HDFS and Dance: Dr. Elizabeth Sharp’s Unique Collaboration

HDFS faculty member Elizabeth Sharp has typically conducted her research on women’s singlehood and transition to marriage either through in-depth qualitative interviews or quantitative analysis of survey attitude scales. Either way, there is some sort of verbal expression from each participant, whether a telling of her life story or selecting “strongly agree” regarding some opinion. In collaboration with a colleague from the arts, however, Dr. Sharp has found a new modality for expressing her research participants’ views of singlehood, weddings, and marriage — dance! Dr. Sharp has shared transcripts of her qualitative interviews with Theatre and Dance faculty member Genevieve Durham DeCesaro and other choreographers, who converted the verbal text into dance movements. The result is a performance titled “Ordinary Wars.” This website summarizes the collaboration between Elizabeth and Genevieve, and includes embedded YouTube videos of the performance. Along with the performance, the fruits of this project have included grant funding, journal articles, and a book contract.

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Categories: Faculty, Research

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