About Mara Mills

New York, New York

Mara Mills (CBA ’22) is Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University and co-director of the NYU Center for Disability Studies (CDS). She works at the intersection of sound studies and disability studies, and programs disability arts events at CDS. Mills is a founding editor of the journal Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience. Most recently, she co-edited the book Testing Hearing: The Making of Modern Aurality (Oxford University Press, 2020) with Viktoria Tkaczyk and Alexandra Hui. She has published articles in Grey Room, differences, Social Text, PMLA, and Technology & Culture, among others. Mills received B.A. degrees in Biology and Literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an M.A. in Biology and Ph.D. in History of Science from Harvard University. Mills’ public arts and humanities writing can be found at sites like Triple Canopy, Artforum, Public Books, Somatosphere, and AVIDLY—a channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Description for Dance Accessibility

In 2018–19, Mills collaborated with writer Georgina Kleege on a “crowd-sourced description” of the pas de deux in George Balanchine’s Agon for an installment of Netta Yerushalmy’s Paramodernities. Mills and Kleege also worked with venues that staged Paramodernities—including Jacob’s Pillow and New York Live Arts—to hire audio describers to make performances accessible to blind and low vision audiences. At CBA, Mills plans to document her working process with Kleege as well as write an article about description in dance (access as an aesthetic practice) and description for dance (access as a matter of justice).


Photo by Rinn Blair.