Playing a performative play with Otherness-Togetherness in higher education

Sisse Winther Oreskov, Lise Hostrup Sønnichsen, Lotte Agnes Lausen, Martha Lagoni

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalPaperResearch


We want to raise the question of how inviting playfulness (Jensen et al., 2021) into aesthetic learning processes can provide students with a frame for togetherness, while they explore diverse impressions and expressions of otherness? We want to discuss this through an empir-ical situation from our research, where students improvise through fictive roles and situations in the classroom. The context is Danish Social Education and a playful (Bateson, 2020) framing of dramatur-gical strategies and action repertoire in teaching (Østern, 2021a; Østern, 2021b). We investigate per-spectives in otherness-togetherness on the empirical situation through four different theoretical lenses: The concept of moods (Heidegger, 2017), embodiment (Merleau-Ponty, 2009), small stories (Bam-berg, 2011; Bamberg & Georgakopoulou, 2008), and aesthetic redoubling (Chemi & Firing, 2020), where the following is some tentative starting points for this discussion:
 Through the engagement with the world, we find ourselves attuned through a specific mood ac-cording to Heidegger (2017). Playing with perspectives, when reflecting through the atmospheres of experiencing the fictive world, provides students with the possibility to attune to different moods of otherness-togetherness.
 The co-existence of otherness-togetherness manifests itself in the students’ bodily presence. The students occupy "the otherness" by letting the role be expressed through the body, they direct their bodily attention towards each other, and with their body they confirm the other in bringing this oth-erness into the classroom.
 Students bring different understandings and experiences of professional practice into the class-room. Attuning to the small stories through dialogue, the students create new possible narratives together in the shared atmosphere of the experienced situation.
 When students connect to their own and each other’s roles they are distanced to themselves, while connecting to themselves, they are distanced to the fictive roles (Chemi & Firing, 2020). This interplay with nearness and distance support students to exceed themselves, gain new insights and together investigate possible future practice.
Through this, we want to propose and discuss how and if playfulness in aesthetic learning processes can bring forth otherness and togetherness in embodied ways, as well as discuss opportunities and challenges in this proposal.
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Bamberg, M., & Georgakopoulou, A. (2008). Small stories as a new perspective in narrative and identity analy-sis. Text & Talk, 28(3).
Bateson, G. (2000 [1955]). Theory of Play and fantasy. In: Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in An-thropology, Psychiatry, Evolution and Epistemology. University of Chicago Press
Chemi, T., & Firing, K. (2020). Staging Identities and Multiplied Dialogic Spaces in Higher Education. Organiza-tional Aesthetics, 9(1), 21-40.
Jensen, J. B., Pedersen, O., Lund, O., & Skovbjerg, H. M. (2021). Playful approaches to learning as a realm for the humanities in the culture of higher education: A hermeneutical literature review. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 0(0), 1–22.
Merleau-Ponty, M. (2009). Kroppens fænomenologi [The phenomenology of the body] (2). Det lille forlag.
Østern, A. (2021a). Dramaturgical action repertoire: Openings, breaches, encounters. In Østern, A. (Ed.), Teach-ing and learning through dramaturgy (pp. 1-8). Routledge.
Østern, A. (2021b). Dramaturgical strategies. In Østern, A. (Ed.), Teaching and learning through dramaturgy (pp. 23-45). Routledge.
Original languageDanish
Publication date1 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022
EventAesthetic learning processes and togetherness - University of South-Eastern Norway, Notodden, Norway
Duration: 29 Nov 20221 Dec 2022


ConferenceAesthetic learning processes and togetherness
LocationUniversity of South-Eastern Norway
Internet address

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