Department: Music and Theater Arts
Thomas F. DeFrantz earned his PhD from the Department of Performance Studies at NYU in 1997, and joined the faculty of MIT that year. His area of expertise is the performed African America arts, and he has published essays on African American concert dance, social dance, and theater. He is editor of "Dancing Man Drums: Excavations in African American Dance" and author of "Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Cultre" and has written dance features for the New York Village Voice. For many years he served as archivist for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and organized the dance history program at the Ailey school. His creative work includes arts-in-education projects, such as choreography for "Paul Robeson, All-American," a new play for children written by Ossie Davis, and "Border Crossing" for Ballet Hispanico that toured nationally. His research group SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology produced his original play "Queer Theory: An Academic Travesty" in 2006. He is a member of the Drama League of New York, the Dance Critics Association, and served on the editorial board of the Society of Dance History Scholars.