Alisha N. Ali, Stephan Wolfert, Courtney Pensavalle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The goal of this chapter is to describe the use of a Performative Social Science (PSS) approach to understanding the DE-CRUIT program which uses theatre, and specifically Shakespeare, to address the effects of trauma in military Veterans. The DE-CRUIT program is grounded in (a) transforming military camaraderie into camaraderie among the program group members, and (b) the Veterans’ performances of monologues representing their experiences to aid in recovery from the trauma of war. Veterans in the program immerse themselves in Shakespeare’s plays and learn that many of the characters are soldiers and Veterans. They find in Shakespeare’s verse language that captures and honors the Veteran experience. They then study the Shakespearian monologue form and write their own first-person trauma monologue. The key to the DE-CRUIT program is the Culminating Performance in which the Veterans perform their own personal trauma monologues for an audience of Veterans, family, friends, and community members as a way of bridging the Veteran-civilian divide. We will explore the elements of this performance through a lens of PSS and relational art in order to examine how DE-CRUIT fosters both individual and collective healing in Veterans and audience members alike.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDoing Performative Social Science
Subtitle of host publicationCreativity in Doing Research and Reaching Communities
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781000509724
ISBN (Print)9781032035215
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences


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