Ordinary Wars: Doing Transdisciplinary Research
Transdisciplinary projects are messy, complicated, and exhilarating. They stretch the collaborators, sometimes uncomfortably, beyond the predictable, expected, and routine ways of engaging with research. Making public the private tensions of “ordinary” cultural expectations associated with singlehood, marriage and motherhood, the authors used a kinesthetic analysis of social science qualitative data to create an evening-length professional dance concert. In Ordinary Wars: Doing Transdisciplinary Research, we invite readers “backstage,” exposing our discomfort, missteps, confusion, successes, and lessons learned. We explore how ordinary practices (i.e., disciplinary paradigms, social expectations of femininity) constitute complex, yet barely visible battlegrounds on which wars are often fought in silence. We offer readers a vision of the larger project as a means of affecting change in the academy, our respective fields, and in our communities through making visible what we have come to understand are extraordinary Ordinary Wars.
Genevieve Durham DeCesaro is Professor of Dance and currently serves as Interim Dean of the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts. Previously, she served as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Associate Chair of the School of Theatre and Dance, and Head of the Dance Program. Her choreography has been commissioned and performed across the country, with notable presentations at Virginia Tech, Spelman College, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. She serves as Vice-President for Regional Planning for the American College Dance Association and is a Visiting Evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Dance. She maintains an active performance career and focuses her traditional and creative scholarship in the areas of feminism in dance, transformative curricula, and equity in dance education. Her current projects foreground perceptions of the human condition as understood and expressed through movement and other types of performance.
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