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PERFORMING EMBODIMENT: IMPROVISATIONAL INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE INTERSECTIONS OF ECOLOGY AND DISABILITY

Preece, Bronwyn (2019) PERFORMING EMBODIMENT: IMPROVISATIONAL INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE INTERSECTIONS OF ECOLOGY AND DISABILITY. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Abstract

Performing Embodiment: Improvisational Investigations into the Intersections of Ecology and Disability is a practice-based doctoral study employing an extensive series of site-specific/sensitive improvisations to simultaneously engage with, challenge, problematize, confound, interject, overlap, expand, decolonize and/or displace understandings of embodiment as they relate to the imbrication of disability and ecology in the age of climate change. Premised on the belief that ‘improvisation’, ‘disability’ and ‘ecology’ are lenses that demand moment-to-moment responsiveness, adaptability, and collaborative engagement, the tiers of this thesis are teased out through a series of sixteen out/indoor performances-into-poetic-performative writings and ekphrastic responses in a variety of locations specifically chosen for the author in Canada, the USA and the UK.

The study examines the transdisciplinary implications of engaging (auto)ethnographicallyin the exploration of the intersections of Performance, Ecology and Disability Studies in/for our current age in relation to understanding and establishing ethical practices. It explores the experiential relationship between the experience of (per)forming an ‘ecological’ and ‘disabled’ identity.

The project engages a heuristic improvisational approach, generating through practice further questions. In particular, two pertinent areas of inquiry thus became foci within the study. The first examines whether the performance of ecological and disabled identities is dependent on the presence of the human. This is followed by whether we should consider ourselves performing notions of ‘ecological selves’ or are we, as ‘selves’ being performed by ecology and, concomitantly, are we performing and/or being performed by a self-disabling ecology? The exegesis is at once theoretical, conceptual, poetic, performative and ontologically artistic. Structural/cultural performance dualisms are contended with, none the least of which are: positionalities of audience/performer, (shared) documentation, subjectivity/objectivity, beginnings/endings and site-specificity/trans-location as they emerge through the improvisatory process. The study recognizes and values the humble, intimate nature of the unpretentious undertakings that were had. It addresses the reconciliation between engaging small acts as a way to actively engage with matters of global concern.

The interdisciplinary and intersectional study reveals an engagement with, and understanding of, ‘embodiment’ as an innate capacity of/for semi-permeable trans-corporeality: personally/globally.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
Depositing User: Rebecca Hill
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2019 10:59
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2019 11:00
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/34913

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