Dance alumna receives AAUW Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship
Candice Salyers, TWU Dance alumna and recipient of the AAUW Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship.
Candice Salyers (Ph.D. ‘14), an alumna of the Texas Woman’s University Department of Dance, has received a Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
The goal of the $30,000 fellowship is to help women obtain tenure and further promotions by providing a year to focus on independent research.
“It is an honor to be recognized by AAUW, which has supported the work of so many amazing women,” Salyers said. “Because I love teaching, I devote most of my time to helping students, but it often means that there is less time available for other professional projects, such as choreography, performance and publishing. I’m very grateful for the AAUW fellowship, and look forward to pursuing the project that I proposed.”
Salyers, who has been teaching as a visiting artist at Mt. Holyoke College, will use the grant to write a book on feminist choreographic practices.
“My work seeks to provide historical context, to raise questions about how we might culturally and creatively embody the legacy of those social movements and to empower all choreographers to acknowledge and expand the values brought forward by feminisms in their artistic work,” Salyers said.
Linda Caldwell, Ph.D., coordinator of TWU’s low-residency doctoral program in dance, said that Salyers’ work as a scholar, teacher and dance artist made her an exceptional candidate for the AAUW fellowship.
“Dr. Salyers pushes the boundaries for how scholarship, to include practice and research, might be imagined in the future as she invigorates the thinking of all around her,” Caldwell said. “She is an example of how our students’ work is making an impact not only artistically, but also socially and politically.”
Salyers’ dissertation, “This Land is Your Land: Performing Philosophy in an American Terrain,” discusses the process of performing a dance solo in five national parks. By taking into account the geography and history of each park, Salyers illustrates how the mind, body and environment are connected.
Salyers’ most recent solo performance project, “A History of Levitation,” considers the qualities of female saints through physical and conceptual perspectives. It has been presented nationally, and Salyers is applying for international residencies and performance opportunities.
“The latest solo that I am working on considers the heart of St. Monica, a North African woman who lived in the fourth century,” Salyers said. “Rather than being a narrative storyline about the events of her life, this dance explores the qualities that St. Monica embodied.”
For this dance, Salyers is traveling to Morocco to study and apply the principles of sacred geometry to the design of the solo and its interaction with the audience.
AAUW Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship recipients were selected based on criteria, such as scholarly excellence, quality of project design, commitment to women’s issues and excellence in mentoring and teaching.
In existence since 1888, AAUW’s American Fellowships program is the oldest non-institutional source of graduate funding for women in the U.S. For the 2017-2018 academic year, AAUW has granted 250 awards and more than $3.7 million in funding.
Texas Woman’s University is one of 800 universities that belong to AAUW.