Marta Elena Savigliano holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawaii-Manoa, and a Licenciatura in Anthropology from the Universidad de Buenos Aires.
She is an Argentine political theorist and anthropologist interested in the politics of culture: the transnational traffic of cultural goods, workers, ideologies and affects under global capitalism.
She is the author of Tango and the Political Economy of Passion (Westview, 1995), translated into Turkish, Slovene and Japanese, which received the Congress of Research on Dance Award for Outstanding Book 1993-1996. Her second book Angora Matta: Fatal Acts of North South Translation (Wesleyan U.P., 2003) addresses feminization and fatal-ness as recurrent tropes associated to artistic and scholarly representations of Latin America and, in particular, of Argentina.
Angora Matta was first conceived as a libretto for a thriller-opera of tangos. As an interdisciplinary and multi-art project of international collaboration, Angora Matta was developed with composer Ramon Pelinski, choreographer Susan Rose, and animation director Miguel Angel Nanni. A first experimental presentation of the complete work took place in the Teatro Presidente Alvear of Buenos Aires in November 2002 as a US-Argentine co-production involving 30 artists on stage.
The active participation of artists and intellectuals in reproducing or challenging historical and contemporary colonial world orders is consistently discussed in her work. Savigliano’s current research focuses on staged and screened Global South responses to World Dance, in particular self-parodic versions of “traditional” dance forms associated to racialized, exotic, and erotic representations of “other” cultures and their contentious power in globalization.
Savigliano taught at UC Riverside’s Dance department from 1992 to 1998, and at UCLA’s department of World Arts and Cultures from 1998 to 2006. She is currently Full Professor at the University of California, Riverside, in Dance History and Theory; and founder of GLOSAS, an international center for Global South Advanced Studies located in Buenos Aires. Savigliano is President of the Congress on Research in Dance since August 2010.
Notes on Tango (as) Queer (commodity). Anthropological Notebooks (Slovene Anthropological Society). Special Issue on Contributions to Anthropology of Dance, Maruska Pusnik, ed., 16(3): 135-146. (2010)
Worlding Dance and Dancing Out There In the World. In Worlding Dance, Susan Foster ed., pp. 163-190. London: Palgrave. (2009)
Irreverent Tangos: Dancing “Love” and the Politics of Parody. In Tango in Translation, Gabriele Klein ed., pp. 243-278. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag. (2009)
“Evita: The Globalization of a National Myth” Latin American Perspectives 24 (1997)
“Nocturnal Ethnographies” (2000) http://www.sibetrans.com/trans/articulo/245/nocturnal-ethnographies-following-cortazar-in-the-milongas-of-buenos-aires
“Destination Buenos Aires : Tango and Cinematic Sex Tourism” Cadernos PAGU 25 (2005): 327-356 access in Spanish at http://www.scielo.br/pdf/cpa/n25/26531.pdf
HONORS AND AWARDS
President, CORD (Congress of Research on Dance), 2010-2013
Invited Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in Intercultural Performance, Theater Department, University of Berlin, 2011-2012
Visiting Scholar, Sage Cowles Land Grant Chair, Dance department, University of Minesotta, 2007
Christena Schlundt Lecture Award in Dance Scholarship. University of California, Riverside, 2007
National Dance Project, Doris Duke Fund program administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Philip Morris Companies Ind. . Grant for the production of Angora Matta (Tango-opera), 2001
CORD (Congress for Research on Dance) Award for Outstanding Publication, 1993-1995: Book ( Tango and the Political Economy of Passion ), 1995
Academia Nacional del Tango, Buenos Aires, Miembro Correspondiente, 1995
Rockefeller Fellow, Center for the Study of Culture, Rice University, 1993
KEYNOTE ADDRESSES AND INAUGURAL LECTURES (SELECTED)
Tangos de Espectáculo, Post-Exotismo y Globalización. Keynote address at the II Congreso Internacional de Tango: Baile, Música y Sociedad. Organized by the Centro Foro de Estudios Culturales and sponsored by Sony Music. San Rafael, San Luis (Argentina), 2009
Tango, Exoticism, and Globalization. Keynote address at the Tangoing Gender, Power and Subversion in Argentine Tango Conference. Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICI), Berlin, 2008
Tango Wallflowers and Femmes Fatales. Inaugural performative lecture of the conference Tango Dance the World Around: Global Transformations of Latin American Culture. Harvard Humanities Center , the Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies & Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Agassiz Theater, Cambridge . In collaboration with Susan Rose (choreographer) and local tango dancers, 2007
Key Issues in the Production and Sustainability of International Collaboration in the Performing Arts. Keynote address at the Third Convening of the Working Group on International Collaboration in the Arts. Arts International/New England Foundation for the Arts. A Ford Foundation Initiative. Miami, Florida, 2000
The Tango in Latin American and International Perspectives. Keynote address at the Staging Identity: Latin American Music and Dance Conference. University of Florida, Gainsville, 2000
Dance and the Politics of Pleasure. Keynote address at the Nordic Forum for Dance Research Conference, Helsinki, 1997
INVITED LECTURES INTERNATIONAL (SELECTED)
Dance in Asia, Dances from Asia (On World-ing Asian Dance). Invited presentation at the “Contemporary Dance in Asia: Mapping Out a Discourse” international workshop, Sanata Dharma University , Yogjakarta, 2008
Irreverent Tangos: Dancing “Love” and the Politics of Parody. Invited presentation at the Translation Dance Conference, University of Hamburg, 2007
Ethnography and Pina Bausch? Talking Methods, in Hamburg, on Thin Ice. Invited lecture, Conference “Methods in Dance Research.” University of Hamburg, 2006
Fragmentos para una Historia Tango-céntrica. Invited lecture, Academia Superior de Artes de Bogotá , Colombia, 1999
Desire, Passion, and Fate: Tango in Popular Cinema. Invited lecture at the Theatre Studies Department, Stockholm University, 1997
Tango-Lessons: Speculations of (from) a Wallflower (Position). Invited lecture, Research Centre for Religion and Society, University of Amsterdam, 1997
Nocturnal Ethnographies: An Exploration into the Social World of Tango Club Culture. Invited lecture, Academia Sinica, Institute of Ethnology, Taipei, 1997
Manufacturing Exoticism: Tango and the Colonizing Gaze. Invited lecture at the Political Science and Women’s Studies Departments, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1996
El lugar del tango en los estudios culturales. Invited lecture, Instituto Nacional del Profesorado en Folklore, Buenos Aires, 1994
El Tango, el Exoticismo y la Descolonización. Invited lecture at the Instituto Nacional de Antropología, Buenos Aires, 1992