About Christopher Wood

New York, NY

Christopher Wood (CBA ’18) is Professor and Chair of the German Department at New York University. His research and writing addresses European art and culture from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries. Wood has also taught at Yale University, and as a visitor at the University of California at Berkeley, Vassar College, and the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He has been a fellow at the Society of Fellows, Harvard University; the American Academy in Rome; the American Academy in Berlin; the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; and the Internationales Forschungszentrum für Kulturwissenschaften, Vienna. In 2002 he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dance in the neoclassical imaginary

At The Center, Wood focused on the choreographic aspirations of neoclassical sculpture, in particular the work of Antonio Canova. The isolated sculpted body pictured the dancer’s escape from composition; her embodiment of emergence, modality, and transition; the dance’s uncoupling of aspiration from goals; the persistence of a real and “unenchanted” body—the dancer’s—into the fiction proposed by the artwork; and finally the indivisibility of the dancer’s body: her invulnerability to any analysis or partitioning that would diminish her sovereignty over her surroundings.