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Interdisciplinary Approaches to Refugee and Migration Studies

Lessons from Collaborative Research on Sanctuary in the Changing Times of Trump

Sara Vannini, Ricardo Gomez, Megan Carney and Katharyne Mitchell

reform in the US Congress was dead. Was there anything we could learn from all of this? The four of us began our explorations of sanctuary from a historical as well as an interdisciplinary perspective. Unbeknownst to us, we were embarking on a longer and

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Paul D. Hirsch and Valerie A. Luzadis

We develop a twofold approach to the development and utilization of policy-relevant knowledge. First, we propose that moving beyond competition to focus on compatibility may promote more effective interdisciplinary collaborations in the context of complex social-ecological problems. Second, we propose that attention to the policy affordances of a set of compatible hypotheses may inform the development of a more holistic and robust set of policy options. This twofold approach is modeled in our methodological approach, in which we have sought to discover how the concepts each of us have been developing are compatible with each other, and what affordances they might offer for improving translation across the science-policy boundary. We illustrate and apply our approach to the complex milieu surrounding the issue of lead paint toxicity. In addition, we draw on findings from focus groups with researchers involved in collaborations at the science-policy boundary to develop recommendations for productive and policy-relevant interdisciplinary collaboration.

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Hanne Tange

The article builds on an empirical study of knowledge practices in international, interdisciplinary MA education, foregrounding the role of academic staff in identifying and explicating academic norms to students recruited from different subject areas and institutions. A central theme is transition, which refers to the state of liminality that postgraduates can experience when new to a discipline, institution and sociocultural context. I argue for lecturers as ‘transition managers’ who may ease students’ transfer into an unfamiliar academic culture. This argument is explored in an analysis of interview data collected from four MA courses, which suggests that lecturers’ transition management involves an awareness of classroom diversity, an acceptance of responsibility for academic socialisation and the development of new pedagogic practices.

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Robert Frodeman, Julie Thompson Klein, Carl Mitcham and Nancy Tuana

Over the course of the last six years, New Directions: Science, Humanities, Policy has taken a case-study approach to questions concerning the nature of knowledge production. Launched in 2001, New Directions promotes interdisciplinary collaborations where physical scientists, social scientists, and humanists work together with public science agencies, the private sector, and communities to deepen our understanding of and develop effective responses to societal problems. Two key elements characterize all New Directions projects. First, by involving the sciences, engineering, and the humanities, in dialogue with the public and private sectors, New Directions unites the two axes of interdisciplinary—the wide and the deep. Second, these experiments in interdisciplinary problem solving function as a means for thematizing the problem of the breakdown between knowledge production and use.

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Aimar Ventsel

This field report summarizes an international interdisciplinary research project in Saidy, Republic of Sakha, in the Russian Far East. The aim of the research was to study ecological adaptations of communities in northern Sakha, combining methods of anthropology, archaeology, and ecology. Most indigenous communities in this region demonstrate a high level of self-organization—for example, forbidding sales of alcohol and transforming drinking to a hidden activity. These communities are actively engaged in the informal economy where officially unemployed people run informal grocery stores, hunting, and transport enterprises. Local practices are a mixture of Evenki and Sakha culture with emphasis on individualism. People in these communities are not nostalgic about Sovietera collective farms—something that is unusual in Siberia—and see current life as better than that in the Soviet era.

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Benjamin Abrams

If there is a single academic craft that is most sorely neglected in doctoral programs, most infrequently honed over the course of one’s career, and most inconsistently exhibited at the top ranks of the academy, it is the practice of reviewing an article. Reflecting on conversations with editorial colleagues at Contention and other broad-scope journals, this essay draws together some brief guidelines on how best to compose the three most basic components of any academic review: criticism, praise, and recommendations to the editor.

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Maria-Amelia Viteri and Aaron Tobler

This article illustrates the multiple ways in which anthropology graduate students crossed the boundaries of educational discourses by encouraging themselves, other students, activists and community leaders to speak in dialogical contexts (Giroux 2005: 73). They did this through the organisation of the Interrogating Diversity Conference. The authors organised this conference in March 2007 at the American University, Washington, DC, to expand scholarship on surveillance and policing in an egalitarian forum. We discuss how students can engage their departments and faculty in building the students' knowledge of both anthropological theories and methodology through shared scholarship. We show how students can 'apply' anthropology to audiences, which will in turn influence policy decision making. In addition, the authors explore how academics can transform knowledge sharing into tools that shape broader political and social dialogue.

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Constanza Parra and Casey Walsh

would like to thank all those who supported this project: The Regional Integration and Social Cohesion Consortium (RISC), the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center of the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the Planning and Development Unit, KU

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Riding alone on the elevator

A class experiment in interdisciplinary education

Anna M. Frank, Rebecca Froese, Barbara C. Hof, Maike I. E. Scheffold, Felix Schreyer, Mathias Zeller and Simone Rödder

The ability to conduct interdisciplinary research is crucial to address complex real-world problems that require the collaboration of different scientific fields. This mode of research in turn requires scholars to use integration as part of their

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Laurel Hart, Pamela Lamb and Joshua Cader

and shape each other mutually” (2014: 1; emphasis in original). This article combines three interdisciplinary perspectives on the problems and possibilities of network technologies and online communities as sites and modes of nonviolence for women and