Transdisciplinary projects are messy, complicated, and exhilarating. They stretch the collaborators, sometimes uncomfortably, beyond the predictable, expected, and routine ways of engaging with research. Making public the private tensions of "ordinary" cultural expectations associated with singlehood, marriage, and motherhood, the authors used a kinesthetic analysis of social-science qualitative data to create an evening-length professional dance concert. Ordinary Wars: Doing Transdisciplinary Research is an exploration of the project, from its inception through its current state. It focuses on providing readers with an understanding of the ways in which working collaboratively on a transdisciplinary project is both incredibly challenging and unpredictably rewarding. Our project has been fraught with fears of distortion and dishonesty, punctuated with questions of truth, fiction, acts of commission, and acts of omission. It has also been accompanied by groundbreaking ideas, feelings of triumph, and exponential growth.
In this book, we invite readers "backstage," exposing our discomfort, missteps, confusion, successes, and lessons learned. We explore how ordinary practices (i.e., disciplinary paradigms, social expectations of femininity) constitute complex, yet barely visible battlegrounds on which wars are often fought in silence. We offer readers a vision of the larger project as a means of affecting change in the academy, our respective fields, and in our communities through making visible what we have come to understand are extraordinary Ordinary Wars.