Julia M. Ritter
Julia M. Ritter was appointed dean of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, effective July 1. She is an award-winning dance artist and scholar whose work demonstrates the interdisciplinary integration of over 30 years of training in dance, voice and theater techniques.
In addition to receiving three Fulbright Scholar awards for her international choreographic projects, Ritter is the recipient of two awards for her scholarly research, with writings appearing in TDR/The Drama Review and other renowned publications. Her book, Tandem Dances: Choreographing Immersive Performance (Oxford University Press, 2021), explores the role of dance in immersive productions. Ritter has distinguished herself as an artistic director and academic leader by championing the work of diverse artists with the aim of building inclusive communities that value dance as a means for innovation and social change.
From 2010 to 2021, Ritter served as chair and artistic director of the Dance Department of Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. As a resourceful champion of dance in academia, she has worked at the intersection of the arts, humanities and sciences to catalyze knowledge, address social injustice, and foster engagement with international organizations and local communities for the common good. With the cooperation of colleagues, Ritter pioneered multiple curricular and programmatic initiatives, including the establishment of two new graduate degrees; multiple study abroad programs; and numerous community creative engagement projects.
She is the recipient of a 2021 Rutgers Presidential Outstanding Faculty Scholar Award for her exemplary scholarship, teaching and service to the campus community and beyond. Her book Tandem Dances is the first to examine the role of dance in the creation and reception of immersive theater and performance. Ritter is the recipient of two awards for her scholarly research, including the 2016 Selma Jeanne Cohen Lecture Award from the Selma Jeanne Cohen Fund for International Scholarship on Dance and the 2014 Prix André G. Bourassa for Creative Research in Canada.
Her published writings have appeared in prestigious presses, including Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, MIT Press and Palgrave Macmillan. A frequent presenter at conferences on dance, theater, and performance studies, Ritter has shared her scholarship on dance and immersive performance in Germany, China, France, Taiwan, Portugal, Canada, Singapore, Turkey, Malta, and throughout the United States. She is the recipient of three Fulbright Scholar awards for her choreographic research in Europe (2002, 2005, 2008), and in 2004 received an Individual Artist Fellowship Award for artistic excellence from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
Ritter is an alumna of multiple esteemed leadership training programs, including the HERS Institute at Bryn Mawr (2017), the Big Ten Academic Alliance (2016), and the Harvard Management Development Program (2012). She has distinguished herself as a publicly engaged artist and scholar, artistic director and academic leader by championing the work of diverse artists to build inclusive communities that value dance as a means for innovation and social change.
Ritter earned a bachelor’s degree in Dance from Rutgers University, her master’s degree in Dance from Temple University, and her Ph.D. in Dance from Texas Woman’s University.