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Media, Popular Culture, and Communication Rights Research Guide: Popular Culture & Subcultures

Research strategies and resources on media, popular culture, journalism, copyright, digital society, and related topics.

Resources for the Scholarly and Professional Study of Dance

What's Here


Although there is no dance program at Yale, nevertheless classes about dance are regularly offered and it is a topic of considerable interest to students and faculty alike.  This page gathers a range of information to assist the scholarly (and to a small extent practical) study of dance.


Find Books in Orbis


Here are examples of Subject headings that you can use as a model to find books in the Yale University Library system. Remember that almost anything with a subheading (such as "Modern dance--Pictorial works") can also be searched through its main heading (e.g., "Modern dance").


Dance Performance Videos


To search for videos of dance performances (and recordings of the "dance on camera" genre) available at Yale, see the instructions on the Videos page. In addition, there is the database below, which includes may of the videos we have on DVD or videotape.


Dance in Video

Dance in Video currently has 150 performances covering a wide variety of classical and contemporary dance forms, as well as forerunners of modern concert dance. More dances will be added; the target is 250 performances available online.

Dance on Camera: A Guide to Dance Films and Videos. Ed. Louise Spano. Lanham, Md.; London: Scarecrow Press; New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 1998.

SML Stacks, GV1595 D342X 1998 (LC)+ Oversize

The most comprehensive catalog available on dance films and videos in distribution as of 1998. There is, alas, nothing similar that's more recent.


Selected Reference Sources


Black Dance: an annotated bibliography. Alice J Adamczyk. New York: Garland, 1989.

SML Reference, Z7514 D2 A33 1989

The entries are listed alphabetically by author; there is no topical breakdown.

Biographical Dictionary of Dance. Barbara Naomi Cohen-Stratyner. New York: Schirmer Books, 1982.

SML Reference, GV1785 A1 C58 1982.


Cambridge Companion to Ballet. Ed. Marion Kant. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

SML Reference, GV1787 .C363 2007


The Concise Oxford Dictionary of ballet. Horst Koegler. 2nd. ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1982.

Bass Reference, GV1585 K6413 1982


Dance Annual Directory [aka Stern's Directory]. Oakland, CA: Dance Magazine, Inc., 1999-2006.

SML Reference, GV1580 +D36

This directory includes lists of dance companies, dance professionals, music, presenters, festivals, funding, merchandise, resources and study.

Dancers and Choreographers: a selected bibliography. Leslie Getz. Wakefield, R.I.: Asphodel Press, 1995.

SML Reference, Z7514 D2 G48X 1995

In addition to the bibliographies on various individuals in the dance world, this book also lists reference works, histories and other resources.

International Encyclopedia of Dance. Selma Jeanne Cohen, founding ed. 6 vols. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

SML Reference, GV1585 +I586X 1998.

The entries in this extensive 6-volume encyclopedia include useful bibliographies. Not only are the entries on people, history, styles and the like, but also on countries and regions, TV shows, festivals and so forth. The sixth volume includes a "synoptic outline of subjects" which lists the entries according to a subject structure. There is also an index.

The Oxford Dictionary of Dance. Debra Craine and Judith Mackrell. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

SML Reference, GV1585 C73 2000.


The Queer Encyclopedia of Music, Dance, & Musical Theater. Ed. Claude J. Summers. San Francisco: Cleis Press, c2004.

SML Reference & Music Library Reference, ML100 .Q44X 2004


Research in Dance: a guide to resources. Mary S. Bopp. New York: G.K. Hall, 1994.

SML Reference, Z7514 D2 B6X 1994.

Lists collections and archives in the US, Canada, and internationally. It also has a sizable section on reference literature, including periodicals, indexes, and review sources.

Society of Dance History Scholars - Online Resources

The site includes links for various genres and historical periods, including dance companies that perform historical genres.  It also lists sites for organizations, periodicals, site directories, and specialized resources.


Selected Websites


The sites below include a range of scholarly and professional resources.


@URL Internet Arts Resources - Dance

A Web directory for sites on contemporary dance and ballet companies, scholarly resources and archives, dance training programs, festivals, publications dance and new media, videos, and more.‚Äč


Over 2000 links to ballet and dance companies all over the world. Includes announcements and news from individual companies.

CriticalDance is an international non-profit for promoting and supporting the dance arts (especially ballet and modern dance). The site includes a moderated bulletin board, reviews, features, interviews, and links to select dance pages. The organization publishes an online magazine, Ballet-Dance Magazine.


A collection of over 3,500 links to classical ballet and modern dance resources on the Internet. The site doesn't appear to have been updated since March 2006.

Dance Films Association

Builds upon founder Susan Braun’s vision by encouraging choreographers to enter the world of filmmaking, for filmmakers to discover the rich history of dance, and for audiences to engage with the broad spectrum of these films. 

Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers

The union representing professional choreographers.

