María José Contreras is a Chilean multi-disciplinary artist working in the international field of theatre and performance. As a theatre-maker, dramaturg, performer, educator, and scholar she works at the intersection of research and art, exploring the interrelations and frictions of embodied practice, performance, memory and the urban space. As a feminist performance scholar-practitioner from Latin America, her work engages with transforming civic and academic spaces by facilitating practices for collaboration and collective creativity. Her engagement with decolonizing theatre-making, teaching, and research practice is recognized in The Twenty-First Century Performance Reader (London, Routledge, 2020), an international volume featuring the 73 leading global artists working with innovative approaches to performance. Using a wide range of formats including devised theatre, site-specific performance, urban interventions and durational performances her artwork has been presented in important venues and festivals in the US, Italy, Ukraine, Chile, Argentina, Canada, France and Brazil. In addition to numerous articles published in several languages, she recently co-edited two interdisciplinary volumes Cadáver exquisito: tres experiencias de investigación performativa en Chile (Oso Liebre, 2020) and Women Mobilizing Memory (Columbia University Press, 2019). She is currently completing the monograph Rigorously Undisciplined: a decolonial approach to artistic research. Before joining the faculty at Columbia, Contreras worked as an Associate Professor at Universidad Católica de Chile, serving as the Chair of the Ph.D. Program in Arts. She also worked as an Adjunct Associate Professor at NYU Performance Studies Department.
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