Ilya Vidrin is a Ph.D. candidate in performance philosophy and choreology at Harvard. His primary research interests are the ways in which distinct modes of communication—sonic, linguistic, physical, and energetic—can promote understanding. At its heart, his work is interested in connection, and as follows, his research involves both one-on- one collaborations as well as choreographic explorations realized within professional dance companies. This in-studio work then feeds back into his theoretical research, which utilizes rhetorical theory, social network theory, immersive somatic practice, and cognitive neuroscience to better understand constructs of dynamic interaction. As a member of the Bok Centers Media Literacy and Visualization Team, Ilya has facilitated several illuminating events aimed at broadening our understanding of embodied teaching and learning, including organizing the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Senior Thesis Workshop; the Body Literacy Learning Labs, and an interdisciplinary conversation on “Transgressing the Limits of Knowledge” that brought together faculty from a broad range of departments to discuss similarities in teaching and learning.
Mind, Brain, Behavior Senior Thesis Workshops
This year, seniors in the Mind, Brian, and Behavior track utilized the multimedia resources available at the Bok Center during several workshops designed to aid them in refining the topic of their senior theses. Students presented their topics to a camera while illustrating their research modes and outcomes on a notepad, in this way performing both oral and visual drafts of their theses in real time as an alternative to a text-only workshop.
Body Literacy Learning Labs
Over the course of the past academic year Ilya held multiple learning lab sessions in which undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff, engaged in movement exercises and subsequent discussion about the role of the body in the classroom. The sessions illuminated productive organizations of classroom as well as a set of practices that teachers can observe in order to establish an inviting and efficient learning space.
Transgressing the Limits of Knowledge Interdisciplinary Panel Discussion
In December, Ilya moderated moderated a unique event bringing together faculty from a broad range of disciplines—Jill Johnson (dance), Vijay Iyer from (music), Martin Nowak (evolutionary dynamics), and Catherine Elgin (epistemology and education)—in order to discuss the embodied research practices that emerge out of, and often challenge, traditional views of how to derive understanding.