Matching Items (8)

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Embodied continuity: weaving the body into a web of artistry and ethnography

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Embodied Continuity documents the methodology of Entangled/Embraced, a dance performance piece presented December, 2011 and created as an artistic translation of research conducted January-May, 2011 in the states of Karnataka

Embodied Continuity documents the methodology of Entangled/Embraced, a dance performance piece presented December, 2011 and created as an artistic translation of research conducted January-May, 2011 in the states of Karnataka and Kerala, South India. Focused on the sciences of Ayurveda, Kalaripayattu and yoga, this research stems from an interest in body-mind connectivity, body-mind-environment continuity, embodied epistemology and the implications of ethnography within artistic practice. The document begins with a theoretical grounding covering established research on theories of embodiment; ethnographic methodologies framing research conducted in South India including sensory ethnography, performance ethnography and autoethnography; and an explanation of the sciences of Ayurveda, Kalaripayattu and yoga with a descriptive slant that emphasizes concepts of embodiment and body-mind-environment continuity uniquely inherent to these sciences. Following the theoretical grounding, the document provides an account of methods used in translating theoretical concepts and experiences emerging from research in India into the creation of the Entangled/Embraced dance work. Using dancer and audience member participation to inspire emergent meanings and maintain ethnographic consciousness, Embodied Continuity demonstrates how concepts inspiring research interests, along with ideas emerging from within research experiences, in addition to philosophical standpoints embedded in the ethnographic methodologies chosen to conduct research, weave into the entire project of Entangled/Embraced to unite the phases of research and performance, ethnography and artistry.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Yoga and saxophone performance: the integration of two disciplines

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The integration of yoga into the music curriculum has the potential of offering many immediate and life-long benefits to musicians. Yoga can help address issues such as performance anxiety and

The integration of yoga into the music curriculum has the potential of offering many immediate and life-long benefits to musicians. Yoga can help address issues such as performance anxiety and musculoskeletal problems, and enhance focus and awareness during musical practice and performance. Although the philosophy of yoga has many similarities to the process of learning a musical instrument, the benefits of yoga for musicians is a topic that has gained attention only recently. This document explores several ways in which the practice and philosophy of yoga can be fused with saxophone pedagogy as one way to prepare students for a healthy and successful musical career. A six-week study at Arizona State University was conducted to observe the effects of regular yoga practice on collegiate saxophone students. Nine participants attended a sixty-minute "yoga for musicians" class twice a week. Measures included pre- and post- study questionnaires as well as personal journals kept throughout the duration of the study. These self-reported results showed that yoga had positive effects on saxophone playing. It significantly increased physical comfort and positive thinking, and improved awareness of habitual patterns and breath control. Student participants responded positively to the idea of integrating such a course into the music curriculum. The integration of yoga and saxophone by qualified professionals could also be a natural part of studio class and individual instruction. Carrie Koffman, professor of saxophone at The Hartt School, University of Hartford, has established one strong model for the combination of these disciplines. Her methods and philosophy, together with the basics of Western-style hatha yoga, clinical reports on performance injuries, and qualitative data from the ASU study are explored. These inquiries form the foundation of a new model for integrating yoga practice regularly into the saxophone studio.

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  • 2012

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Every body holds a story: empowerment through social-somatics and community dance within a K-12 dance education program

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Every body holds a story. Those stories are rich with physical movements to be expressed, and through the physical expression comes self-awareness and transformation. A partnership between Arizona State University

Every body holds a story. Those stories are rich with physical movements to be expressed, and through the physical expression comes self-awareness and transformation. A partnership between Arizona State University and Arcadia High School was the vehicle in which I implemented a curriculum built around somatic experiences and communal beliefs and values. The framework for this investigated curriculum teaches students' embodiment of self, tolerance and acceptance in collaboration, life skills through applied constructivist principles, and increased critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. This research involved somatic exercises enabling participants to have insight into natural moving patterns, how such patterns relate to others and outside environments. Research concluded with collective dialogue around individual and shared experiences. I worked twice per week with a choreography class with a four unit curriculum. From varying modes of assessment (e.g., one-on-one interviews, group discussions, journals, surveys, ongoing observations) students' responses to this type of curriculum ranged from excitement and curiosity to frustrating and provoking. Although these areas of research are not necessarily new to the field of dance and education, gaps in dialogue, published work, and reliable resources prove these theories and methods are still valued and necessary. This research demonstrates the imperative demand in dance education for deeper connections of self-discovery.

