1 Correspondence, 1 January 1950, Box 14, Folder 6, Katherine Dunham Papers, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, USA (hereinafter, SIU).
2 VèVè Clark, “Performing the Memory of Difference in Afro-Caribbean Dance: Katherine Dunham's Choreography, 1938–87,” in History and Memory in African-American Culture, ed. Geneviève Fabre and Robert O'Meally (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 188–204.
3 For foundational scholarship on Katherine Dunham, see Clark, “Performing the Memory of Difference”; VèVè A. Clark and Sarah E. Johnson, eds., Kaiso! Writings by and about Katherine Dunham (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005); Das, Joanna Dee, Katherine Dunham: Dance and the African Diaspora (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017); Manning, Susan, Modern Dance, Negro Dance: Race in Motion (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004); Halifu Osumare, “Dancing the Black Atlantic: Katherine Dunham's Research-to-Performance Method,” AmeriQuests 7.2 (2010), doi:10.15695/amqst.v7i2.165.
4 Bench, Harmony and Elswit, Kate, “Mapping Movement on the Move: Dance Touring and Digital Methods,” Theatre Journal 68.4 (2016): 575–96, doi:10.1353/tj.2016.0107.
5 D'Ignazio, Catherine and Klein, Lauren F., Data Feminism (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2020); Losh, Elizabeth and Wernimont, Jacqueline, ed., Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminism and Digital Humanities (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018).
6 Marisa Parham, “Digital Archives, Datum Storytelling, & the Future of Memory,” at the 37-minute mark of Library of Congress, “Developing Communities of Practice,” 27 September 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxWv0pv1l40 (accessed 10 September 2018); see also the ongoing project “Living with Personal Data,” led by Deborah Lupton, https://livingwithpersonal.data.blog/ (accessed 3 August 2019).
7 For example, Benjamin, Ruha, Race after Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2019); Rosenthal, Caitlin, Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018).
8 Jessica Marie Johnson, “Markup Bodies: Black [Life] Studies and Slavery [Death] Studies at the Digital Crossroads,” Social Text 36.4 (2018): 57–79, at 58, doi:10.1215/01642472-7145658.
11 We extend this argument in our forthcoming essay “The Body Is Not (Only) a Metaphor: Rethinking Embodiment in DH,” in Debates in the Digital Humanities 2022, ed. Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press).
12 We write about scale more broadly in relation to digital methods for performance history in Bench and Elswit, “Mapping Movement on the Move.”
13 Clarke, Kamari Maxine, Mapping Yorùbá Networks: Power and Agency in the Making of Transnational Communities (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004), xxii.
14 Our understanding of the everyday is informed by the postwar everyday life theory associated with Henri Lefebvre and later Michel de Certeau, as well as the feminist argument in the 1990s for the political potential of particularizing everyday experiences. More recent theorizations of the everyday that have a bearing on our analysis of Dunham include Lauren Berlant's exploration of the “crisis ordinary” and Elizabeth Povinelli's discussion of endurance and exhaustion within late liberalism. See Berlant, Lauren, Cruel Optimism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011), 9–10; Povinelli, Elizabeth A., Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011).
15 McKittrick, Katherine, Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), 21.
17 Brown, Jayna, Babylon Girls: Black Women Performers and the Shaping of the Modern (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008), 10.
18 Since first writing this essay, we have extended the Everyday Itinerary Dataset to cover 1947–60, and occasionally reference that material here as well. The 1950–3 dataset is available at Harmony Bench and Kate Elswit, “Everyday Itinerary Dataset, 1950–53,” Dunham's Data: Katherine Dunham and Digital Methods for Dance Historical Inquiry, National Archive of Data on Arts and Culture (distributor), 1 August 2020. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37698.v1. We will release updates to this dataset with further years.
19 For example, if we were able to establish that Dunham flew from city A to city B in the first half of a certain week, then we could discover from flight route maps that the only airline to fly that route in spring of 1951 did so on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and therefore the trip had to have taken place on the Tuesday.
21 For example: correspondence, 19 January 1950, Box 14, Folder 7, SIU.
22 For example: Jordan, Stephanie, “The Demons in a Database: Interrogating ‘Stravinsky the Global Dancer,’” Dance Research 22.1 (2004): 57–83; Pritchard, Jane, “Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes—An Itinerary. Part 1: 1909–1921,” Dance Research 27.1 (2009): 108–98, doi:10.3366/E0264287509000279; Schlundt, Christena L., The Professional Appearances of Ruth St. Denis & Ted Shawn; A Chronology and An Index of Dances, 1906–1932 (New York: New York Public Library, 1962).
