Big Question How could (or should?) the kinds of processes we have observed help us to address the differences between home and elsewhere across borders, languages and disciplines in the early twenty-first century?
Topic The topic of crossing disciplines raises the question, “what is cross disciplinary research?” which is often responded to in terms of the cognitive motivation for boundary crossing.
Topic A researcher confronts a problem or task that is seen to require the input of knowledge resources from different fields to be satisfactorily resolved.
Tool Crossing disciplines can also function as a tool of investigation, wherein the practical acquisition and use of cross disciplinary ideas may help us unpack the corporeal and mental experiences that make up the ArtsCross project.
Problem What possible problems may influence a researcher’s decision to look beyond a particular speciality field in trying to answer a particular question or solve a particular problem?
Possible motivations • Seeking guidance in developing a perspective or explanation from what appears to be an overlapping model in another area (e.g., creative writing) • Trying to resolve what are recognized incommensurabilities in the approaches to same domain (choreography) by different fields (philosophy and neuroscience) by commencing a dialectical ‘conversation’ between the fields (neuroaesthetics) • Seeking explanations for unanticipated results that don’t fit existing models in the field (ArtsCross habitus)
Habitus In one of his first blogs, Chris referenced the word ‘habitus’: as in, “how is the ArtsCross habitus fabricated and deployed in different cities?” His use of the term ‘habitus’ recognizes an implied need to situate ArtsCross in a cross-disciplinary way as both a site of arts practice and a site in need of epistemic reflexivity and thus sociological theorizing.
Definition Habitus can be defined as those aspects of culture that are “anchored in the body or daily practices of individuals, groups, societies, and nations”; these include the totality of learned habits, bodily skills, styles, tastes, and other non-discursive knowledges that “go without saying” (Bourdieu, 1990, 66-67). Bourdieu 1990, “The Logic of Practice.” Polity Press.
Assumptions “… connecting biography with history.” In general, the discipline of sociology holds that is is possible to connect the everyday lives and issues of individuals with a. the broader sets of social structures and the wider socially constructed cultural values; b. how these developed historically, how they are changing today, and c. the contradictions they produce that in turn create the stresses that people in any society experience today. Mills, CW (1959) The Sociological Imagination.
You are what you dance In Western Intellectual history, the notion of habitus has been informed by the Ancient Greeks and Plato’s notion of “expression of character” in dance (or "rhythmic ethos"), which suggests that the expressive power of dance not only has the power to communicate but also to habituate the bodymind: to mold habits of character and attitude that are more or less good-bad, appropriate-inappropriate.
Research Foci Contemporary approaches include 4 sites of investigation: why dance? individual habitus as set of dispositions how dance? body habitus as physical capital where dance? institutional habitus as set of expectations what dance? cultural habitus as set of cultural norms Loïc Wacquant (2004). Body and Soul. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Methods critical analysis and/or empirical investigation focus on social behavior: actions, structures & functions individual agency may be of interest but “group” is primary level of analysis often oriented toward social policy or welfare
Cross-Disciplinary Questioning If, for instance, we are interested in the “unraveling and rewinding” of identities in ArtsCross participants; and, we find the concept of habitus to be a useful concept (or tool) to incorporate from sociology; and, we accept the assumptions inherent in this particular strain of sociology; then, what actions, structures or functions characterize the ArtsCross habitus (i.e., individual, body, institutional, or cultural)? Has it changed over time? If so, how has it changed and for whom?
Process & Practice The need to combine resources across knowledge fields is at the heart of the integrative process. In this way, crossing disciplines is a practice requiring: a) confrontation between different knowledge perspectives, assumptions, vocabularies, or paradigms; b) common ground between diverse fields and people, such as evolving a group specific language as a tool to enable common understanding without erasing differences. Bromme (2000) Beyond one’s own perspective.
Crossing Editions Confrontation(s) Taipei Beijing ModernityContemporary (or, modernism) (as in, Contemporary Chinese Classical Dance)
Crossing Editions Common Ground(s) Taipei BeijingHonestly hold Greater awareness of aesthetic judgments ‘translingual practice’ & as opposed to multiple perspectives withholding on culture & history such judgments even within same culture
Crossing Editions London confrontations? common grounds?