Arts and Humanities Tutor (Dance, Gender and Cultural Studies)
BA, Loyola University Chicago
PhD, University of California, Riverside
(BA in Political Science at Loyola University Chicago; PhD in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside.)
Ahalya is a dance scholar and dancer with a focus in cultural studies. She is especially interested in the relationships between aesthetics, embodied forms, and local and global politics.
She has taught in a wide range of institutions and departments, reflecting her interest in interdisciplinary research, teaching and learning. Prior to joining Quest, she was conducting research on post-war reconciliation and international diplomacy through the arts at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
She is currently completing a manuscript on women’s arts practice in Sri Lanka during the 26-year civil war. This ethnographic text considers how dance practice makes and undoes local and state nationalisms, the intersections of gender and ethnicity with cultural practice, and the personal experiences of war.
Ahalya is a trained Bharata Natyam dancer and continues to choreograph and perform in arts, educational, and community based forums. She was awarded the 12 Minute Max residency of the Scotiabank Dance Centre in Vancouver, and featured new choreography in their June 2016 showcase. She is also a dedicated yoga practitioner and teacher.