23 Among other projects that employ digital methods to attend to both macro and micro scales of inquiry, the Geographies of the Holocaust project shifts between scales in order to expand analytic perspectives on an event that is both massive and profoundly personal. Jaskot, Paul B. and Cole, Tim, “Afterword,” in Geographies of the Holocaust, ed. Knowles, Anne Kelly, Cole, Tim, and Giordano, Alberto (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014), 227–32, at 229. In the field of performance, Derek Miller contends that “the vast majority of theatre scholarship is a history of prodigious exceptions,” in an art form dominated by unpopular shows and commercial failures, and turns to the quantitative analysis of “average Broadway.” Miller, Derek, “Average Broadway,” Theatre Journal 68.4 (2016): 529–53, at 546, doi:10.1353/tj.2016.0105.
24 This approach is commonly used to analyze patterns of migration and travel, such as those found at movebank.org, and http://meipokwan.org/Gallery/STPaths.htm (both accessed 15 November 2018). Time geography also appears in the digital theatre history project IbsenStage to visualize connections, continuity, and change among productions of A Doll's House. See Jonathan Bollen and Julie Holledge, “Hidden Dramas: Cartographic Revelations in the World of Theatre Studies,” Cartographic Journal 48.4 (2011): 226–36, doi:10.1179/1743277411Y.0000000026.
25 As we have expanded the Everyday Itinerary Dataset to encompass 1947–60, Antonio Jiménez Mavillard has needed to build an interactive three-dimensional globe in order to account for travel across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
26 See Croft, Clare, Dancers as Diplomats: American Choreography in Cultural Exchange (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2015); Prevots, Naima, Dance for Export: Cultural Diplomacy and the Cold War (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2001).
29 In addition to cities where Dunham spent one or more nights, a city is also counted as a stay if an overnight trip left from there. There are also a substantial number of uncounted transit cities in which she stayed some number of hours, but not overnight.
30 Correspondence, 4 March 1950, Box 39, Folder 1, SIU.
31 Contractual agreement, 28 January 1950, Box 14, Folder 7, SIU.
32 “Atlanta Dancer Home for Brief Rest between Tours Atlanta Daily World (1932–2003),” Atlanta Daily World, 29 April 1951.
33 Philip Warden, “U.S. Culture Goes Dancing ’Round the World: For $275,000,” Chicago Daily Tribune, 8 May 1958, B4.
34 Katherine Dunham, “Love Letters from I Tatti,” unpublished manuscript, Robert Park Mills Papers, Folder 14, Boxes 2–3, 218, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin.
35 Although Dunham attributed her lack of State Department funding to the repercussions of her controversial Southland performance in Chile in late 1950, her archives evidence financial instability both earlier and later than this common narrative would suggest. A wider-angle view is therefore necessary to understand the economic entanglements of Dunham's global method. See Constance Valis Hill, “Katherine Dunham's Southland: Protest in the Face of Repression,” in Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance, ed. Thomas F. DeFrantz (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2002), 289–316, at 310.
36 John Martin, “The Dance: Diplomacy—Limon Makes Conquest in South America,” New York Times, 23 January 1955, X11.
37 Conversation between Camille Yarborough and Takiyah Nur Amin, October 2019.
38 Correspondence, 8 September , Box 21, Folder 3, SIU.
39 In terms of other outliers, the disproportionately low positioning of New York City further bolsters the need to look elsewhere by the 1950s. Dunham also stays much longer than expected in other cities, including in Port-au-Prince, where she had spent time as an anthropologist and eventually purchased an estate.
40 David Harvey, “Space as a Keyword,” in David Harvey: A Critical Reader, ed. Noel Castree and Derek Gregory (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006), 275.
41 Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005), 5.
43 Joris Schapendonk et al., “Re-Routing Migration Geographies: Migrants, Trajectories and Mobility Regimes,” Geoforum (accepted June 2018), doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.06.007.
44 Tim Cresswell, “Black Moves: Moments in the History of African-American Masculine Mobilities,” Transfers 6.1 (2016): 12–25, at 22, doi:10.3167/TRANS.2016.060103; see also Judith A. Nicholson and Mimi Sheller, “Race and the Politics of Mobility—Introduction,” Transfers 6.1 (2016): 4–11, doi:10.3167/TRANS.2016.060102.
45 Telegrams, 7 January and 13 January 1950, Box 14, Folder 6, SIU.
46 Correspondence, 18 June 1950, Box 39, Folder 2, SIU.
47 Correspondence, 5 October 1955, Box 19, Folder 7, SIU.
48 Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, “‘Keep Going’: African Americans on the Road in the Era of Jim Crow” (Ph.D. diss., Dept. History, State University of New York at Albany, 2011), 241. Although the moments of decreased friction are few and far between, in 1956, while the NAACP was urging boycotts of yellow cabs, the company received an invitation from a private car company for free rides the whole time they stayed in San Francisco.
49 It is worth noting that another letter around the same time attributes this to the union pay scales required there. Correspondence, 14 January 1955, Box 17, Folder 7, SIU, and 14 August 1955, Box 19, Folder 3, SIU.
50 Such events were not limited to the United States, as evidenced by a well-publicized July 1950 incident in which Dunham was refused accommodation at a hotel in São Paulo, Brazil. See “Brazil Enacts Law against Race Bias,” Atlanta Daily World, 8 July 1951, 1.
