Doctoral student wins Marilyn Yalom Research Fund Award

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Doctoral student wins Marilyn Yalom Research Fund Award

Rebecca Chaleff receives 2012-13 award for PhD research in the humanities

by Claire Patterson on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 6:08pm

Senior Scholar Marilyn YalomRebecca Chaleff, a PhD student in Stanford’s Department of Theater and Performance Studies, is the 2013 recipient of the Marilyn Yalom Research Fund Award. She received the award in recognition of her work on “Trio A,” a 1966 performance by American dancer, choreographer and filmmaker, Yvonne Rainer.

Chaleff employs methodologies that combine both theory and practice: “The first is a phenomenological framework for understanding the dancing and gendered body,” explains Chaleff, “and the other is an insistence on embodying the dances that I wish to write about.” In other words, Chaleff explored "Trio A" by dancing it herself.

Chaleff maintains that, although her work in the classroom was valuable and necessary to her research, dancing was equally important. As she elaborates, “it was in the moments of performance that the politics of the piece really became clearer to me.” 

“We are thrilled that the Marilyn Yalom Research Fund Award will support Rebecca Chaleff’s groundbreaking dissertation research on the female body in postmodern dance,” said Andrea Rees Davies, Director of Programs and Research for the Clayman Institute. Davies appreciates that as “a skilled dancer and academic, Rebecca brings a valuable practice-based perspective to her work.”

"As a skilled dancer and academic, Rebecca brings a valuable practice-based perspective to her work."

Chaleff first learned about the Clayman Institute through a New York nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering opportunities for women in professional careers. “I was excited to hear about an Institute that was valued by both academia and the nonprofit sector,” says Chaleff.

The Marilyn Yalom Research Fund Award is given in the name of Dr. Marilyn Yalom, an internationally renowned feminist author and historian who has been an integral part of the Clayman Institute since 1978. Yalom served as both Associate Director and Acting Director and is currently a Senior Scholar with the Institute. The award supports currently enrolled Stanford PhD candidates working in issues concerning gender and women in the humanities. Chaleff will be awarded $1,500 to support her dissertation research.

Rebecca Chaleff
PhD student, Department of Theater and Performance Studies

Rebecca Chaleff is a PhD student in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University. She holds a BA in English and Dance from Barnard College, Columbia University, and an MA in Gender and Culture from Goldsmiths, University of London. As a dancer, she has had the privilege of performing with Pat Catterson, Douglas Dunn and Dancers, the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company Repertory Understudy Group. She currently dances with Molissa Fenley and Dancers, and continues to choreograph her own work, which she recently presented at Performance Studies International 19. Rebecca’s academic interests focus on an assemblage of dance, gender, and body studies, attending to the political potential within embodied experiences of performance and spectatorship. Chaleff is the 2013 recipient of the Marilyn Yalom Resarch Fund Award

Claire Patterson
Summer Intern

Claire Patterson is a Sophomore at Stanford University and a 2013 Summer Intern with the Clayman Insitute. Claire is currently undeclared, but is considering a major in American Studies with an emphasis in race and ethnicity.