Selma Odom is a dance historian and writer. Recruited to York University in 1972, she was founding director of the MA and PhD programs in dance and dance studies, the first offered in a Canadian university. She was awarded the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Teaching Award in 1998 in recognition of her contributions to the advancement of academic excellence and the quality of graduate teaching at York University. As Professor Emerita and Senior Scholar, she continues to teach graduate seminars and serves as Adjunct Associate of the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies of the University of Toronto.
Dr. Odom’s research focuses on dance, music, education and gender. With a background in English literature and theatre history, she has published many articles and reviews since the 1960s in books, academic journals, reference works, magazines and newspapers. She frequently presents in international symposia and conferences, and is invited to lecture in universities and schools in Europe and the United States. She has done extensive work for scholarly and professional organizations, curated exhibitions and film festivals, advised publishers such as Oxford University Press and consulted for various cultural agencies. She is a Member of the Board of Directors of Dance Collection Danse, Canada’s national dance archives and publisher dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of Canadian theatrical dance history.
Dr. Odom co-edited Canadian Dance: Visions and Stories, an anthology of thirty-five essays on Canadian dance and dance artists published by Dance Collection Danse in 2004. She is currently writing a book based on her long-term research on practice, identity and oral transmission in Dalcroze Eurhythmics.
Areas of Research and Academic Specialty: Dance History; Dance Writing