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  • 2015

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The reading of rotated text, an embodied account

Description

Individuals engaged in perceptual tasks often use their bodies to lighten the cognitive load, that is, they replace internal (mental) processing with external (body-based) processing. The present investigation explores how

Individuals engaged in perceptual tasks often use their bodies to lighten the cognitive load, that is, they replace internal (mental) processing with external (body-based) processing. The present investigation explores how the body is used in the task of reading rotated text. The experimental design allowed the participants to exhibit spontaneous behavior and choose what strategies to use in order to efficiently complete the task. The results demonstrate that the use of external strategies can benefit performance by offloading internal processing.

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  • 2013

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Super bodies and secret skins: a genealogy of body transformation

Description

This dissertation examines the influential relationships between popular culture depictions of superheroes and the substantive, malleable, and real possibilities of human body transformation. Cultural discourses condition and constrain the ways

This dissertation examines the influential relationships between popular culture depictions of superheroes and the substantive, malleable, and real possibilities of human body transformation. Cultural discourses condition and constrain the ways in which identity and bodies are formed and expressed. This includes popular culture texts that, through their evocative narratives, provide guidance or solutions for dealing with real world problems. From the perspective of communication studies, this project involves examining ways people project and perform fantastic future versions of humanity in relation to popular culture artifacts, like superheroes, but also examines how such projections are borne out of and get expressed through our everyday, less than extraordinary experiences. Key theoretical tensions regarding identity and culture are elucidated. These tensions are then developed discursively into a genealogy of body transcendence that features the historicizing of social functions to determine from where such tensions and changes manifest, and how they ultimately affect us. Several key artifacts are introduced to help inform the investigation, including eight specific superhero body types that provide an ideal perspective through which transformative power can be observed. The superhero discourse is particularly relevant because it offers a utopian/dystopian tension regarding how the splendor and seduction of the discourse materializes in both liberating and problematic ways. Another aspect of this embodied approach involves adopting the alternate superhero persona of Ethnography Man. By undertaking my own identity transformations, I am better able to investigate spaces that encourage such identity slippage and play, such as the annual San Diego Comic Con International. The once strongly held perception that our bodies are fixed and stable is fast disappearing. In bridging the body with culture through a genealogy, it becomes much more apparent how body transformations will continue to manifest in the future. Therefore, from the experiences and analysis contained herein, implications regarding powerful discursive conditions and constraints that influence our ability to change take form in revealing, problematic, and sometimes unexpected ways. More specifically, implications of who has power, how it is exercised, and the effects of power will materialize and indicate whether or not everyday humans have the potential to become superheroes.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Nagel and Burge on intentionality and physicalism

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Given the success of science, weak forms of mind-brain dependence are commonly treated as uncontroversial within contemporary philosophies of mind. More controversial are the different metaphysical claims inferred from this

Given the success of science, weak forms of mind-brain dependence are commonly treated as uncontroversial within contemporary philosophies of mind. More controversial are the different metaphysical claims inferred from this dependence, many ascribing ontological priority to the brain. Consider the following three propositions: (i) neurological events are essentially identified by their role in material systems, laws, and causes that are constitutively non-rational; (ii) at least some mental events are essentially identified in virtue of their role in the use of reason; (iii) all mental events are realized by, identical to, or composed out of, neurological events. (i) is uncontroversial. However, (iii) is strictly materialistic. (i), (ii) and (iii) taken together appear incoherent. A fruitful task for philosophy is to resolve this apparent incoherence. In his 1997 book The Last Word Thomas Nagel offers an explication of reason that conceptually transcends the nature of material substrate. In his 2010 article "Modest Dualism" Tyler Burge offers reasons to think of propositional thought as irreducible to the concepts of the material sciences. Both focus on rationality as a unique form of intentionality. Both philosophers also reject materialism (iii). On their accounts it's reasonable to take 'rational intentionality' as exhibiting a logical priority of the mind with respect to the brain in inquiries into the nature of mind. Granting this, the diminished conception of mind presupposed by prevailing contemporary theories is seen to be the result of a more general failure to recognize the logical priority and intricate nature of rationality. The robust views of rationality expressed by Nagel and Burge constitute grounds for argument against even the weakest form of materialism. I develop such an argument in this thesis, showing that the propositional attitudes exhibited in thought and speech preclude all materialistic notions of mind. Furthermore, I take the nature of propositional attitudes to suggest a perspective for exploring the fundamental nature of mind, one that focuses not on composition but on rational powers.

