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Judith Lynne Hanna papers

 Collection 0126-SCPA

The Judith Hanna papers details the academic pursuits, cultural interests and numerous projects of the prolific American anthropological scholar. Her specialized expertise in the fields of anthropology, education, dance, and political science informs her cross-disciplinary interests in such diverse topics as education policy, societal perceptions of dance, gender, sexuality, first-amendment rights, dance as communication, and dance therapy. The collection also includes the numerous books, articles, reviews, critiques, and pedagogical manuals she has written.


  • 1893-2019
  • Majority of material found within 1965-1989

Use and Access to Collection

There are no restricted files in this collection.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Please make an appointment with the curator: Tel: 301.405.9220, Email:


37.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Judith Lynne Hanna papers covers the period from 1910 to 2019 with the bulk of materials dating from 1965-1989. The collection consists of research materials, subject materials, writings, photographs, video and audio recordings, newspaper clippings, correspondence, interview transcripts, and materials from numerous, varied organizations. Related to Hanna's work as an anthropologist, there is an abundance of materials on the subjects of African and American culture as well as more theoretical and scholarly works in the field. Her subject files cover the broad topics of dance education, communication, therapy, criticism, and teaching as well as the art’s relation to gender and sexuality. There is also substantial material relating to human psychology, emotion and their relation to artistic expression. Hanna’s correspondence also ranges from notes to friends and family up to famous dancers and dance scholars as well as other prominent professionals in her other fields of interest.


Born in 1936, Judith Hanna made numerous contributions to the arts, humanities and social sciences through her numerous and multidisciplinary pursuits. Due to her broad academic interests, she combined the fields of African studies, art anthropology, black studies, dance, drama, education, gender, leisure and recreation, medicine, music, planning, political science, psychology, religion, semiotics, therapy, and urban studies in her body of work. She is chiefly an academic, as well as a prolific author of books, both academic and trade, scholarly papers, columns, reviews and articles.

Hanna earned her doctorate in anthropology from Columbia University in 1976, which was preceded by two separate master's degrees respectively in anthropology from Columbia University in 1975 and political science from Michigan State in 1962. She holds a teaching credential from the state of California where she also completed her bachelor's degree in political science at UCLA.

Aside from writing and researching, Judith Hanna has also served as an expert court witness, consultant, ethnographer, dance critic, committee chair, advisor, and academic fellow.


This collection is minimally processed. Materials are in accession order.

  1. Judith Lynne Hanna papers

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Materials transferred to the archives beginning in 2012 with ongoing accruals.

Related Material

Hanna, Judith Lynne - Frank Gillis Editorial Correspondence, 1966-1968, Box: 144, Folder: 23.0. Society for Ethnomusicology records, 0054-SCPA. Special Collections in Performing Arts, University of Maryland Libraries. (link)

Irmgard Bartenieff papers, Special Collections in Performing Arts, University of Maryland Libraries.

Judith Lynne Hanna papers
Sarah Lindblom
September 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States