Susan  Wiesner

  • Title / Position: independent scholar

Following the receipt of a PhD in Dance Studies (with an emphasis in AI, Computational linguistics), I held position as a CLIR Fellow at two academic libraries (UVA and UNCG). My library career was cut short due to the need for me to care for my parents and a near-fatal auto accident, but I am trying to rebound from that time away and as such have been fortunate enough to have my research has been funded by the NEH (DSG level 2) and an ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship. I have embraced the concept of the library as a place where scholarship is valued and practiced and in which the future of knowledge is being created.

During the years between my MA and PhD, I worked in the IT industry as a coder (assembler language), systems architect, instructional designer, and in management. Whilst being a corporate creature I also lectured on special topics in the performing arts as an independent lecturer. I have been a faculty member at Spelman College, Brenau University, and Kennesaw State University where I developed and delivered lecture-based and studio courses. Always the dance dr, as the Librarian for Drama and Dance at UVA I was responsible for the development of reference-based instruction for the department of Drama, and taught a course in Dance History. As a Visiting Scholar in Drama at UVA I offered guest lectures in arts administration and dance history. I have also choreographed on students as a guest artist in two productions at UVA and as faculty at other institutions and organisations.

I am extremely interested in developing metadata standards for the performing arts and as such, I have presented on this topic on panels and as a guest speaker. In response to a library patron’s request, I planned and delivered a lecture series on Dance On Film (open to all faculty, staff, and students) highlighting the video holdings of UVA library’s Robertson Media Centre. As a choreographer I have worked with groups of dancers in the studio and on the stage. And I continue to conduct research on intersections between movement and language using motion capture, research of which I have published and presented.

I spend a lot of time in the studio lately (I'm a member of the McGuffey Arts Center in Charlottesville) playing, moving, thinking of all sorts of uses for various technologies (GIS for mapping staging is one, statistical analysis of non-verbal language using corpus linguistics [KWIC] methods, etc etc etc).

  • data mining bodies in motion


    Although there are projects considering parsing pedestrian movement (e.g. sitting, walking, waving), there is a great deal of abstract movement going on in the world. The DOD would really like to be able to mine 2D film for patterns to prevent and or locate actions…but I want to look at possible tools for mining 3D and 2D data. For instance, how can GIS help map stage settings and flow? might seem to be an off-the-wall idea, but those of us studying movement in and out of performing arts, are desirous of the ability to mine our texts…non-verbal texts. well, it’s a thought!

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