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Christian Kronsted Wins 2020 Outstanding Student Paper

Tuesday, June 30, 2020  
Posted by: Julie Van Camp
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The American Society for Aesthetics is pleased to announce that Christian Kronsted, a doctoral student in philosophy at the University of Memphis, has won the Outstanding Student Paper for 2020. His paper, to be presented in November at the Virtual 78th Annual meeting, is entitled “Catching the Ghost – What House Dance Teaches us about Expert Cognition and Creativity.” Renee Conroy, Purdue University, Northwest, will provide the commentary.

The selection of the Outstanding Student Paper is made each year by the Program Committee, chaired this year by C. Thi Nguyen, Utah Valley University. All student papers accepted for the program are eligible. The prize is $250.

The abstract of the paper:

Between lay-people and the field of expert performance there exist several misconceptions regarding the nature of expert improvisation. Lay people often perpetuate the myth that improvisation is a state of complete freedom. Further, within academic literature expert performance is often characterized as one of complete absorption. Even theories that proport to combine low-level and high-level cognitive processes underestimates the importance of constraints and scaffolds from the environment. I combine the framework of 4E cognition, (embodied, enactive, embedded, extended), with in depth qualitative interviews with ten expert house dance improvisers. House dancing is a paradigmatically social and hyper improvisational artform, thus providing the perfect case study for those interested in improvisation and cognition. I argue that, high levels of environmental scaffolding and constrains leads to increased improvisational agency and complex improvisational performance. The more structured the environment, the better the improvisation.

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