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Interdisciplinary Reading Group

Have you ever thought about the difference between multi, trans and interdisciplinarity? What does disciplinarity mean in a University context? If someone were to ask you in a job interview, how would you define interdisciplinarity?

The Gendered Knowledges project held two separate sessions for its Interdisciplinary Reading Group, both of which proved very productive for thinking about the benefits and challenges of inter/multi/trans disciplinarities for feminist and gender studies.

First meeting

At the first meeting, held on 6 March 2013, we read Sabine Hark's wonderful 2007 article "Magical Sign: On the Politics of Inter- and Transdisciplinarity" (Graduate Journal of Social Science 4:2).

Blog posts:

Katharina Karcher: Reading group - first session

Marta Wasik: Inter- or Transdisciplinarity: The perils of definitions (and diagrams)

Maciej Czerkawski: Some thoughts on going "Trans-"

Second meeting

At the second meeting, each participant chose one of the following works:

Barad, Karen (2007) Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning, Durham: Duke UP - Chapter 2: Diffractions: Difference, Contingencies, and Entanglements That Matter.

  • This is cutting-edge feminist theory and introduces Barad's transdisciplinary methodology

Fish, Stanley. "Being Interdisciplinary Is So Very Hard to Do," in Issues in Integrative Studies 9 (1991), 97-125.

  • This is a classic in literature on interdisciplinarity and introduces the concept of 'radical interdisciplinarity' (also, its a very short text :))

Moran, Joe (2010) Interdisciplinarity

  • This book has a lot to offer for our discussion, but we will focus on a short passage on multidisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity and/or a longer section on the emergence of academic disciplines.

At this section session, we not only discussed these works but also visualised the definitions and concepts in the readings through a drawing exercise: