Doing Undoing: Cross-Disciplinary (and Non-Disciplinary) Approaches to Scholarship
Since the 1970s, scholars and scholarship have pushed to undo different systems of power, for instance: Foucault mapped out the history of state control over bodies; Derrida revealed oppressive systems behind accepted logics; Lugones explained the logics of purity and impurity, showing us that fragmentation is actually a part of the logic of purity and so used to oppress; Crenshaw allowed us to see this logic of fragmentation in the legal system and how this system excludes black women.
Following this path, this seminar seeks to question disciplines and disciplinarity. Accepting disciplines and their respective subcategories (e.g. the different “departments,” “methodologies,” “time periods,” “geographical locations,” etc. that our work must fit under to be a part of the university) as given limits our thinking, so we are looking for work transgressing the boundaries of what is typically considered “within the discipline.” This seminar seeks examples of the progress that can be made when the lines of discipline are broken down or even completely ignored. What are the assumptions that each discipline makes, and how does that necessarily exclude certain perspectives?
Some examples include, but are not limited to: How are these divisions between disciplines not only arbitrary but potentially dangerous? What is to be gained from putting seemingly disconnected disciplines, like STEM and the humanities, into conversation? How are the assumed connections between different disciplines in the humanities just as tenuous as the assumed disconnections between the humanities and STEM? How do methodologies and modalities differ across disciplines, and how might they be utilized when crossed over into spaces wherein they were previously “unwelcome”? What is the role of pedagogy in all of this?
Ultimately, even these questions make certain assumptions about disciplinarity. Work that either implements or theorizes this idea of undoing disciplinarity is welcome and encouraged.