Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Dance (MFA)

Department

Dance

Advisor

Stevie Oakes

Graduate Program Director

Tammy Carrasco

Abstract

“Cognition is embodied insofar as it emerges not from an intricately unfolding cognitive program, but from a dynamic dance in which body, perception, and world guide each other’s step,” says cognitive dance researcher Edward C. Warburton. This research connects phenomenological theories of embodiment with long-standing and emerging theories of cognitive science. Specifically, it discusses cognitive science topics of the “thinking body,” autopoiesis, appraisal and arousal, kinesthetic empathy, and linguistic determinism with an eye towards the dancing body. How might such scientific notions play into answering questions of corporeity and embodiment explored so exquisitely in dance creation and performance? How might we use the dancing body as a site of cognitive embodiment research? With cognitive scientific terminology as a guiding lens of analysis, we open up a new, concerned point of view for what it means to embody, understand, and generate meaning.