McMillan named a Fellow of the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Christopher-Rasheem McMillan, University of IowaAssistant Professor Christopher-Rasheem McMillan of the Departments of Dance and Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies, has been appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University.

A choreographer and a scholar, McMillan holds an MFA degree in experimental choreography (Laban Conservatoire, London) and a PhD in theology and religious studies (King’s College, London). His Yale project will take two interdependent approaches: completion of a book titled Performance Criticism: Scripture, Sex, and the Sacred, and an evening-length performance called Sacred/ Scripture as choreology. Taken together, the components will create new knowledge, methods, and approaches not only for theorizing the cultural impact of the choreographic through theological discourse, but also for creating practical and impactful approaches to body-based art and meaning making.

McMillan, who received the CLAS Collegiate Teaching Award for 2019-20, works across multiple disciplines, including religious studies, queer studies, performance, choreography, and theology. He employs methods from the arts and humanities in his teaching and helps students transcend these boundaries. With research interests are in body theology, queer theory, choreographic practices, American religious culture, and practice-based research, his writing has been published in The Journal of Dance, Movement & Spiritualities, Kinebago, and Contact Quarterly. His performance works have been seen at venues such as the Bates Dance Festival of Bates College, Providence International Arts Festival (PVD), and The Dance Complex and Green Street Studios in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in performance platforms such as the 2011 participatory event Beyond Text, London.

The Yale Institute of Sacred Music was founded in 1973. The ISM Fellows are scholars, religious leaders, and artists at all career stages whose work is in or is moving to the fields of sacred music, liturgical/ritual studies, or religion and the arts. Relocating to the Yale campus for one or two academic terms, they are integrated into Institute and university life through teaching and sharing their work.

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers about 70 majors across the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. About 15,000 undergraduate and nearly 2,000 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by faculty at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all Iowa undergraduates through the college's general education program, CLAS CORE. About 80 percent of all Iowa undergraduates begin their academic journey in CLAS. The college confers about 60 percent of the university's bachelor's degrees each academic year.