Research and Major Publications

Research Interests
Circus Studies. Québécois identity and performance, including Québec circus. Interrelationships among literary, musical, and dance texts. Modern French and Francophone literature and theater.  Contemporary theory, including queer studies and performance studies.

Current professional roles include co-chair of Union’s Committee on LGBTQ+ Affairs, external advisor for PhD candidates at Concordia University in Montreal and at University of Bern, co-director of the Circus and its Others research project and immediate Past President of American Council for Québec Studies.

He is also curator/lead for CircusTalk on the series “Journeys Through Queer Circus with Charles Batson.”

Major Publications


Cirque global coverCirque Global:  Quebec’s Expanding Circus Boundaries.  Co-edited with Louis Patrick Leroux. Montreal: McGill-Queens Univ Press, 2016.




coversmallDance, Desire, and Anxiety in Early Twentieth-Century French Theater:  Playing Identities.  Oxford: Routledge, 2017; originally Aldershot and Burlington:  Ashgate Publishing, 2005. 


 Edited journal issues:

Editor of dossier “Freak and Queer.” Performance Matters 4.1-2 (2018).

Queer Québec. Special dossiers co-edited with Denis Provencher.

  • Québec Studies 60 (Fall-Winter 2015).
  • Québec Studies 61 (Spring-Summer 2016).
  • Contemporary French Civilization 43.3-4 (late 2018).

             Special Issue on Lawrence R. SchehrContemporary French Civilization 37.2-3 (2012). Double issue co-edited with Florian Grandena.

Selected articles:

“The breath of others.” Revista Universidad de Antioquia. Colombia. No 243 (2021). 30-37.

“Methodologies in Circus Research.” Cambridge Companion to the Circus. Eds. Gillian Arrighi and Jim Davis. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2021. 231-243. Co-authored with Karen Fricker.

“Circus as Transformation: Musings on the Circus Arts as Agent and Medium for Change.”  Extraordinary Partnerships: How the Arts and Humanities are Transforming America. Ed. Christine Henseler. Lever Press, 2020.  72-89.

Bagne, a queer re-creation: Montreal, queer, dance.” Contemporary French Civilization 43.3-4 (2018). 475-485.

“Area and Circus Studies: The Case of and for a Boundary-Crossing Quebec.”  In Necessary Travel: New Area Studies and Canada in Comparative Perspective. Susan Hodgett and Patrick James, eds. Lexington Press, 2018. 129-140.

“Toward a Queer Circus: Lessons of and from the Theatre with Jean Cocteau, Barbette, Phia Ménard, and Les Précieuses des nuits de Montréal.” Performance Matters 4.1-2 (2018).

“Les 7 doigts de la main and Their Cirque: Origins, Resistances, Intimacies.”  In Cirque GlobalMcGill-Queens UP,  2016. 99-121.

“Feeling, Doing, Acting, Seeing, Being Queer in Québec: Michel Marc Bouchard, Rodrigue Jean, and the Queer Québec Colloquium.” With Denis Provencher, co-author. Québec Studies 60 (Fall-Winter 2015), 3-22.  And “Queer (Again) in Québec” as follow-up.  Québec Studies 61 (Spring-Summer 2016): 111-113.

“Pink, Cirque, and the Québecisation de l’industrie.”  Québec Studies 58: (Fall-Winter 2014): 25-44.

  • Revised and updated: “Pink, Cirque, and the Québécisation de l’industrie.London Journal of Canadian Studies 32.1 (Fall 2017): 67-84.

“Caught:  Québec in Chicago with Flip FabriQue’s ‘Attrape-moi.’”  Québec Studies 58 (Fall-Winter 2014): 88-91.

“’Bêtes de scène’: Robert Lepage’s Totem, Circus, and the Freakish Human Animal.”  Contemporary French and Francophone Studies: Sites 16.5 (Dec 2012): 615-623.

