Dr. Nadine George-Graves is an international scholar whose work has been recognized around the world. Photo Credit: Samantha Wilson | Lantern Reporter

There is a new face teaching courses in the theatre and dance departments this semester.

Dr. Nadine George-Graves has been hired as a professor with a joint appointment in both dance and theater. She joins Ohio State University from her previous appointment at University of California, San Diego.

George-Graves is an international scholar whose work has been recognized around the world. In her 20 years of experience, she has written two books about theater, dance and performance, edited the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theater. She also served a term as president of the Congress on Research in Dance — an international nonprofit focused on the performing arts and artists.

“This is a major hire of an internationally important scholar,” said Susan Hadley, director of Ohio State’s Department of Dance. “I think another important thing about Dr. George-Graves is that she’s a very interdisciplinary scholar.”

George-Graves’ work focuses on the ways performance is not limited to one genre or category. This includes where dance and theater meet, where gender and race meet, and where politics and the arts meet.

“I’ve never fit neatly into one category, even though my degree is in theater,” George-Graves said. “Some of the most exciting work happens from people who don’t fit into nice, neat categories, who create new genres of performance.”

Her work is not only in the scholarly and theoretical side of dance and theater, but also in performance. George-Graves herself is a dancer and performer and has written and performed in several shows.

She was drawn to Ohio State by the prestige of the university’s dance and theater programs and the opportunities she could find for further teaching and research. George-Graves said she wants to bring more students into the arts and views performance as a space where everyone can find a voice.

“I’m always inspired by my students and the same [is true] here,” George-Graves said. “That’s why I do it, because students are so great.”

George-Graves will be teaching a dance course called “The Body in Performance” this spring. She also is directing a performance called “Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been…” that will show Oct. 22.

“It seems as though OSU is a place of possibility for artists, for us to find the best avenue for creating the kind of work that we want to make,” George-Graves said.