Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Katherine Dunham  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1909 in Chicago, Illinois

Died: 2006 in New York, New York

-- Website --
-- Katherine Dunham on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Dunham was born in Chicago. As a child, she lived in Glen Ellyn, the south side of Chicago and Joliet, Illinois. In 1965, Dunham became an artist-in-residence at Southern University in Carbondale. In 1967, the Equal Opportunity Commission, as part of the Southern Illinois University's Experiment in Higher Education, funded Dunham's proposal for creating a Performing Arts Training Center (PATC) in East Saint Louis. A cultural education program at the Alton campus of Southern Illinois University was established with two former members of the Dunham company and classes at Rock Junior High School in East Saint Louis were also established. She returned from Southern Illinois University in 1982 and received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville in 1983.

Biographical and Professional Information

Dunham was an American dancer, choreographer, and company director as well as an author, educator, and social activist. Dunham had one of the most successful dance careers in American and European theater of the 20th century and has been called the "matriarch and queen mother of black dance."

Published Works

  • Katherine Dunham`s Journey to Accompong, Holt, 1946
  • A Touch of Innocence, Harcourt, 1959
  • Island Possessed, Harcourt, 1969
  • Kasamance, A Fantasy, Third Press, 1974

Selected Titles At Your Library

Katherine Dunham's Journey to Accompong.
ISBN: 0837151872. OCLC Number:

Negro Universities Press. Westport, Conn.,. [1971]

A touch of innocence :
ISBN: 0226171124. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. 1994.

Island possessed /
ISBN: 0226171132. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. 1994.

"Katherine Dunham began her love affair with Haiti during her first visit in 1936 as a graduate researcher in dance and anthropology. Island Possessed reconnects her with this love, bringing to life personal sketches of political figures, market women, peasants, children, even gods. Dunham tells how the island came to be possessed by the demons of voodoo and other cults imported from various parts of Africa, as well as by the deep class divisions and the political hatred still very much in evidence today."--Back cover.

Kasamance :
ISBN: 0893881287. OCLC Number:

Odarkai Books,. New York :. ©1974.