Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

2011 National Outreach Scholarship Reflective Essays

Vol. 16 No. 3

Sometimes There are No Notes: An Auto Ethnographic Essay of a Collaboration at the Engagement Interface

September 18, 2012


This autoethnographic essay represents the authors’ critical reflection on their experiences partnering with Liz Lerman and Dance Exchange (a dance company) artists on a collaborative evaluation of The Matter of Origins, a contemporary art and science dance performance. They describe meaningful moments in their collaboration and reexamine those pivotal experiences in the broader context of scholarly community engagement. Based on their reflections, the authors identified themes including ethnographic approaches to collaboration, shared systems of meaning, and developmental evaluation to understand the complex experiences that took place at the engagement interface. The essay concludes with suggested reflective questions for scholars to consider in their own community engagement activities.