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  • 2011

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Panpsychism and the combination problem

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Panpsychist double aspect theory, the most promising version of panpsychism, holds that the mental and the physical are mutually irreducible properties, or features, of ultimate matter, therefore they both are

Panpsychist double aspect theory, the most promising version of panpsychism, holds that the mental and the physical are mutually irreducible properties, or features, of ultimate matter, therefore they both are ontologically fundamental and ubiquitous. This version of panpsychism involves the following two notions: anti-reductivism and anti- emergentism. The former states that mental phenomena are not recordable in terms of physics. The latter implies that mental phenomena do not causally arise only from a certain macroscale physical condition, and the mental and the physical do not constitute an ontological hierarchy. From these notions, it follows that any macroscale mental phenomenon is the result of a combination of ultimate mental properties. Yet this idea creates the combination problem: how higher level mentality, e.g., human or animal consciousness, arises from lower level mentality, the ultimate mental "particles." Panpsychist double aspect theory purports to find the proper location of mind in the world without being vulnerable to typical mind-body problems. Nevertheless, since this version of panpsychism explains the ontological structure of higher level mentality as analogous to the atomic structure of a molecular physical entity, the combination problem arises. In Chapter 1, I explain the general conception of panpsychism. Chapter 2 shows the plausibility of panpsychist double aspect theory and how the combination problem arises from this version. I discuss the history and implications of the combination problem in Chapter 3. In Chapter 4, I introduce some alternative versions of panpsychism that do not raise the combination problem, and point out their implausibility. The intelligibility of mental combination is explained in Chapter 5. The moral of these chapters is that our epistemic intuition that mind is not composed of "smaller" minds fails to undermine the possibility that mind is structurally complex. In Chapter 6, I argue that C. Koch and G. Tononi's integrated information theory (IIT) is a form of panpsychism, and that the IIT can serve as a model for solving the combination problem. However, I am not committed to the IIT, and I point out theoretical weaknesses of the IIT besides the combination problem.

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  • 2013

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The collaborative pianist and body mapping: a guide to healthy body use for pianists and their musical partners

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ABSTRACT Musicians endure injuries at an alarming rate, largely due to the misuse of their bodies. Musicians move their bodies for a living and therefore should understand how to move

ABSTRACT Musicians endure injuries at an alarming rate, largely due to the misuse of their bodies. Musicians move their bodies for a living and therefore should understand how to move them in a healthy way. This paper presents Body Mapping as an injury prevention technique specifically directed toward collaborative pianists. A body map is the self-representation in one's brain that includes information on the structure, function, and size of one's body; Body Mapping is the process of refining one's body map to produce coordinated movement. In addition to preventing injury, Body Mapping provides a means to achieve greater musical artistry through the training of movement, attention, and the senses. With the main function of collaborating with one or more musical partners, a collaborative pianist will have the opportunity to share the knowledge of Body Mapping with many fellow musicians. This study demonstrates the author's credentials as a Body Mapping instructor, the current status of the field of collaborative piano, and the recommendation for increased body awareness. Information on the nature and abundance of injuries and Body Mapping concepts are also analyzed. The study culminates in a course syllabus entitled An Introduction to Collaborative Piano and Body Mapping with the objective of imparting fundamental collaborative piano skills integrated with proper body use. The author hopes to inform educators of the benefits of prioritizing health among their students and to provide a Body Mapping foundation upon which their students can build technique.

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Date Created
  • 2013