“Introduction:  ‘Viens.’” With Florian Grandena, co-author.  Contemporary French Civilization 37.2-3 (2012).  139-150.

“Re-membering the Socio-Political Fault-lines While Dancing at Quebec’s Winter Carnival.” Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies 31 (2011):  4-5.

“Panique celtique:  Manau’s Celtic Rap, Breton Cultural Expression, and Contestatory Performance in Contemporary France.”  French Politics, Culture and Society.  27.2 (Summer 2009):  63-83.

“Dialogue autour de Dali:  Imaginer l’identité sexuelle.”  Co-author with Yana Hashamova.  Translator of full article.  Gradiva:  Revue Européenne d’Anthropologie Littéraire. 9.2 (Autumn 2006):  87-104.  [Back-dated; Published Winter 2008.]

“Seeing an Americanism:  America the Specular in Parade and Création du monde.”  Nottingham French Studies.  44.3 (Autumn 2005):  24-39.

“Men in Tights:  The Ballets Russes, Nijinsky, and Inter-War Melancholia in Paris.” Contemporary French Civilization.  28.1 (Winter/Spring 2004):  90-110.

“Jeanne Moreau euro.”  New Europe at the Crossroads.  Ursula Beitter, Ed.  New York :  Peter Lang, 2001.  1-12.

“Borlin, Masculinity, and l’Homme et son désir.”  Dance Chronicle.  22.2 (October 1999):  239-249.

Critical Guide and Encyclopedia Entries:

“Jean Börlin.”  Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism.  Stephen Ross, ed.  Rutledge Publishing, 2016. Reprint to appear in print volume Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernist Dance.  Allana Lindgren, ed. (2020).

“Dance.”  Boy Culture:  An Encyclopedia.  Shirley Steinberg, Michael Kehler, and Lindsay Cornish, eds.  Santa Barbara:  Greenwood Publishing, 2010.  151-153.

“Dance.”  Reader’s Guide to Lesbian and Gay Studies.  Chicago:  Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000.  181-183.

“Proust, Marcel.”  Reader’s Guide to Lesbian and Gay Studies.  Chicago:  Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000.  474-477.

“Diaghilev, Sergey.”  Reader’s Guide to Lesbian and Gay Studies.  Chicago:  Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000.  183-185.


Circus and its Others. Research project, co-launched under aegis of Montreal’s Working Group on Circus Research.  ^Begun at Concordia University, Montreal, 16 Oct 2014.  ^Montreal 2016 conference [With grant support from SSHRC and others]. ^Prague 2018 conference [With grant support from City of Prague and others]. ^Davis, California, 2021 conference: Davis Digital 2021 [With grant support from City of Davis, County of Yolo and others.] Co-convened with Karen Fricker.  Series of digital panels in 2020-2021 instituted in response to the arrival of Covid-19.

Québec in and for the 21st Century: Art, Culture and Innovation. Co-organized with Wynne Wong and the Québec Office of Chicago. Québec Studies Outreach Seminar at The Ohio State University. 28 September 2019. Gregory Charles, guest artist. With support from Québec’s Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie and the ACQS.

Queer Québec Colloquium.  Co-organized with Denis Provencher. Held in conjunction with American Council for Québec Studies.  Montreal.  16-18 Oct 2014.

Encounters with Circus and Its Others.  Co-organized with Karen Fricker and Louis Patrick Leroux.  SSHRC-funded conference. July 2016.

 Selected Invited Talks:

Aotearoa New Zealand’s Inaugural Symposium of Circus Thinking. Panel: Queerness and Circus.  Oct 23, 2021.

Moderator. “Queering the Circus: Exploring LGBTQIA Circus Realities and Possibilities.” CircusTalk. Published March 2, 2021.

“Le Québec et ses arts du spectacle.” College of the Holy Cross. Feb 17, 2020. With participation of Aaron Marquise, graduate of Montreal’s National Circus School.

