury self-designed her curriculum for Liberal Studies MA in the subject of 'Body and Historicity' at the City University of New York and completed a thesis (2015) on the dance works of the Swiss-American choreographer Yvonne Meier. Drury continues to relate her scholarly pursuits in digital humanities, performance studies, dance history, and literary history to her artistic practice in new-media dance and performance.   

Research Interests

  • Colonial imaginaries, misrepresentations of Indigneous dance in the colonial mediascape
  • Data feminism, data sovereignty, data-based 'peoples' histories'
  • New methodologies toward a history of physical practice
  • Technique & technology, dance/embodied performance and remediation
  • Entangled religious/political histories (Reformation & colonialism) of dance & embodied performance
  • Indigenous epistemologies, practice-based and artistic research 
  • early modernism, temporality, performance studies in deep-time

Postdoc Project

In the Mirror of "Pagan Dance": North American Indigenous Dance and the Quest for European Origins (2019-2023)

Book Projects

Forthcoming. A Book in the Interface (working title), with Nina Tolksdorf and Elvia Vasconcelos, eds. (Open Access and Online). 

2017. Matters of Act: A Journal of Ideas, co-editor with No Collective (Brooklyn: Already Not Yet Press) 

Theses and Dissertations

2019. “Three Imagined Dances: the Somatics of Early Modern Textual Mediation”, PhD dissertation, University of Kent/Freie Universität Berlin.  

2015. “The Inconstancy of Bodies: Yvonne Meier's Works, 1985-2012”, MA Thesis. Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Book Chapters

Forthcoming (2021), with Joël Verwimp. “When is a House? In Seven Figures”, Institution is a Verb: A Panoply Performance Lab Compilation, Esther Neff, Ayana Evans, Tsedaye Makonnen, Elizabeth Lamb, eds. (New York: The Operating System) 

2014. “Ellen C. Covito’s Performer Pedagogy.”, Ellen C. Covito: Works After Weather, No Collective, eds. (New York: Already Not Yet Press)


Forthcoming. “Origin Stories: The Matachines and Colonial-Historical Polemics” Postmedieval, special double issue "Legacies of Medieval Dance" guest edited by Kathryn Dickason.

Forthcoming (2022). “The Blurred Bodies of Matachines: Warburg's Notes on a Colonial New Mexican Dance Drama” In Lightning Symbol and Snake Dance: Aby Warburg and Pueblo Art, Uwe Fleckner and Christine Chavez, eds. Berlin: Hatje Cantz. 

September 2021. “The Double-Life of ‘Pagan Dance’: Indigenous Rituality, Early Modern Dance and the Language of US Newspapers” European Journal of Theatre and Performance, No. 03. Essays Section, "Language and Performance: Moving across Discourses and Practices in a Globalised World", Małgorzata Sugiera, Karel Vanhaesebrouck, and Timmy De Laet, eds.

2014. “Mobilizing the Ineffable: Yvonne Meier” Learning to Love Dance More: A Performance Journal. Volume 8, Displacement (Summer 2014), 8-12. 

2012. “Interview with Yvonne Meier” Learning to Love Dance More: A Performance Journal. Volume 5, Back to School (Fall 2012).

2011. “Emergence: Watching and being early-career artists in New York City dance” Critical Correspondence, Movement Research (NYC).

Academic Presentations

“‘We’re not Pagan’:  Indigenous Discourses on Dance and Religion in US newspapers around the turn of the turn of the 20th century” 
As a part of a panel series organized with Alexander Schwann and Kathryn Dickason titled Radical Religion for the Dance Studies Association Conference, Rutgers University, October 2021

“What is the Digital Doing?” 
Introductory session for the What is the Digital Doing? workshop organized with Nina Tolksdorf, November 2020

“Vulnerability for Open Science”                                   
Freie Universität Open Science Working Group, “Digital Humanities and Open Science”, May 2020    

“A Cosmic Dance of Miraculous Forgery: the St Vitus dance, imagination, and the sidereal body” 
European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism, Amsterdam, July 2019

“Immersed in reading / reading as immersion” 
Bodies of Design Somaesthetics Conference, Florida, January 2019

“Paracelsus and the Veitstanz in Four Parts” 
Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, January 2019

“Amnesia of Acts: toward a history of physical practice.”
Nordic Summer University, Fårö, August 2018

“Ennobling the Body at War: Anti-Dance Treatises on the Lineage of Phyrric Dance.” 
Dance Studies Association Conference, Malta, July 2018

“Passing Time, Pastimes and Past Times: in Two Arrested Dances of Hypnerotomachia Poliphili and Tramutatione Metallica Sogni Tre”
Shape of Return conference, the Institute of Cultural Inquiry, Berlin, September 2017

We Added Nothing of Our Own:’ the ethics of two women publishers in mid-16th century Paris” 
Othello’s Island 5th Annual Conference, April 2017

“What is Walking and How to Do It:  Textual Estrangement and Experiential Anatomy in the Work of John Weaver.” 
Oxford Annual Dance Symposium, April 2016

“Disease Knows No Borders: St. Vitus Dance and the Ambiguity of Infection.” 
Early English Drama & Performance network symposium, March 2016

“Implicit and Mutually Implicated: Embodiment, Disability, and Dissent in the Works of Yvonne Meier.”  York University Theatre & Performance Studies Symposium, April 2014