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Dialoguing across Disciplines

a workshop on integration and interdisciplinarity

a workshop on integration and interdisciplinarity
Starts on 23 June 2009 a workshop on integration and interdisciplinarity


Disciplinary knowledge is traditionally seen as uncontaminated by context. “Society” and “culture” are therefore marked as outsiders to knowledge-making in the natural sciences that concentrate on “nature” as their object of study. Parallel to this, the social sciences and humanities have carried the onus of attention to “society” and “culture”, with the added work of devising universal principles to analyze the same.

In the movement toward newer approaches to disciplinary knowledge, contexts for knowledge generation are now recognized, so that “society” and “culture” begin to be attached to “nature”. The earlier stark separations between the natural and social sciences therefore cannot hold. This has produced new fields of inquiry, primarily on two counts – the need to integrate between science and “society”, and similarly between science and “culture”. Both these dialogues are now reflected in academic curricula throughout the country, resulting in new courses, challenges to conventional methodologies, and a general porosity of disciplinary boundaries.

This workshop will explore the trajectories of these two dialogues through a sharing of classroom experiences, curricular experiments, reflections on new fields of inquiry, and mutations in disciplinary methodologies resulting from such a climate of dialogue. The premise is that integration between scientific and social questions is not a new impulse in the educational or popular imagination. It is the existing rationales of integration that the workshop seeks to re-examine, to conceive a different kind of impact on the research and educational scene. We will therefore begin discussions to encourage an examination of knowledge-making in disciplines, to lay the foundations for a vision of integration across the natural and social sciences that can confront and combine research methodologies.

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