Shanti Pillai

Shanti Pillai is a scholar, artist, and writer.  She holds a BA in Anthropology and International Relations from Stanford University (1989), an MA in Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley (1990), and a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University (2005). Over the course of her career she has taught students from thirty countries at institutions on four continents. She is currently Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at California State University at Long Beach. She offers courses on cultural policy and urban development, issues of race, gender and class identities, the performance practices of Asia classes, as well as studio dance and physical training for actors. Her writing has appeared in The Drama Review, Women and Performance, Dance Research Journal, Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies, Trialog, and the blog of the Michigan Quarterly. As a creator and performer her work has appeared at the Teatro Trianón and Fundacíon Ludwig in Havana, Cuba, the University of California at Los Angeles, Brown University, and the University of Southern California. In 2017 Shanti was awarded a Fulbright Research Grant for her project that focuses on women artists’ contributions to contemporary performance in India across the genres of theater, dance, digital media, and performance art. She explores how these innovators develop new aesthetic paradigms, facilitate communities of young artists and audiences through teaching and institution building, and propose alternative perspectives on the body, space, and identity.