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The intersubjective dimension of skills: The case of couple-based expertise in aikido practice

IMC Tuesday Seminar: Talk by Susanne Ravn, professor and Head of the research unit Movement, Culture and Society (MoCS), University of Southern Denmark

Info about event


Tuesday 1 November 2022,  at 11:00 - 12:30


Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, 8000 Aarhus C, building 1483, room 312 and online (https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/my/imcevent)

Susanne Ravn

Couple-based activities, like for example couple dancing and martial art practices, offer a unique window for investigating intersubjective dimensions of practices and skills. In this presentation I turn to the case of aikido, to contribute understandings of how skills are incorporated and developed. Based on a critical auto-ethnographical approach, I firstly focus on the enabling and constraining structures that constitute the ecological environment of aikido, especially how these structures are part of a network of apprenticeship learning closely connected to a Japanese cultural heritage of martial art practices. On that basis I engage a phenomenological analysis of the interactional dynamics between the two practicing together to understand how the enculturated kind of meaning-making, expressed in the doxa of aikido, enables and constrains the specialised kind of participatory sense-making (De Jaegher & Di Paolo 2007) unfolding in the couple-based interaction. I specify how the sense of movement extends to include the other and especially, how this extended sense of movement is exercised strategically by the experienced other. Accordingly, the analysis contributes enculturated as well as agential aspects to phenomenological descriptions of participatory sensemaking.

About the speaker
Susanne Ravn is Professor at the Department of Sports Science and Biomechanics at the University of Southern Denmark. Her research focuses on movement practices in sport, dance and health and the interdisciplinary challenge of integrating phenomenology and qualitative research methodologies. 

Her recent publications include
Ravn, S., Høffding, S. and McGuirk, J. (2021) Philosophy of Improvisation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Theory and Practice. Routledge.
Ravn, S. (2022) ‘Cultivating one’s skills through the experienced other in aikido’.  In K. Bicknell and J. Sutton (Eds.) Embodied Performance: Ecologies of Skill. London, New York, Oxford, New Delhi, Sydney: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. 
Ravn, S. (2022) Embodied Learning in Physical Activity: Developing Skills and Attunement to Interaction. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 4:795733. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2022.795733