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The Mathematics Enthusiast

Volume

15

Issue

1-2

Abstract

The stereotypical mathematical identity story of the ‘mad mathematician’ (consumed by mathematics and socially inept) is widely reported as problematic to understanding what it means to be mathematical, and to engaging students in mathematics. This problem is explored in the improvisational parody ‘Math Therapy’, which occurred during my filming of ‘Performatics’(https://vimeo.com/147449932); an Arts Based Research (ABR), using filmed-drama. ‘Performed’ and informed by the lived experiences of three post graduate students studying courses with mathematical content, their mathematical experiences are juxtaposed with those of a socially imagined ‘mad mathematician’ in a fictional, generic therapy context entitled ‘Math Therapy’. The ABR facilitated a performance of embodied ways of imagining and performing mathematical identity; subverting, making ridiculous, and disordering the stereotypical ‘mad mathematician’ identity, so as to critically question and challenge its authority. Through the performance, the mathematical identities available to us are also revealed as a parody; between the imagined identity and lived experience.

First Page

251

Last Page

277

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