Building on his former work as an arts critic and AIDS activist, Gere teaches courses in the areas of performance theory, queer theory, and AIDS cultural analysis for graduates and undergraduates. His newest course is called MAKE ART/STOP AIDS, referring to an international coalition of interdisciplinary artists using cultural production as a means to stop the global spread of HIV.
Prior to his affiliation with UCLA, Gere worked as an arts critic in the San Francisco Bay Area, primarily for the Oakland Tribune, while contributing to the East Bay Express, San Francisco Sentinel, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times. From 1992-1995, he served as co-chair of the international Dance Critics Association, where he was a strong advocate for the coverage of non-Euro-American dance in the nation’s newspapers and journals.
For a ten-year period beginning in the mid-1980s, Gere served as co-director of the Bay Area-based Talking Dance Project, a California organization dedicated to bridging the gap between artists, critics, and audience members. He has founded a similar ongoing series at UCLA titled Artist Alphabets. From 1996-1999, Gere co-directed audience enrichment activities at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts, a program that has since become a model for presenting organizations and festivals across the country.
In 1998, Gere was invited to be a fellow of the University of California Humanities Research Institute as a participant in the Interdisciplinary Queer Studies Group. His essays on subjects related to queer theory have appeared as the introduction to the new edition of the memoir Barton Mumaw, Dancer (Wesleyan U Press, 2000), Edmund White’s edited volume Loss Within Loss: Artists in the Age of AIDS (U of Wisconsin Press, 2001), and Jane Desmond’s edited volume Dancing Desire (U of Wisconsin Press, 2001).
He is a co-editor of Looking Out: Perspectives on Dance and Criticism in a Multicultural World (Schirmer, 1995) and Taken By Surprise: A Dance Improvisation Reader (Wesleyan UP, 2003). His most recent book, How to Make Dances in an Epidemic: Tracking Choreography in the Age of AIDS (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004), has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.
With funding from the Global Impact Research program of UCLA International Institute, Gere is currently leading a three-year initiative on global HIV/AIDS and the arts. In 2004, he lived in Bangalore, India, on a research grant from the Fulbright Association, studying the ways in which artists there are working to stop the AIDS epidemic. The MAKE ART/STOP AIDS exhibition, co-curated with Robert Sember of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, is scheduled for the Fowler Museum of Cultural History at UCLA in fall 2006.
Ph.D., University of California, Riverside, in dance history and theory; M.A. in ethnomusicology, University of Hawaii; B.A. in religion, Oberlin College.