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Seth Stewart Williams is an assistant professor in the Department of Dance at Barnard College of Columbia University, where he is also an affiliate of Barnard’s English Department and of Columbia’s Ph.D. program in Theatre.
He is currently at work on a monograph, Virtual Motion: Dance and Mobility in Early Modern English Literature, which explores questions that span the Reformation, colonization of the New World, and the Restoration: how did choreography enhance and alter the meaning of spoken text in plays? What role did dance play in the emergence of new political parties, racial categories, and religious denominations? How did new print and manuscript technologies seek to “capture” the motions of dance? Fellowships in support of this work have come from the Folger Shakespeare Library, Columbia University’s Heyman Center for the Humanities, and New York University’s Center for Ballet and the Arts. During an earlier performance career, Williams worked extensively with Sean Curran and Donald McKayle, whose choreography he has set, and was for several years a supplemental dancer to the Mark Morris Dance Group. As a member of The New York Baroque Dance Company, he reconstructed early ballets from Feuillet notation. Williams received his Ph.D. in English literature from Columbia University, and joined the Barnard faculty in 2017.