MLA 2018: Blurring Boundaries: Designing Interdisciplinary Humanities Curriculum

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Claire Sommers/The Graduate Center, CUNY and NeMLA
contact email: 

Academic institutions are structured so that different disciplines are housed in different departments. However, in recent years, there has been a call to augment the interdisciplinary scope of the humanities curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This push for greater interdisciplinarity in the humanities has resulted from many factors including the need to recruit students to increase humanities enrollments, a desire to sustain student interest in the humanities, better employment opportunities for those on the academic job market, and the production of unique, multi-faceted scholarship. As a result, instructors and administrators alike have sought to increase the interdisciplinary content of their courses and foster collaborative initiatives and degree programs among various departments. This panel seeks to explore how, at both the classroom and institutional levels, humanities curricula have integrated material originating from multiple disciplines across the university. Possible approaches include but are not limited to:


  • The incorporation of multiple disciplines such as social sciences, bench sciences, business, and other humanities fields into humanities curricula
  • The advantages of interdisciplinary curriculum, especially pertaining to student interest and enrollment
  • Interdisciplinary curricula and the job market
  • Collaboration among multiple departments
  • Interdisciplinary course design
  • The creation of interdisciplinary programs
  • Interdisciplinary curriculum design, technology, and digital classroom techniques
  • Interdisciplinary curriculum as a tool for community/global engagement
  • Teaching students from multiple disciplinary backgrounds
  • The unique challenges of interdisciplinary course and curriculum design



Please submit a 250-word abstract and 50-word bio to Claire Sommers ( by March 15th. The MLA convention will take place January 4-7, 2018 in New York, New York.


This session is a joint presentation of the Regional Divisions of the MLA: the Midwest Modern Language Association, the Northeast Modern Language Association, the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association, the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, the South Atlantic Modern Language Association, and the South Central Modern Language Association.