Dance and literary studies have traditionally been at odds: dancers and dance critics have understood academic analysis to be overly invested in the mind at the expense of body signification; literary critics and theorists have seen dance studies as anti-theoretical, even anti-intellectual. Bodies of the Text is the first book-length study of the interconnections between the two arts and the body of writing about them. The essays, by scholar-critics of dance and literature, explore dances actual and fictional to offer powerful new insights into issues of gender, race, ethnicity, popular culture, feminist aesthetics, historical "embodiment," identity politics, and narrativity. The general introduction traces the genealogy of dance studies in the academy to suggest why critical and theoretical attention to dance--and dance's challenges to writing--is both compelling and overdue. A milestone in interdisciplinary studies, Bodies of the Text opens both its fields to new inquiry, new theoretical precision, and to new readers and writers.