Saturday, February 16, 2008

Disciplinary nodes






















Lyn and I picked these dry plants on the San Raphael Swell. Besides their simple beauty, they work as a metaphor for me of interdisciplinary work.

The swellings are those biology or music or history emphases, those disciplines where we gain depth of focus and the tools we need to investigate whatever problem or question we're interested in. The stems between the swellings are the connections without which we remain in disciplinary isolation.

And the snowy ground behind them?

I think I'll just let the metaphor rest.

For an interesting look at recent thinking on interdisciplinary studies, see
http://www.aacu.org/liberaleducation/le-wi08/le-wi08_Inter_Studies.cfm

2 comments:

Will said...

Though I chose to be trained as a comparatist, I still have no idea which discipline could suit me. The more I study, read and (occasionally) think, the less I can identify and delimit disciplines. I'm afraid my intellectual life may be revealing itself to be a web without swellings.

And I think I like it.

The emphases, however, do still seem to exist for me. Perhaps they are more like the first point(s) of intersection from which I approach the web.

Will said...
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