Miya Shaffer

Miya Shaffer

Ph.D. in Culture and Performance

Miya Shaffer is a PhD candidate and dance artist from Toronto, Canada. Her dissertation explores an original theorization of a multiracial analytic for dance interpretation, a critical lens through which spectators can examine the mobilization of contemporary multiracial discourses in experimental dance. She is a 2020-2022 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellow and a 2019 recipient of the Dance Studies Association’s Selma Jeanne Cohen Award for excellence in dance research. Miya’s dissertation research has been generously supported by the New York Public Library’s Short-Term Research Fellowships, UCLA’s Institute of American Cultures and Shirley Hune Inter-Racial/Inter-Ethnic Award, UCLA’s Collegium of University Teaching Fellows, and UCLA’s School of Arts and Architecture. Her writing can be found in the Routledge Handbook of Dance and Popular Culture (2022). As a dancer, Miya has performed at LA Dance Project, Highways Performance Space, Pieter Performance Space in Los Angeles, and at theaters throughout Toronto and Montreal. She holds a MA in Culture and Performance from UCLA and a BA in English and World Cinema Studies from McGill University.

Areas of Interest

Dance studies; performance studies; critical race theory; critical mixed-race studies; queer theory; visual studies; media studies; politics of spectatorship


• PhD Culture and Performance, UCLA (in progress)
• MA Culture and Performance, UCLA
• BA English Literature, Minor in World Cinema Studies, McGill University

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