North Central College - Naperville, IL

Krystal publishes book on dance in the Americas

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Matthew Krystal, assistant professor of anthropology
Matthew Krystal, assistant professor of anthropology

Matthew Krystal, North Central College assistant professor of anthropology, had his book, titled “Indigenous Dance and Dancing Indian,” published by University Press of Colorado in September 2011. The 360-page work is a cross-cultural, cross-ethnic and cross-national comparison of indigenous dance practices.

Considering four genres of dance in which indigenous people are represented—K’iche Maya traditional dance, powwow, folkloric dance and dancing sports mascots—the book addresses both the ideational and behavioral dimensions of identity. Each dance is examined as a unique cultural expression in individual chapters, and then all are compared in the conclusion, where striking parallels and important divergences are revealed. Krystal describes how dancers and audiences work to construct and consume satisfying and meaningful identities through dance by either challenging social inequality or reinforcing the present social order.

Krystal has been a member of North Central’s faculty since 2003. He received his B.A. from Washington University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Tulane University.