Dr. Cudjoe Emmanuel is a tenure track and ACM- Andrew Mellon Faculty Fellow at St Olaf Dance department. Cudjoe holds a Ph.D. degree in Dance Studies from the Boyer College of Music and Dance - at Temple University. Cudjoe's Ph.D. work: “From Palace to Academy: Embodiment, Transmission and Dis/continuation within the Asante Kete Dance of Ghana" focuses on the exploration of indigenous Asante Kete court dance systems which promotes the intersection between practice and scholarship and is an unashamedly African-centred. Cudjoe's current research explores the theories of Afrocentricity and Oral History as methodologies for the scientific exploration of African dance practices and curriculum design which is also steeped in the decolonization of dance knowledge agenda because it places the African body, experiences, and associated knowledge as agencies for producing and promoting meanings in the 21st century and beyond.
Cudjoe brings a lifelong indigenous, international experience, and high artistic acclaim to his roles as a tenure track Faculty member born and raised in Ghana, West Africa. He is a dance scholar, practitioner, musician, singer, researcher, and educator dedicated to the propagation and safeguarding of traditional and neo-traditional dances from Ghana/Africa. Cudjoe holds a BFA degree in theatre studies and dance studies with first class(1st) honors and possesses an MA in African Studies from the University of Ghana, and another MA in International Dance Knowledge, Practice and Heritage from the ERASMUS-MUNDUS Choreomundus degree program convened by four consortium universities in Europe namely, NTNU-Norway, Université Clermont Auvergne (University of Clermont Auvergne), Clermont-Ferrand, France, University of Szeged-Hungary, and Roehampton University-UK.
Cudjoe has received fellowships, research funding, grants, and awards in his academic and artistic career such as the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Andrew Mellon Fellowship, Temple Graduate Teaching Assistantship award, Edrie Ferdun Emerging Scholar Award, Edrie Ferdum Scholarly Achievement award at Temple University and Erasmus Mundus Choreomundus Scholarship.
Before undertaking his Ph.D. in dance studies at Temple University, he had conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork on indigenous dances among the Asante people of Ghana, some parts of the Northern Regions of Ghana, and Togo and performed extensively with the resident theatre group of the University of Ghana known as Abibigromma, Ghana Dance Ensemble, Noyam dance Institute, Ntentan Dance company over the years. Cudjoe had trained and performed under famed Ghanaian choreographers Professor Francis Nii-Yartey and Dr. Kofi Anthonio in contemporary Ghanaian dance technique as well as Maama Kariamu Welsh which also forms the basis of his critical exploration of “emerging” and “emergent” movement systems from Ghana and West Africa.
Cudjoe is a strong advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and has presented and taught extensively via academic conferences, workshops, and master classes in Ghana, the USA (before Temple University’s academic teaching responsibilities), Norway, France, Hungary, India, Canada, and the UK. He has published and attended national/International conferences at many Universities. His work and research are steeped in community engagement and have contributed to his first MA thesis titled “The contexts and meaning in Asante dance performance: The case of Kete (2015)” and his second MA thesis titled “The Study of Togo-ATCHAN dance as a tool for social change: Reassessing the role of women in the Safeguarding of ICH (2018)”. His second thesis research was conducted solely in Togo, West Africa. Both works are a testament to his dedication to community engagement in promoting and supporting African dance knowledge.
Cudjoe's research interest includes Afrocentric Theory, with a focus on African dance forms/systems as a
agency of post-colonial theory, Afrofuturism, West African Traditional dances, Transmission, and Embodiment, Dance as Intangible Cultural Heritage(ICH), Neo-traditional dance performance analysis, Dance in Post-Colonial Politics of West Africa, Dance Anthropology, Ethnochoreology, Dance Phenomenology, Ethnography, Dance Heritage, Dance, and Identity politics. His dedication to the propagation of the indigenous knowledge systems of music and dance has set him on a path to illuminate his ancestors as creators of knowledge relevant to today’s use and worthy of veneration. His work is constantly seeking to challenge the hierarchical structures around dance writing, practice, and performance of dance genres in the world today.
Cudjoe and his wife are the founders of an NGO in Ghana known as Star that shines which facilitates and organizes cultural education, performance workshops, and academic exchange programs between Ghana and international partners.
School of Performing Arts Association (ASPA- Ghana),
African Studies Association (ASA),
International Council for Traditional Music- (ICTM - Choreomundus and African Chapter),
Choreomundus Alumni Association (CAA),
The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD)
African Diasporic Dance Association (ADDA),
Collegium for African Diaspora Dance (CADD),
Temple Dance Student Associations (TDSA)