Meet Dr. Amin

Takiyah Nur Amin, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Dance Studies and affiliate faculty in the department of Africana Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she teaches courses in dance history and theory in the liberal studies curriculum, Department of Dance and College of Art and Architecture Honors Program. She is host of the New Books in Dance podcast on the New Books Network. A sought after academic success strategist, Dr. Amin provides consulting services to aspiring and established academics through Black Girl Brilliance, LLC.

Interests

  • Black Performance and Aesthetics
  • 20th Century American Concert Dance
  • Pedagogical Issues in Dance Studies

Affiliations

Education

Education

Ph.D., Dance (Concentration in Cultural Studies)

Temple University
Aug 2006 - May 2011

Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies (May 2011)

Graduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (May 2011)

  • Dissertation: “Dancing Black Power: Joan Miller, Carole Y. Johnson and the Black Arts Movement, 1965-1975

B.A., Dance 

State University of New York at Buffalo
Aug 1996 - May 2001
  • Senior Thesis: The De-Emphasis of Afrikan Contributions to Contemporary Dance Technique in Undergraduate Degree Programs

Teaching Experience

Work History

Assistant Professor, Dance Studies

UNC Charlotte
Aug 2011 - Present

Courses:

  • DANC 4001/AFRS 4050 Black Aesthetics: Performance and Other Contexts

This course will examine the development of the Black Aesthetic from its genesis in the 1920s, through the Black Arts Movement and into the contemporary period. Students will examine primary source documents and artistic/creative expressions from a range of disciplines (including dance, music, literature and visual art) to identify Black performance/expressive aesthetics and to engage art as a mechanism through which culture, politics and identity may be speak.

  • DANC 3222 Dance History II

This 3 - credit course focuses  on various major historical and cultural influences affecting the development of concert dance in the 20th century. The course focuses primarily on concert dance as it emerged as a part of the western theatrical dance tradition in the United States though attention will be given to the development of performance traditions in other parts of the world as well. Socio-political issues evidenced in choreography will be engaged through lectures, discussions, film and video. 

  • LBST 1101 Arts and Society - Dance

This 3-credit course provides an introduction to dance in the context of the arts and society. We will explore the similarities among selected dance traditions from around the world in terms of their functionality and we will examine how 20th and 21st century American concert dance, social dance and popular entertainment dance reflect those traditions. We will also study socio-political issues evidenced in choreography through lectures, discussion, film, video and live dance performance. 

  • LBST 1101H Comparative World Dance (Honors)

This course provides an introduction to dance in the context of the arts and society. We will explore the similarities among selected dance traditions from around the world in terms of their functionality and we will examine how 20th and 21st century American concert dance, social dance and popular entertainment dance reflect those traditions. We will also study socio-political issues evidenced in choreography through lectures, discussion, film/ video and live dance performance. The course will be writing intensive and engage students around issues of performance, migration, colonialism, post-colonialism and notions of "diaspora" while encouraging them to connect class concepts to their own experiences.

Riley Scholar in Residence

Colorado College
Aug 2010 - May 2011

Courses:

  • Social History of Dance: African, Asian, South American & European Dance Traditions 

This course will explore contemporary and traditional dances from African, Asian, South American and European Dance traditions through observation (primarily on film) and practice. We will explore cultural codes expressed in dance that both reflect and affect social and political change. We will investigate dances in the social, religious and political context of each tradition including the influence of immigration, trade routes, the institution of slavery and travel in the development of new dances from across the globe. 

  • Topics in Dance: Black Aesthetics in American Dance

This course will examine the development of The Black Aesthetic from its genesis in cultural nationalist discourses of the Black Power/Black Arts Movement of the 1960's and 1970's in the U.S. and its subsequent impact on concert dance. Students will examine primary source documents and choreography from the selected period in order to identify Black performance aesthetics and understand dance as a mechanism through which culture, politics and identity may be ascertained. In so doing, students will be equipped to analyze the creative work of non-White dance artists within an appropriate and applicable socio-cultural context that is both relevant and critical. Moreover, it should be understood that the course, in looking at the work of Black dance artists posits the notion that such artists exist simultaneously within, outside of and in conversation with a Western societal context. The course illuminates the work of these artists who have been marginalized within mainstream discourses in an effort to shift the existing paradigms and challenge assumptions about dance making and the relationship(s) between dance and cultural politics. 

