In her first life, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone was a dancer/choreographer and a professor and scholar of dance. During her years of teaching dance, she choreographed 25 dances, performed in 13 of these, was artistic director of five concerts, including two full-length concerts of her own works, and the director-narrator of numerous lecture-demonstrations.
In her second and ongoing life, Sheets-Johnstone is a philosopher whose research and writings remain grounded in the basic realities of animation. She is a courtesy professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Oregon. She has published numerous articles in humanities, science and art journals, and lectured widely in Europe and the US.
Her books include The Phenomenology of Dance; Illuminating Dance: Philosophical Explorations; the “roots” trilogy: The Roots of Thinking; The Roots of Power: Animate Form and Gendered Bodies; and The Roots of Morality; Giving the Body Its Due; The Primacy of Movement; The Corporeal Turn: An Interdisciplinary Reader; and Putting Movement Into Your Life: A Beyond Fitness Primer.
Sheets-Johnstone was awarded a Distinguished Fellowship for her research on xenophobia in the inaugural year of the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University, UK, the theme of which was “The Legacy of Charles Darwin” and an Alumni Achievement Award in 2011 from the University of Wisconsin.