[Humanist] 23.332 claiming interdisciplinarity
Humanist Discussion Group
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Oct 1 06:39:10 CEST 2009
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 332.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 2009 22:31:13 -0600
From: Stan Ruecker <sruecker at ualberta.ca>
Subject: Re: [Humanist] 23.329 claiming interdisciplinarity
In-Reply-To: <20090930050121.5155D357ED at woodward.joyent.us>
If you had asked me what I thought about interdisciplinarity at any
point up until a week ago, I would have had a simple answer: a project
is interdisciplinary if it requires researchers from more than one
discipline. It would therefore not be possible to claim your work is
interdisciplinary if you aren't working with other people who aren't in
your discipline. It would not be possible, for instance, to say your
project is interdisciplinary if you work alone.
So in my mind, "interdisciplinary" and "multidisciplinary" were
basically synonyms, and my assumption was that one person could not
simultaneously sit in two chairs at the research project table.
However, I've recently begun thinking about research areas where a
discipline simply hasn't been established yet. Nanotechnology might be
an example. In this case, "interdisciplinary" is perhaps a bit more like
"interstitial." Even if one person is doing the work, the project falls
between the cracks of established disciplines.
For this latter kind of work, I'd like to take a page, in fact, the
title page, from Thomas More's book Utopia, which I seem to recall is a
pun on "no place" and "good place", and propose the related term
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