Anti/Post-disciplinarity Rethinking Academic Paradigms

full name / name of organization: 
Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences in Kairouan, Tunisia

Human knowledge ranges from pure science to pure myth. In between lies a broad gamut of conceptually different cognitive experiences and patterns of perception which represent the world in visions and theories. The authority to produce and authenticate/validate knowledge, that which allows for theoretically informed descriptions and explanations of the nature of any given social, cultural or linguistic phenomenon, however, has for years been a contested privilege among academics and field practitioners from myriad disciplines. Over-specialization, a by-product of the proliferation of fields of expertise in academia, presented itself for most of the second half of the twentieth century as a legitimate substitute for holistic knowing and thinking. This reductionist, atomistic doctrine yielded countless fields of study which acted as self-sufficient repositories of knowledge, outmoding Western philosophical, anthropological, linguistic and sociological traditions.
Attempts at integrating concepts and methodologies into more comprehensive theories in political economy, communication, and literary and cultural studies were, for the major part, made by successive generations of Critical Theorists and Feminists. The latter used self-reflective knowledge and experimental modes of investigation to create alternative epistemological constructs that politicize subjectivity and signification. But the latest challenge to academic insularity has been, in Julie A. Buckler's terms, for the liberal advocates of transdisciplinarity to propose "the unity of intellectual frameworks beyond the disciplinary perspectives," and to "encourage integrative thinking." The early twenty-first century approach to knowledge issues promises to liberate both academics and students from the rigid structures of the disciplines by engaging them in discursive practices that transcend the dogmatic dialogism of truth and falsity. It is specifically the combination of the balanced distribution of "disciplinary, multi-, anti- and transdisciplinary activities [which] will give rise to [post-disciplinarity]."

Papers may address one or more of the listed topic areas, but authors should not feel limited by them:
- Post-disciplinarity and universal knowledge
- Innovative scholarship(s) and hybridity
- Teaching in a post-disciplinary context
- The specialization trap
- Border scholarship(s) and globalization
- Re-mapping disciplinary affiliations in academia
- Post-disciplinarity and transformation
- Post-disciplinarity and hegemony
- Discourse and disciplinary research