Popular Culture and Subcultures

What's Here

On this Page:

Key Databases for Articles on Popular Culture

Academic Search Premier

This is a huge multi-subject database, including coverage of the popular culture from a variety of perspectives.

America: History & Life

America: History and Life is database covering the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. It encompasses much material on popular culture.

Communication & Mass Media Complete

CMMC is a good database for articles on popular culture, with a highly expansive range of subject headings.

Historical Abstracts

Historical Abstracts covers the history of the world outside United States and Canada from 1450 to the present. It encompasses much material on popular culture.

Selected Subject Headings for Searching Orbis

Popular Culture Subcultures FOR Cultural Studies USE SEE ALSO Folklore

General Resources

Contemporary youth culture: an international encyclopedia. Edited by Shirley Steinberg et al. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2006

SML Stacks, HQ796 C666 2006

Cultural Politics: Popular Culture

The website provides resources for the critical analysis of popular culture in the US, including the impact of that culture beyond national borders. Resources include sites on various forms, issues, and elements of popular culture.

Directory of popular culture collections. Edited by Christopher D. Geist ... [et al.]. Phoenix, Ariz.: Oryx Press, 1989.

SML Reference, E169.1 D54 1989

Encyclopedia of gay and lesbian popular culture. Luca Prono. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2008

SML Reference, HQ75.13 .P76X 2008


From Abba to Zoom: a pop culture encyclopedia of the late 20th century. David Mansour. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Pub., 2005.

SML Stacks, E169.12 .M327X 2005 (LC)

Pop Culture History (from Best of the Web)

A small portal to online resources; the subcategories (e.g., Television History) are perhaps the most useful.

Popular Entertainment Research: How to do it and how to use it. Barbara Pruett. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1992.

SML Reference, PN1576 P78X 1992 Cultural Jammer's Encyclopedia

Explanations and examples of "culture jamming." Mark Dery, who popularized the term, defines culture jamming as "media hacking, information warfare, terror-art, and guerrilla semiotics, all in one." Well-known culture jammers include Adbusters, ®™ark, and eToy.


St. James encyclopedia of popular culture. Edited by Tom Pendergast and Sara Pendergast. Detroit, MI: St. James Press, 2000.

SML Reference, E169.1 +S764 2000

Thorne, Tony. Fads, fashions & cults: from Acid House to zoot suit--via existentialism and political correctness--the definitive guide to (post-) modern culture. London: Bloomsbury, 1993.

SML Stacks, GN406 T46 1993 (LC)

Popular Culture in the US

Encyclopedia of African American popular culture. Ed. Jessie Carney Smith. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2010

Encyclopedia of contemporary American culture. Edited by Gary W. McDonogh, Robert Gregg, and Cindy H. Wong. London; New York: Routledge, 2001.

SML Reference, E169.12 E49X 2001

The Cambridge companion to modern American culture. Ed. Christopher Bigsby. Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2006.

SML Stacks, E169.1 .C36X 2006 (LC)

Encyclopedia of Jewish American popular culture. Ed. Jack R. Fischel, with Susan M. Ortmann. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2009

LSF, E184.35 .E54X 2009

Encyclopedia of Latino popular culture. Ed. Cordelia Chávez Candelaria et al. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2004

SML Stacks, E184.S75 E59X 2004

The guide to United States popular culture. Edited by Ray B. Browne and Pat Browne. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 2001.

SML Reference, E169.1 +D399X 2001

The language of American popular entertainment: a glossary of argot, slang, and terminology. Don Wilmeth. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1981.

SML Reference, PN1579 W5

Twentieth-century American cultural theorists. Edited by Paul Hansom. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001.

SML Reference, PN451 +D53 246

Popular Culture in the Rest of the World

Brit cult: an a-z of British pop culture. Andrew Calcutt. New York: Contemporary Books, 2001, c2000.

Bass Stacks, NX543 Z8 C35 2001

YCBA Reference, NX543 Z8 C35 2001

The Cambridge companion to modern British culture. Ed. Michael Higgins, Clarissa Smith and John Storey. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2010.

SML Stacks, DA110 .C253X 2010

Encyclopedia of contemporary _______ culture.  Routledge.

  • British. SML Reference, DA589.4 E53X 1999
  • Chinese. SML Reference, DS779.23 .E53 2005
  • French. SML Reference, DC33.7 E53X 1998
  • German. SML Reference, DD290.26 E53X 1999
  • Italian. SML Reference, DG450 E53X 2000
  • Japanese. SML Reference, DS822.5 E516X 2002
  • Latin American and Caribbean. SML Reference, F1406 E5155 2000
  • Russian. SML Reference, DK510.32 E53 2007
  • Spanish. SML Reference, DP233.5 E63X 1999

Librarian for Literature in English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics

Todd Gilman's picture
Todd Gilman
Sterling Memorial Library

130 Wall Street

PO Box 208240

New Haven, CT 06520-8240

(203)-432-1761 (office phone)