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Description of Our Project:

Title of the Project: Toward Innovative & Transdisciplanary Methodologies: Re-Analyzing & Re-Presenting Social Science Data through Dance

The proposal was initially submitted to the 2011 Creative Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Competition, VP Office of Research. We subsequently submitted proposals in 2012 and 2013.

Purpose of the Project:

The objective of this project is to make public, by re-analyzing and re-presenting social science data through live dance performance, traditionally privatized negotiations of women’s ideologies and experiences of singlehood, marriage, and motherhood. The performance draws on two separate qualitative data sets – one study focused on newly married women transitioning to be wives and the other focused on women choosing to be single and/or childfree. (For more information about the datasets, see the informational sheets featuring the datasets.) Our project emphasizes bodily knowledge and lived experience as lenses through which to view, interpret, and re-present data, and identifies new analytical possibilities with a view to developing an emergent methodological tool emphasizing the use of rejection as an analytical framework. The initial primary objectives were:

  • Use a transdisciplinary approach to discover & uncover processes at work in analyzing data
  • Introduce dialogues & re-presentations about data to audiences external to the academy
  • Produce an evening-length dance concert for public presentation based on social science qualitative datasets
  • Statements about the collaborative process of representing data through dance:

    In the following posters, each Choreographer provides a statement about her work. The Researcher follows with a statement about the work in relationship to data. The Artistic Director and Researcher then offer the joint statements on each dancework as way to provide the audience a glimpse into some of the challenges we have encountered and how we have worked (or are still working) to resolve them.

  • Pilot Performance (August 2012) Audience Feedback:

    In August 2012, we had a pilot performance that included four of the dances in tonight’s concert (I was Happy in the Pictures, A Thin Line, Dressed Part 1, With Doubt) and an extended dialogue about marriage at the beginning of the concert. Using a survey, we collected data about the dances and the concert as a whole from 44 audience members.   We asked audience members to share their interpretations and impressions of the marriage dialogue and dances, as well as what they liked and didn’t like about the performance.

  • Who we are:

    Genevieve Durham DeCesaro is the Head of Dance and Associate Chair of Theatre and Dance at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She has presented her scholarship nationally and internationally and her choreography has been commissioned and performed by professional companies, colleges, and universities, including an honorary presentation at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.  She is a former Chair of the Texas Commission on the Arts Grant Review Panel and is an elected Regional Director of the American College Dance Festival Association.  Among her recognitions at Texas Tech University are receipt of the Alumni Association’s New Faculty Award, the Student Government Association’s Outstanding Professor Award, the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award, recognition by the national honor society Mortar Board as an Outstanding Professor, and an invitation to be the keynote speaker at the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony.  Genevieve is also a founding member of Flatlands Dance Theatre, Lubbock’s first professional dance company, an elected member of the Texas Tech University Teaching Academy, and will be recognized in Fall 2012 as an Integrated Scholar at Texas Tech University.


  • Who we are:

    Elizabeth Sharp is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and an affiliate faculty member of Women’s Studies at Texas Tech University and is currently a Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University, England. She is the Chair of the Feminism and Family Studies section of the National Council on Family Relations. Dr. Sharp’s training in qualitative methods includes mentoring from an expert in descriptive phenomenology and a Scholar-in-Residence at the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology in Alberta, Canada. She has taught graduate seminars on Qualitative Methodology and has published qualitative research in the Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Family Issues, Family Relations, Journal of Marital Therapy, and Sex Roles and her work has been cited in several media outlets, including the New York Times, the Toronto Star, and Women Forbes. The high visibility of Dr. Sharp’s was also recognized by Sage Publishers for having one of the most downloaded articles in the JSTOR/Journal of Family Issues in 2011. She is a co-editor of a special issue on Qualitative Methodology, Research and Theory in Family Studies in the Journal of Family Theory and Review (2012) and has been the Principal Investigator on several Texas Tech University grants and a National foundation grant for qualitative research projects.