51 Correspondence, 3 January 1950, Box 14, Folder 6, SIU, and 5 February 1950, Box 14, Folder 8, SIU.
53 Correspondence, 18 January 1950, Box 14, Folder 6, SIU.
54 Correspondence, 25 March 1951, Box 39, Folder 4, SIU.
56 This is most explicitly articulated in correspondence, 18 October 1954, Box 17, Folder 4, SIU, and also borne out in interviews with dancers. Thanks to Jonathan Bollen for encouraging us to consider jewelry as a type of international currency.
57 Correspondence, 26 February 1950, Box 14, Folder 8, SIU. See also: correspondence, 25 December 1953, Box 16, Folder 9, SIU.
58 Correspondence, 21 November 1951, Box 39, Folder 4, SIU.
59 Correspondence, 18 October 1951, Box 15, Folder 9, SIU.
60 Amid this, Dunham's project of keeping up appearances was critical in enabling her to cultivate and leverage a vast network to support the dance company. Stuck in San Francisco in 1955, for example, Dunham made several appeals to benefactors for loans to get her dancers and musicians to Chicago, where they would begin a tour late in October, promising repayment immediately after performances began. Correspondence, 5 October 1955, Box 19, Folder 7, SIU.
61 Correspondence, 5 October 1955, Box 19, Folder 7, SIU. While she did contract with local managers and impresarios, and was also supported by Dale Wasserman, who was often the intermediary in such negotiations, her archives do not show the kind of singular overarching management structure or systematic planning that is comparable to other Hurok-managed artists, for example.
62 Correspondence, undated (ca. 1951), Box 15, Folder 9, SIU.
63 Kedhar, Anusha, “Flexibility and Its Bodily Limits: Transnational South Asian Dancers in an Age of Neoliberalism,” Dance Research Journal 46.1 (April 2014): 23–40, at 24, doi:10.1017/S0149767714000163; on dance and flexibility, see also Yatin Lin, “Choreographing a Flexible Taiwan: Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and Taiwan's Changing Identity,” in The Routledge Dance Studies Reader, 2d ed., ed. Alexandra Carter and Janet O'Shea (New York: Routledge, 2010), 250–60.
66 “Timings of Repertoire,” 6 October 1959, Box 25, Folder 8, SIU.
67 Correspondence, 14 June 1953, Box 39, Folder 5, SIU.
68 Correspondence, 2 May 1952, Box 39, Folder 4, SIU.
69 Correspondence, 21 February 1953, Box 39, Folder 5, SIU.
70 Katherine Dunham, FBI File, 100-334795, 12 February 1964.
71 Correspondence, 14 May 1950, Box 39, Folder 2, SIU; and 21 May 1952, Box 39, Folder 4, SIU.
72 Correspondence, 2 May 1952, Box 39, Folder 4, SIU.
74 Dunham, “Love Letters from I Tatti,” 17 June 1953, 175.
75 Correspondence, 1 October 1953, Box 39, Folder 5, SIU, and undated ca. 1951, Box 15, Folder 9, SIU.
76 Correspondence, 25 March 1951, Box 39, Folder 4, SIU.
77 Correspondence, 13 February 1952, Box 16, Folder 1, SIU.
78 Correspondence, undated ca. 1951, Box 15, Folder 9, SIU.
79 Rai, Shirin M., Hoskyns, Catherine, and Thomas, Dania, “Depletion: The Cost of Social Reproduction,” International Feminist Journal of Politics 16.1 (2014): 86–105, at 86, doi:10.1080/14616742.2013.789641.
80 Thanks to Takiyah Nur Amin for this connection. See A. T. Geronimus, “The Weathering Hypothesis and the Health of African-American Women and Infants: Evidence and Speculations,” Ethnicity & Disease 2.3 (1992): 207–21.
81 In exploring how we might keep this material as part of Dunham's global method, we drew inspiration from a variety of scholars working to represent personal data, in particular the Geographies of the Holocaust project's use of “expressive visualizations” as a flexible means to extract and represent experiences from the archive that support historical understanding, as well as Stefanie Posavec and Giorgia Lupi's Dear Data project (2015), which favors an analog approach to representing the individual and communal experiences that the data signify.
82 Simone Gigliotti, Marc J. Masurovsky, and Erik B. Steiner, “From the Camp to the Road: Evacuations from Auschwitz, January 1945,” Geographies of the Holocaust, 192–225, at 207.
83 Miller, “Average Broadway”; Judith Hamera, “Rehearsal Problems: Gus Giordano's The Rehearsal and the Serious Business of Middlebrow Dance,” Theatre Journal 71.2 (2019): 171–89; Brian Herrera, “The Many Middling Failures of Virginia Calhoun,” Theatre Topics 28.1 (2018): 75–81.
84 McKittrick, Demonic Grounds, xii.