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Selma Jeanne Cohen Prize in Dance Aesthetics
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Deadline: May 1

In memory of Selma Jeanne Cohen, and with enormous gratitude for her generous bequest to the ASA of $76,609, the American Society for Aesthetics established a $1000 biennial prize in dance aesthetics, dance theory, or the history of dance. Begun in 2008, the prize was awarded for a critical article or book of distinction published in English; the prize was awarded in alternate years from 2008 through 2014.

Commencing in 2016, the prize is awarded every year, alternating critical articles and books of distinction. In 2019, the Prize was awarded for an outstanding book published from June 1, 2017 - April 30, 2019. In 2021, the Prize will be awarded for an outstanding book published from May 1, 2019 - April 30, 2021. In 2022, the Prize will be awarded for an outstanding article published from May 1, 2020 - April 30, 2022. The prize winner will be selected by a committee of three members appointed by the President of the ASA and will be notified by July 1 of the prize year. The award will be announced publicly during the national meeting of the ASA that fall. The winner will be encouraged but not required to attend the meeting, and reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed for attendance. The prize may not be awarded if, in the opinion of the judges, no nomination of sufficient merit and appropriateness is received. Only one nomination per year will be accepted.

Commencing with the 2020 competition, ASA membership as of the date of the submission deadline will be required for all nominees.

The ASA selection committee welcomes published work of distinction in English that contributes to dance aesthetics, dance theory, or the history of dance. Eligible publications must have appeared in reputable peer reviewed venues with peer review recognized by the scholarly community and that are permanently available to the interested scholarly community of students and researchers. “Article” nominations may be either a refereed article that appeared in a recognized journal or an original, previously unpublished, chapter or essay in an anthology. Co-authored articles are eligible. “Book” nominations should consist of a published, refereed monograph of original scholarship. Co-authored monographs are eligible. Collections of previously published work, anthologies of work by multiple authors, and translations are not eligible. In the case of co-authored articles or books, prize and travel support will be divided equally among the co-authors. Nominations will be judged based on significance of the topic or issue, quality of the research, quality of the writing, originality, and contribution to the dance literature.

Submissions should be directed to Julie Van Camp, ASA Secretary-Treasurer, 1550 Larimer St. #644, Denver, CO 80202-1602 or The nominated article or book must be received in full by the deadline of May 1 of the award year to be eligible for consideration. Electronic submissions are strongly preferred, in PDF format replicating the original publication. If electronic submissions are not available, three copies must be submitted, whether books or articles.

Selma Jeanne Cohen, Madrid, August 1992, International Aesthetics Association - photo by Hilde Hein

Selma Jeanne Cohen Prize in Dance Aesthetics: Winners

Thomas F. DeFrantz (2020): "What Is Black Dance? What Can It Do," in Thinking Through Theatre and Performance, edited by Maaike Bleeker, Adrian Kear, Joe Kelleher, Heike Roms (Methuen Drama, 2019).

Halifu Osumare (2019): Dancing in Blackness: A Memoir (University Press of Florida, 2018).

Anna Pakes (2018): "Reenactment, Dance Identity, and Historical Fictions," in The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Reenactment, edited by Mark Franko (Oxford, 2017).

Anthea Kraut (2017): Choreographing Copyright: Race, Gender, and Intellectual Property Rights in American Dance (Oxford, 2016).

Chantal Frankenbach (2016): "Dancing the Redemption of French Literature: Rivière, Mallarmé, and Le Sacre du Printemps," Dance Chronicle 38:2 (2015), 134-160.

Ann Cooper Albright (2014): Engaging Bodies: The Politics and Poetics of Corporeality (Wesleyan University Press, 2013).

Graham McFee (2012): The Philosophical Aesthetics of Dance: Identity, Performance and Understanding (Dance Books, 2011).

Marcia B. Siegel (2010): Mirrors & Scrims: the Life and Afterlife of Ballet (Wesleyan University Press, 2010).

Ann Hutchinson Guest (2008): Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ivor Guest (2008): Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sally Banes (2008): Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tributes to Selma Jeanne Cohen from ASA members at the 1999 ASA Annual Meeting, Bloomington, Indiana.

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