“Cirque du Soleil – and Beyond: Québec’s Expanding Circus Worlds.” University College London.  Institute of the Americas. 14 November 2016.  Revised for Hamilton College, April 2018, and updated/ revised again for New College of Florida,  Nov 2019.

“A Queer Québec: Exploring Queer Dance and Circus in Contemporary Québec.” University College London.  Institute of the Americas. 29 October 2018.

“The Dissolving [Frame of the] Self:  Early Twentieth-Century French Dance Theatre.”  Keynote talk.  U Buffalo. RLL Graduate Student Conference. 1 April 2016.

“Queer Québec.” In Brock University graduate seminar. 31 March 2016.

Invited participant, ATHE Pre-conference Roundtable. “Border Crossings: The Art and Theory of Contemporary Circus.” Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Montreal. 31 July 2015.

“Conversation avec Michel Marc Bouchard.” Queer Québec colloquium; American Council for Québec Studies.  Montreal.  16 Oct 2014.

  Invited participant, Circus Now Roundable.  “Cirque de Demain: The Flourishing Circus Arts and Industry in Quebec.”  Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival.  Athenaeum Theatre.  10 Jan 2014.

 “Men in Tights: The Construction and Performance of Masculinity in Early Twentieth-Century Dance Theater.”  Center for Interdiscipinary Study in Society and Culture.  Concordia University, Montreal.  16 November 2012.

“Les 7 Doigts de la Main and their Cirque:  Origins and Resistances.”  Meeting of Circus Research Group (sponsored by Concordia U), held at Ecole Nationale de Cirque, Montreal, June 12-13, 2011.

 “The Passages of a Queer Québec.”  Bucknell University, 18 Nov 2010.  In the context of the second iteration of the team-developed course on “Transnational Queer” taught at Bucknell University.

“Queer(ing) Québec.”  Vassar College, 9 Nov 2009; Bucknell University, 12 Nov 2009.  In the context of a team-developed course on “Transnational Queer” supported by and taught simultaneously at Vassar College and Bucknell University.


Translator.  The Beautiful Ones: Short Stories. By Jimmy Sabater.  Presented by Charles R. Batson.  Independent publisher.  2018.

“Préface.”  Délits de jeunesse.  Nouvelles.  By Jimmy Sabater.  Policemania, 2017.

Regular collaborator with Miryam Moutillet, director of Union’s Dance Program.

Regular moderator of talk-back/Q and A/rencontre avec le public sessions with circus artists, including at the Montréal Complètement Cirque festivals.


Liverpool University Press, inaugural award for Outstanding Journal Reviewers, 2020.

Grant from Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada for Encounters with Circus and Its Others. July 2016.  Karen Fricker, PI.


Contemporary French Civilization

Québec Studies

New Area Studies (inaugural board member)

Strategic Board Member, Circus Arts Research Platform

Board member, representing Les Etats-Unis, AIEQ (International Association of Quebec Studies)


            Dancer. Le regard aveugle, ou quand la réalité n’est pas virtuelle. Studio 303. Montreal. 14 Dec 2017.

On-stage role with drag persona Billy l’Amour. Mado’s Got Talent. Montréal.  Place des festivals. 14 July 2015.

Dancer.  Baroque Choreographies. With student Keilah Creedon. For Dianne McMullen’s inaugural talk for Faculty Research Colloquium. Spring 2014.

             Dancer.  Association du Jeune Barreau de Montréal.  Headquarters of Cirque du Soleil. Montreal.  11 May 2013.

Dancer.  Benefit Performance for ArtSida.  Museum of Contemporary Art.  Montreal.  4 May 2013.

Dancer.  La nuit des masques dans un jardin sans domaine.  Studio 303. Montreal.  25 April 2013,

             Dancer.  La nuit des masques.  Studio 303.  Montreal. 13 December 2012.

Reader/Actor. Red-Roja. Yulman Theater, Union College, March 2010.

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Charles R. Batson