Ordinary Wars

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  • Title: Ordinary Wars: Doing Transdisciplinary Research
  • Author(s): Genevieve Durham DeCesaro, Elizabeth A. Sharp
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Arts in Society
  • Keywords: Transdisciplinary, Dance, Social Science, Kinesthetic Analysis, Secondary Data Analysis, Methodology of Discomfort, Disciplinary Humility
  • Date: January 20, 2017
  • ISBN (pbk): 978-1-61229-842-9
  • ISBN (pdf): 978-1-61229-843-6
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/978-1-61229-843-6/CGP
  • Citation: Durham DeCesaro, Genevieve, and Elizabeth A. Sharp. 2017. Ordinary Wars: Doing Transdisciplinary Research. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks. doi:10.18848/978-1-61229-843-6/CGP.
  • Extent: 106 pages

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Copyright © 2017, Common Ground Research Networks, All Rights Reserved


Transdisciplinary projects are messy, complicated, and exhilarating. They stretch collaborators, sometimes uncomfortably, beyond the predictable, expected, and routine. 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. Ordinary Wars: Doing Transdisciplinary Research is an exploration of the project, from its inception through its current state. It focuses on providing readers with an understanding of the ways in which working collaboratively on a transdisciplinary project is both incredibly challenging and unpredictably rewarding. Readers are invited “backstage” as we expose our discomfort, missteps, confusion, successes, and lessons learned. We argue that transdisciplinary research is a vehicle for affecting transformative, cultural change.