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Temple University
Aug 2007 - May 2009

Courses:

  • Dance Postmodernism in America: 1950s to Present

This course explores the philosophies and choreographic work of Sokolow, Pomare, Ailey, Beatty, Cunningham, Hawkins, Taylor, Nikolais, Pilobolus, Brown, Childs, Rainer, Tharp, Paxton, Jones, Fagan, Morris and others vis-a-vis cultural, social, and historical developments in the second half of the 20th century in America. The class will explore cultural forces such as jazz dance, tap dance, social dancing, and the American ballet, as well as figures from the related arts, such as filmmakers, painters, media artists, and composers who worked with post-modern dancers. The emphasis will be on contextual and critical modes of historical inquiry. 

  • Dance in Human Society

The course offers students an opportunity to explore the many ways that dance can function as both a social and cultural mode of expression amongst various groups across the globe. Through video observation, readings, and dancing, students will be exposed to the many faces of dance as an expression of identity and cultural ethos-- dance as art, religion, social custom, and political action will be examined as evidenced across human societies. The course will look at dance in various cultural groups in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Students will explore the cultural and social significance of dance from an anthropological perspective, threading common themes and exploring the many contrasts.

  • Foundations of Cultural Studies

This course examines performance structures, social paradigms, and dominant themes. The course is taught from a comprehensive, comparative perspective of intersecting identities, including race, gender, class, and sexuality by examining and discussing major theorists in the field and analyzing performances based on those theorists. This course also traces the intellectual heritage of cultural studies vis-a-vis scholars, artists, educators, activists, workers, and community members. The lectures, readings, video viewings, discussions, and movement experiences attempt to examine the diversity and similarities in cultures.

Instructor (Adjunct)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Jan 2006 - May 2006

Course:

  • Black Aesthetics (Dance)

A definition of those qualities of black American arts which distinguish it from traditional U.S. arts through an analysis of theme, form, and technique as they appear in a representative sample of works by black creative artists. 

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 
Aug 2001 - May 2003

Courses:

  • Survey of the History of Western Art
  • Introduction to Theatre

Related Experience

BLACK GIRL BRILLIANCE, LLC (08/2014 - Present)

Founder

Academic success consulting firm, established by Takiyah Nur Amin, Ph.D. 

BRENDA DIXON GOTTSCHILD, PH.D.

Research Assistant (9/2008 to 5/2009)

Creating a biographical chronology of Joan Myers Brown and a chronology of Philadelphia Dance

Company's home seasons since 1970 for inclusion in upcoming book, Improbable Hope, Joan Myers Brown,

and Philadelphia Dancing: A Biohistory of Art and Race.

DANSE4NIA REPERTORY ENSEMBLE (8/2007 to Present)

Chief Operating Officer and Administrative Director

Coordinates all fiscal reporting and management,  grant research and writing and marketing/communications for the Ensemble; supervises administrative assistant

TEMPLE UNIVERSITY

Instructor, Temple Writing Academy (6/2009 to 8/2009)

Developed  and taught letter writing and college writing preparatory course to rising high school students from Philadelphia public schools 13 to 16

Academic Intern, Philadelphia Dance Collection (8/2008 to 5/2009)

Developing a comprehensive inventory of the collection's holdings related to the Philadelphia Dance

Company.

Academic Intern, Department of Dance (7/ 2007 to 7/2008)

Drafted original proposal for "I See You" DanceMobile, a traveling stage show bringing global traditions

of African and Latina diasporas to underserved communities, and a free Saturday Dance Program for area

children. Conducted feasibility research and developed / wrote grants. Coordinated outreach and

marketing efforts for 2008 Umfundalai African Dance Intensive Workshop series. Facilitated site selection for DanceMobile.

Chair, Student Recreation Board (8/2007 to 5/2008)

Monitored the programming, utilization and operations of the student recreation facilities on the

University's campuses that are dedicated by express Presidential decision exclusively for student recreational activities and use.

Instructor, Pan-African Studies Community Education Program Spring 2007)

Independently developed and taught peer-reviewed course entitled "Sisters in Focus" for Temple University's Pan-African Studies Community Education Program (PASCEP).

VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIVERSITY

Outreach Coordinator, Race and Social Research Center (8/ 2005 to 6/2006)

Coordinated marketing / outreach efforts for Center programs and professional lecture series.

