Higher Education Roundtables

ID has produced an HE Roundtable event annually since 2010. This discussion event is for artists working in higher education institutions to discuss pressing issues in HE contexts.

Below you can find notes from each roundtable since 2013. Topics include ‘how to have agency in institutions’, ‘how to teach choreography’, ‘dealing with conflict in academia’. The most recent HE Roundtable, in 2020, was titled Recognising Institutional Racism in Our Classroom, and focused on how we can come together to recognise ways in which we might unknowingly be performing systemic racism in our classrooms, language, and sense of history. In preparation, we commissioned Dr Adesola Akinleye to write an essay as a starting point and provocation for discussion.

Akinleye identified three lenses through which to observe and work; these provided a basis for the roundtable discussion.

1) ‘justice’ : witness, acknowledge, ‘that shouldn’t have happened’, I hear you’
2) ‘education’ : understanding, comprehending the nuances of the system, what is this system? How does it ‘work’?
3) ‘personal work’ : what is / has my role been in that system?, where is my power? in it / to change it?, committing to change.

Akinleye’s essay, notes from Recognising Racism in Our Classroom and all ten years of HE Roundtables are available below.

This event is now biennial, with the next one to be held online on 8 September 2022. Titled Speculative Futures; the dance HE we dream of,  this discussion will invite us to imagine how dance in HE could be…a kind of ‘what if’ version where everything is possible. More information about this event and how to take part will be announced soon.

I just wanted to say how valuable it is to be able to come together as dance artists / educators / researchers (whatever we prefer, it matters little) and speak so honestly and hopefully and progressively. And being in collegiate, co-operative and collective thought and discussion is so welcome and so needed for all of us today. I come away lighter in my heart and more resilient in my thoughts.

Katye Coe, participant