A call for Interdisciplinarity

mhihBNsHaving had a role promoting interdisciplinarity, and taken a job where I can be part of a team within an academic context – an interesting argument for more working together in the humanities:

Why not the academy? What if we were to picture a team of professors, the academic equivalents of Lincoln’s collaborators, devoted to maintaining not the Union but instead the union of the humanities? Might this approach be no less effective in leading a first-year course than in leading a nation?

Few lines of work are more public yet more solitary than teaching the humanities. We are alone in our research, alone in our reading and alone in our writing. And though it is the most banal of observations, it nevertheless still surprises when we realise we are alone in our teaching. From our graduate days, we knew this would be so, but truly understood what it meant only on the first day we stood, alone, in front of a full lecture hall.

Read full article.


Switching Research Fields?


I thought this was a great quote on change: “if you always follow the beaten track you may well find that all the grass has already been eaten”, in an article in Times Higher Education, with Nancy Rothwell.

As someone who officially originated from “history”, but has also engaged with Education Studies, Media Studies, American Studies, Journalism, and all things digital, as well as a stint at Manchester with regards to interdisciplinary research, definitely of interest.


Tribes & Tribulations someone who works inside/outside my original disciplinary boundaries, works across the disciplines, and has promoted interdisciplinary research – this was an interesting story:

Boxed into our disciplines, we academics toil away, slaves to the journal-impact factor. Everything about our research has to be geared to the style, interests and ideology of the most prestigious journals in our field. And some academics labour in obscure, forgotten, overlooked corners, where there are few journals of extremely modest impact.

There is a solution, but it is not for the faint-hearted: cross disciplinary boundaries. Step from literature to linguistics, psychology to psychiatry, economics to management. Go where the favoured high-impact journals are, and submit a paper.

Some surprises are in store for the naive border-crosser. It is a culture shock of considerable proportions. And, as with all culture shocks, it makes you examine your own culture rather closely. Rudyard Kipling was right when he said: “What should they know of England who only England know?” Here is a brief guide to what intrepid cross-disciplinary explorers might expect to encounter on their travels.

Read full story.