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Considers the past, present, and future of interdisciplinary fields motivated by concerns for social justice.
In the 1960s and 1970s, activists who focused on the academy as a key site for fostering social change began by querying the assumptions of the traditional disciplines and transforming their curricula, putting into place women’s and ethnic studies programs that changed both the subject and methods of scholarship. The pattern of scholars and activists joining forces to open fields of research and teaching continued in subsequent decades, and recent additions, including critical race studies, queer studies, cultural studies, and postcolonial studies, take as their epistemological foundation the inherently political nature of all knowledge production. Interdisciplinarity and Social Justice seizes this opportune moment in the history of interdisciplinary fields to review their effects on our intellectual and political landscape, to evaluate their ability to deliver promised social benefits, and to consider their futures. The essays collected in this volume examine how effectively interdisciplinary fields have achieved their goals of intellectual and social change, and consider the challenges they now face inside and outside the academy.
“The leading figures and newer voices in this wonderful volume weigh the ability of radical initiatives within academia to transcend their environs, at once celebrating possibility and also providing a sobering astringency.” — David Roediger, author of How Race Survived U.S. History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon
“Interdisciplinarity and Social Justice is a brilliant collection of reflections on and critiques of interdisciplinary fields, including cultural, gender, ethnic, African American, Chicano, gay and lesbian, and critical race studies. All serious scholars, whether committed to disciplinarity or interdisciplinarity, will find much food for thought in this collection.” — Evelyn Nakano Glenn, author of Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizenship and Labor
“This collection fills an important gap in the literature by demonstrating the link between interdisciplinarity and social justice.” — Nancy A. Naples, author of Feminism and Method: Ethnography, Discourse Analysis, and Activist Research
Joe Parker is Associate Professor of International and Intercultural Studies at Pitzer College. He is the author ofZen Buddhist Landscape Arts of Early Muromachi Japan (1336–1573), also published by SUNY Press. Ranu Samantrai is Associate Professor of English at Indiana University at Bloomington. She is the author of AlterNatives: Black Feminism in the Postimperial Nation.Mary Romero is Professor of Justice Studies at Arizona State University. She is the author of Maid in the U.S.A. and the editor of several books, including (with Eric Margolis) The Blackwell Companion to Social Inequalities.
Table of Contents
1. Interdisciplinarity and Social Justice: An Introduction Joe Parker and Ranu Samantrai
I. Critiques of Disciplinarity
2. Metaphors of Globalization Lisa Lowe
3. Crossing the Immigration and Race Border: A Critical Race Theory Approach to Immigration Studies Mary Romero
4. Whiteness in a Red Room: Telling Stories and Legal Discourse in the Tribal Courtroom Raquel Montoya-Lewis
5. An Emergent Extra-Disciplinarity: Worlding Arabs, Activist Representation, and the Example of Ahdaf Soueif Mrinalini Chakravorty
II. Critiques of Interdisciplinary Fields
6. Cultural Studies: Justice, Values, and Social Class Patrick Brantlinger
7. The Other Inters: Augmenting Academic Disciplinarity to Make Things (Happen) Alexandra Juhasz
8. The Ethico-politics of Dedisciplinary Practices Joe Parker
9. The Limits of Interdisciplinarity: The Case of Chicano Studies Michael Soldatenko
III. Interdisciplinary Claims to Social Justice
10. Whiteness Studies and the Paradox of Particularity Robyn Wiegman
11. Interdisciplinarity: A Consideration from African American Studies Lindon Barrett
12. Imagined Immunities: Border Rhetorics and the Ethos of Sans Frontièrisme D. Robert DeChaine
13. Toward Collaborative Coalitions: From Internationalism to Interdisciplinarity Leila Neti
14. Interdisciplinary Investigations and Cross-Sector Interventions Ellen Messer-Davidow
15. Accounting for Interdisciplinarity Miranda Joseph