Conference Organized by Professor Leads to New International Journal

South Asian Dance Intersections logo
Monday, September 26, 2022
South Asian Dance Intersections launched September 23.

UNC Charlotte’s J. Murrey Atkins Library is institutional host to a new international journal, thanks to the work of Dr. Kaustavi Sarkar, assistant professor of dance. South Asian Dance Intersections, which launched September 23, is a progressive, scholarly, blind peer-reviewed, and open-access journal that seeks to publish a unique blend of original high-quality research in scholarly, choreographic, contemporary, community-building, and technical explorations within South Asian dance and its interdisciplinary intersections.

The journal has its roots in the international conference on South Asian dance that Sarkar first organized in the spring of 2019. Featuring classical Indian dance artists from all over the world, the conference was held on the campus of UNC Charlotte. Planned as an annual event, the conference was cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Kaustavi Sarkar performing Indian classical danceLike so many artists and scholars during that time, Sarkar (pictured right) then took her work online, creating an online summer institute in 2020 that was attended by 75 artists from Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas.

“That program led to a growing interest in a scholarly platform,” Sarkar said.

She then established a virtual professional development training program called Indian Classical Dance Pedagogy Certificate, offered through the University’s continuing education system, and ultimately convened a 10-person international advisory group with prominent South Asian Dance Studies scholars.

“We came together to develop more robust practices and frameworks to make sure we were handling certification properly,” she said.

That advisory group has become the editorial board for the new journal, South Asian Dance Intersections, which is presented by the Dance Studies Association’s Asia and Asian Diaspora Studies Working Group.

The inaugural issue, Dance and the Political / Dance and the Pandemic, contains eight articles representing research from six countries, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Sarkar’s article, “Failure of Rasa: Story of Indian Dance During COVID-19,” is among the offerings.

Sarkar, who has served as the journal’s interim manager, said the current plan is that South Asian Dance Intersections will publish once a year.