Elizabeth Schwall

Visiting Lecturer

Latin America & The Caribbean

Elizabeth Schwall is a historian of Latin America and the Caribbean, and her research focuses on the physical movements that animated everyday politics and social relations in the twentieth-century. Her current book project examines how Cuban dancers engaged with the state and revolutionary politics from 1930 to 1990. Her broader research interests include political performances in Brazil during the Cold War and the histories of Cuban migration and community building through dance. Her teaching interests include the histories of race, gender and sexuality, popular culture, and migration in Latin America and the Caribbean.


PhD in History, Columbia University

MA in History, Columbia University

AB magna cum laude with high honors in History, Princeton University

Select Awards & Fellowships

Fellow, Center for Ballet and the Arts, New York University, 2018

New York Public Library Short-Term Research Fellowship, 2018

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies, Northwestern University, 2016-2018

Doris K. Quinn Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, 2015-2016


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

"Coordinating Movements: The Politics of Cuban-Mexican Dance Exchanges, 1959-1983," (link is external)  Hispanic American Historical Review (2017), 9 (4): 681-716.

  • Winner of the Conference on Latin American History James A. Robertson Memorial Prize for 2018

"A Spectacular Embrace: Dance Dialogues between Cuba and the Soviet Union, 1959-1973," Dance Chronicle 41, no. 3 (2018), 275-302

  • First place winner of the 2017 Founding Editors' Awards Honoring George Dorris and Jack Anderson.

"The Footsteps of Nieves Fresneda: Race and Cultural Policy in Revolutionary Cuba," Cuban Studies, vol. 47 (2019), 35-56.

"Sweeping Gestures: Alberto Alonso and the Revolutionary Musical in Cuba," Studies in Musical Theatre (2019), vol. 13, no. 1 (2019), 37-51. doi:10.1386/smt.13.1.37_1

Peer-Reviewed Chapters in Edited Volumes

"Between Espíritu and Conciencia: Cabaret and Ballet Developments in 1960s Cuba," in The Revolution from Within: Cuba, 1959-1980, eds. Michael Bustamante and Jennifer Lambe (Durham: Duke University Press, 2019), 146-169.

“Cuban Modern Dance after Censorship: A Colorful Gray, 1971-1974,” in Futures of Dance Studies, eds. Susan Manning, Janice Ross, and Rebecca Schneider (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, forthcoming 2020).


"'Cultures in the Body': Dance and Anthropology in Revolutionary Cuba," (link is external) History of Anthropology Newsletter 41 (2017).