October 11, 2022

Campus diversity initiatives elevated through Grant Wood Art Colony

IOWA CITY, IA – Oct. 10, 2022 - The Grant Wood Art Colony (GWAC) will be hosting a special guest, Dr. Irvin Manuel Gonzalez, in-residence from October 17-21, teaching contemporary movement, dance repertory, and performing power and protest courses. The experience will help University of Iowa Dance students connect the power of diversity and social justice to advancements in the art and form of dance.

GWAC fellow Kieron Dwayne Sargeant is hosting Gonzalez and believes the interpretive work speaks directly to the Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives at the heart of the University of Iowa’s strategic plan, along with the continued emphasis by the UI Dance department.

“Dr. Gonzalez is excited to have students learn about activism by experiencing aspects of Latin American social dance styles while paying tribute to the histories and the people that brought these forms to life over time,” Sergeant said.

As a dance artist, Gonzalez grounds his artistic approaches, strategies, and processes in rasquachismo, a working-class, Chicanx methodology, in which he redefines the intended use-value of materials and connections. In doing so, he experiments with the homegrown, minoritarian shortcuts and crafts he grew up with and collaborates with migrant rights organizations and prison abolition projects to produce art that speaks to Latine joy, loss, futurity, and social change. 

Gonzalez’s scholarship analyzes the constructs of brownness, queerness, and mexicanidad(es) within Latin American social dancing, looking at how immigrant, queer, and working-class dancers navigate trans/national politics through affective migrations and grassroots exchanges. In doing so, his research also highlights decolonial methodologies for communal investigations, situating social dance as a technique for social justice inquiries in ethnographies and writing. Dr. Gonzalez is an ‘artivist,’ scholar, community organizer, and Assistant Professor teaching at Florida State University

Gonzalez has shared his solo and collective work across the United States, including The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Dance Mission Theatre in San Francisco, and the Museum of Fine Arts at Florida State University. He is also a founding member of Primera Generación Dance Collective, a board member for Show Box Los Angeles, and director for (de) Color-EsFestival.  

Gonzalez will also give a guest lecture to students in the Theories of Bodies course taught by Professor Dr. Rebekah J Kowal, along with an artist talk on Thursday, Oct. 20, from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm at Halsey Hall.