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December 21 , 2009

Interdisciplinary Conversations

Challenging Habits of Thought


Interest in doing, funding, and studying interdisciplinary work has built to crescendo in recent years. But despite this growing enthusiasm, our collective understanding of the dynamics, rewards, and challenges of faculty conversations across disciplines remains murky. Through six case studies of interdisciplinary seminars for faculty, Interdisciplinary Conversations investigates pivotal interdisciplinary conversations and analyzes the factors that make them work.

Past discussions about barriers to interdisciplinary collaborations fixate on funding, the academic reward system, and the difficulties of evaluating research from multiple fields. This book uncovers barriers that are hidden: disciplinary habits of mind, disciplinary cultures, and interpersonal dynamics. Once uncovered, these barriers can be broken down by faculty members and administrators. While clarion calls for interdisciplinarity rise in chorus, this book lays out a clear vision of how to realize the creative potential of interdisciplinary conversations.

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