Interim Coordinator, Multicultural Programs, Student Life Office (8/2004 to 6/2005)

Administered daily operations of the Black Cultural Center and Multicultural Center. Developed campus-wide programming initiatives  and "Enhancing Your Diversity I.Q." presentation to promote multiculturalism and diversity. Advised more than 20 student organizations on multicultural issues, programming and leadership development. Supervised work-study staff. Instituted multicultural film series and Sister Circle program for undergraduate women in partnership with Women's Center at Virginia Tech. Collaborated with campus units including the Residential Leadership Community (RLC), College of Engineering, Cook Counseling Center and the Cranwell International Center.  Supported campus initiatives including the Pre-College Initiative, Face-2-Face Intergroup Dialogue, Parent Talk and Gateway program.

Assistant Producer, Summer Arts Festival (6/2004 to 8/2004)

Managed logistics for gallery exhibits, concert series, and main stage theatre productions for the 2004 Summer Arts Festival. Developed and distributed marketing material.

Event Coordinator, "Swopera" Theatre Performance (11/2003)

Supervised design, creation, and distribution of marketing materials. Coordinated event logistics with technical staff. Planned and organized catering and space needs for reception.

ST. PHILIP'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, Buffalo, NY

Youth Counselor and Instructor (1/ 2003 to 8/2003)

Developed and presented daily lesson plans to support reading comprehension, math competency, cultural awareness, and creative movement for youth age 5 to 14.

651 ARTS, Brooklyn, NY

Event Volunteer, (5/2004)

Functioned as primary media contact during organization's annual gala.

URBAN BUSH WOMEN, Brooklyn, NY

Graduate Intern (January 2004 to May 2004)

Co-coordinated fundraising events for this woman-centered dance company seeking to promote social responsibility and civic engagement through dance. Developed summer institute application materials. Provided daily administrative support. Created web-based store for purchase of company paraphernalia.

REFUGEE AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, Roanoke, VA)

ESL Teaching Volunteer (July 2007)

Catholic Diocese of Richmond

Prepared daily lessons and taught English -as-a-Second Language to Somali-Bantu Refugees settled in the New River Valley

THE CENTER OF DANCE, Blacksburg, VA

Dance Instructor (August 2003 to July 2006)

Instructed adult students in performance techniques and afro-centric movement. Choreographed annual performances.

DANCE HERITAGE COALITION, Washington, D.C.

Graduate Intern (May 2002 to August 2002)

Contributed to the coalition's Digital Video Preservation Reformatting Project by providing administrative and additional project support.

Publications

Journal Articles

“Girls Run The…What? Michelle Obama, Beyonce and Black Women’s Dis/Respectability Politics.” Conversation Across the Field of Dance Studies XXXII (2013): 9 - 12.

 “A Terminology of Difference: Making the Case for Black Dance in the 21st Century and Beyond.” Journal of Pan African Studies 4:6 (2011): 7 - 15.

Book Chapters

“Girl Power, Real Politics: Dis/Respectability, Post-Raciality and the Politics of Inclusion.” The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen. Ed. Melissa Blanco Borelli. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. 

“The African Origins of an American Art Form.”Jazz Dance: A History of Its Roots and Branches. Eds. Lindsay Guarino and Wendy Oliver. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2014.

Book Reviews

The Dance of Politics: Gender, Performance and Democratization in Malawi.Dance Research Journal 45.1 (2013): 119 - 122. 

Demystifying Hip Hop Dance? Dance Chronicle 33: 3 (2010): 490 - 493. 

The Hippest Trip in America: Remembering Soul Train. Dance Chronicle 32.2 (2009): 302-305. 

Furious Flower: African-American Poetry from the Black Arts Movement to The Present. Western Journal of Black Studies 31.2 (2007): 42. 

Conference Presentations

Amin, Takiyah Nur. "Re-Thinking Curricula/Shifting the Center." Dancing the African Diaspora: Theories of Black Performance. Collegium for African Diaspora Dance Inaugural Conference. Duke University, Durham NC (February 2014.)

_______. "African American Female Choreographers and Implications for Contemporary Black Women’s Activism." Decentering Dance Studies – Moving in New Global Orders. Joint Conference of the Congress on Research in Dance and Society of Dance History Scholars. University of California-Riverside, Riverside CA ( November 2013.)

Amin, T.N., Bragin, N., Fogarty, M., McCarthy-Brown, N. and Monroe, R. "Social Justice in Dance Studies." Joint Conference of the Congress on Research in Dance and Society of Dance History Scholars. University of California-Riverside, Riverside CA (November 2013.)

Amin, T.N., Lewis, H., Rose, Stephany, and Whitaker, M. "White Boards, Black Erasers: Strategies for Dealing with White Privilege in the Classroom." Decolonizing Future Intellectual Legacies & Activist Practices. Second Conference of the Critical Ethnic Studies Association. (September 2013.)

