Amy Champ

Amy Champ is a yoga and meditation teacher, poet and documentary filmmaker. Her research and writing deal with yoga studies, women’s sacred arts, ritual performance, and transnational feminism.

Biography

Amy_ChampAmy Champ is a fifth-year student in Performance Studies, with a Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research. She is a Yoga and Meditation teacher with 15 years of practice, and her research centers on spirituality in performance, women’s sacred wisdom and ritual arts.

Her dissertation focuses on American women and the practice of yoga. It analyzes how spiritual selfhood operates effectively under conditions of oppression and how personal practice of yoga is transformative and liberational for women as victims of gender oppression, patriarchy, and misogyny. She also analyzes the trend of social activism in contemporary yoga and its efficacy for community and political change.

In 1995-96, she was a Fulbright scholar in Zimbabwe, working with the Cmebira Women’s Theatre Group. She has an M.A. in Government and International Relations from California State University, Sacramento, and a B.A. in Anthropology and Literary Studies from Pitzer College in Claremont, California.

Amy has been a Teaching Assistant for two years in the Religious Studies Department at UC Davis, and has taught political science as an adjunct at local community and state colleges for five years. She is currently conducting dissertation research, while exploring her Jewish roots.

Amy Champ is currently studying how the body-mind is transformed and experienced by American women through the practice of Yoga, meditation and prayer. In her dissertation, she analyzes these impacts on physical/cellular and conscious/energetic levels, as well as the institution of practices in everyday life. She connects her study of women’s spiritual practices to their social activism, selfless service, and community building. She writes more generally on women’s sacred rituals, in both the spiritual and performative contexts. Her research and writing adds to the trajectory of academic research in the following areas: yoga studies, history of the esoteric, body-mind theory, and discourses of feminist theology.

Current Activities

Was recently a featured poet in the “Poetry in the Arboretum” series at UC Davis.

Graduate Studies Student Spotlight http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/publications/news/studenthighlights.html

Received a Graduate Student Travel Award from Graduate Studies to travel to the International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR) in Santiago, Chile in July 2012. http://www.firt-iftr.org/

Participated in the inaugural meeting of the working group on Performance and Religion, in which they outlined topics for an upcoming book on the subject of transcendence. Organizing a future conference with other working group members. In Chile, practiced yoga at the Chilean Yoga Academy, which provides affordable yoga classes ($2.00 USD) to hundreds each day.

Kenya Community Support Initiative ~ Over past two years, has started and filed paperwork to create an international nonprofit organization based in Kenya, in conjunction with the Kenya Community Support Initiative, which provides care and services to AIDS orphans. Support includes: school uniforms, school supplies, gardening tools, vegetable seeds, sewing machine and food provisions. http://handefoundation.wordpress.com/ Working in conjunction with Give Running organization to give the children high quality sports shoes.

Attended the 3-day UC Davis Entrepreneurship Academy at the Child Family Institute for Innnovation and Entrepreneurship. Received sponsorship from UC Davis Grad Pathways/Office of Graduate Studies. Attended seminars and participated in interactive sessions with leading venture capitalists, angel investors and entrepreneurs. Created a pitch and presentation for AIDS orphans project, outlining program objectives for an arts and sustainability program.

Recent Presentations

“Transcending Political Hegemonies: Selfless Service and the New Yogic Feminism.” International Federation of Theatre Research. Pontificia Universidad Catolica. Santiago, Chile. July 2012.

“An Internal Revolution: Yoga and the Evolution of the Intimate Public.” South Asian Studies Association. Claremont Graduate University. April 2012.

Awards

UC Davis Graduate Studies International Travel Award, Davis Humanities Institute Summer Research Stipend, UC Davis Graduate Student Association Travel Award, UC Davis Dissertation Research Mentorship Award.

For Amy’s website follow this link.

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