Amin, Takiyah Nur, Crosby, J., George, N., Miller, R., Moss, M., and Price, S. “Jazz Dance: Shifting Perspectives and Re-Definitions on the Dance Floor, in the Studio and on the Stage.” Re-generations: Cultural Legacies in Contemporary Contexts: Congress on Research in Dance 43rd Annual Conference. Albuquerque, NM (October 2012.)

Amin, Takiyah Nur. “Reflections on Teaching World Dance.” Re-generations: Cultural Legacies in Contemporary Contexts: Congress on Research in Dance 43rd Annual Conference. Albuquerque, NM (October 2012.)

Amin, Takiyah Nur. “Reflections on Teaching World Dance.” Focus on Dance in Many Culture, Strength Through Diversity: National Dance Education Organization National Conference. Los Angeles, CA (October 2012)

Amin, Takiyah Nur, Oliver, W., and Wray, S. “Roots and Branches of Jazz Dance: Honoring Traditions, Extending the Form.” Focus on Dance in Many Culture, Strength Through Diversity: National Dance Education Organization National Conference. Los Angeles, CA (October 2012)

Amin, Takiyah Nur, Davis-Maye, D., Mack, L. and Willingham, B. “Fighting is What We Do: Framing Black Women’s Ways of Knowing, Being & Doing.” A New Vision of Black Freedom: The Manning Marable Memorial Conference. Columbia University, New York NY (April 2012.)

Amin, Takiyah Nur. How I Got Over: “Reflections on Becoming a ‘Dance Doctor’.” Southeastern Women’s Studies Association Conference. George Mason University, Fairfax, VA (March 2012.)

Amin, Takiyah Nur and McCarthy-Brown, N. “Leaping into the 21st Century: Re-visioning Cultural Diversity Through Music and Dance Curricula.” Society of Ethnomusicology and Congress on Research in Dance Joint Annual Meeting: Moving Music, Sounding Dance. Philadelphia, PA (November 2011.)

Amin, Takiyah Nur., Glocke, A., Harwell, O., and Corbett, S. "Pencils and Piruoettes: The Politics of Black Women Writers and Choreographers." National Women’s Studies Association 32nd Annual Conference. Atlanta, GA (November 2011.)

Amin, Takiyah Nur.  (2009, October) Convener/Facilitator: Pedagogy:  The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Interdisciplinary Work. Center for the Humanities (CHAT) at Temple. Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

________. (2009, August) "Making Connections: Strategies for Inclusive Teaching." Presented at the 8th Annual New TA Orientation and Teaching Conference. Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

________.  “A Second Look: An Examination of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center’s Dance Program.” American College Dance Festival Association’s Southeast Conference. Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN (March 2009.)

Amin, Takiyah Nur, Valentin-Martinez, J. and Vissicaro, P. “Teaching Diversity Through Dance/Learning Diversity Through Dance.” American College Dance Festival Association’s Southeast Conference. Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN (March 2009.)

Amin, Takiyah Nur. “Making the Case for Black Dance in the 21st Century.” 41st Annual Congress on Research in Dance Conference: Dance Studies and Global Feminisms. Hollins University, Roanoke, VA (November, 2008.)

________.  (2008, August) "Making Connections: Strategies for Inclusive Teaching." Presented at the 7th Annual New TA Orientation and Teaching Conference. Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

________. “A Tribute to Richard A. Long.” Society of Dance History Scholars 31st Annual Conference.  Saratoga Springs, NY (June 2008.)

________.  “A Change is Gonna Come: First Steps in Examining the Contributions of African- American Female Choreographers to the Black Power/Black Arts Movement, 1960-1970.” 10th Annual Women’s History Month Conference. Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY (March 2008.)

Amin, Takiyah Nur and Alexander-Floyd, N.G. “Pimpin’, Politics and the American Dream: Gender, Power and Homosociality in Contemporary Rap.” American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC (October 2006)

Amin, Takiyah Nur.“A Time to Dance: Thoughts on the Use of Dance Ministries in Mitigating Black Women’s Mental Health.” Clothed and In Our Right Minds: Black Women, Mental Health and Faith Conference. Bennett College for Women, Greensboro, NC (April 2006.)

 Amin, Takiyah Nur and Alexander-Floyd, N.G  “Pimpin’, Politics and the American Dream: Gender, Power and Homosociality in Contemporary Rap.” Race, Roots and Resistance: Revisiting the Legacies of Black Power Conference, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL (March 2006.)

Amin, Takiyah Nur. “Dancing Black Nationalism: African-American Concert Dance as an Assertion of Humanity.” Congress on Research in Dance Conference on Dance and Human Rights, University of Quebec-Montreal, Canada (November 2005.)

________. “On Scholarship: Feminist Practice in Practical Scholarship.” The Mid-Atlantic Conference on the Scholarship of Diversity, Roanoke, VA (March 2005.)

________.“Moving Performance and Gender in the African World.” The African Heritage Studies Association 37th Annual International Conference, Roanoke, VA (October 2004.)

________. “Moving Performance and Gender in Slam Poetry.” The International Colloquium for Vernacular, Hispanic, Historical and American Folklore Studies, University of Puebla, Puebla, Mexico (October 2003.)

Fellowships, Awards and Recognitions

STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BUFFALO

College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Award (Fall, 2013)

THE ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION

Invited Participant, Dance Studies In/And the Humanities (Northwestern University, Summer 2012)

Invited Participant, The Mellon School of the Theater Performance and Research (Harvard University, Summer 2013)

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES

Visiting Fellow, W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research

NEH Summer Institute for College Teachers: "African American Struggles for Freedom and Civil Rights (Harvard University) 

CONSORTIUM FOR FACULTY DIVERSITY AT LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES

Riley Scholar-in-Residence, Colorado College, Department of Drama and Dance (2010-2011)

TEMPLE UNIVERSITY

Graduate Merit Scholarship, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Educational Advancement Foundation (2010)

Membership, Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, (2009)

Graduate Associate, Center for the Humanities at Temple (CHAT), (2008-2009)

Appreciation Award, Oscar Micheaux  Film Festival, (2008)

Appreciation Award, Pan-African Studies Community Education Program (PASCEP), (2007)

Tuition Stipend Award, Women's Entrepreneurship Essay Contest, League of Entrepreneurial Women, (2006)

Future Faculty Fellowship, Department of Dance, (2006 to 2010)

VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIVERSITY

Outstanding Leadership Award, Theta Nu Xi Sorority, Inc., Eta Chapter (2005)

Image Award: Female Faculty Member of the Year, NAACP University Chapter (2005)

Outstanding Graduate Student Leader, Student Activities Office(2003)

Professional and Scholarly Achievement Award, Black Caucus (2003)

Campus Leadership Award, Black Caucus (2002)

Graduate Student of the Month, NAACP University Chapter, (2002)

Student Leadership Award, Theta Nu Xi Sorority, Inc., Eta Chapter (2003)

STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BUFFALO

Commencement Speaker, 155th University Commencement Ceremony (2001)

J. Scott Fleming Award for Volunteerism and Leadership (2000-2001)

Academic Achievement Award, Office of Student Multicultural Affairs (2001)

Nancy Welch Award for Dedication to Multiculturalism (2000)

Excellence in the Promotion of Diversity Award, Committee for the Promotion of Tolerance & Diversity (2000)

Dedicated Service Award, Black Student Union (2000)

Award of Appreciation, Black Student Union-Black Women United Committee (2000)

Miss Cabaret Pageant Winner, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. - Delta Epsilon Chapter (2000)

Miss Black Student Union, Black Student Union (2000)

Homecoming Queen, University Student Alumni Board(1999-2000)

Research Funding and Grants

July 2013

Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge Fund 

Investigator(s): Takiyah Nur Amin, Janaka B. Lewis, Kendra Jason, 

Purpose: To support a one-day faculty development workshop with Kerry Ann Rockquemore, President of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. The workshop will target junior and senior faculty members at UNC Charlotte and support the University’s faculty recruitment and retention measures.

Amount: $5000.00

May 2013

UNC Charlotte Faculty Research Grant

Investigator: Takiyah Nur Amin

Purpose: To assist faculty in conducting well-defined, purposeful, new research or creative or scholarly activities.

Amount: $6000.00

August 2012

Chancellor's Diversity Challenge Fund

Investigators: Takiyah Nur Amin, Donna Dragon, Kim Jones

Purpose: To support a one-week on-campus residency with dance company Urban Bush Women. Activities include open community events, restaging of UBW repertoire at UNC Charlotte and a variety of dance classes for dance/dance education majors and minors, UNC Charlotte students across disciplines and the broader off campus community. 

Amount: $5000.00

April 2012

Travel Grant: Manning Marable Conference

Purpose: travel to present research at national conference

Amount: $250.00