Humanities, Culture, and Interdisciplinarity

The Changing American Academy

By Julie Thompson Klein

Subjects: American Studies
Paperback : 9780791465783, 278 pages, October 2005
Hardcover : 9780791465776, 278 pages, October 2005

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


Introduction: Humanities, Culture, and Interdisciplinarity

Part I. Historical Warrants

1. Forming Humanities

2. Changing Humanities

3. Forging Theory, Practice, and Institutional Presence

Part II. Inter/disciplining Humanities

4. Rewriting the Literary

5. Refiguring the Visual

6. Retuning the Aural

Part III. Interdisciplining “America”

7. Reconstructing American Studies

8. Defining Other Americas

Conclusion: Crafting Humanities for a New Century

Works Cited

Investigates the changing relationship of humanities, culture, and interdisciplinarity and its impact on humanities disciplines, American culture studies, and undergraduate education.


The study of culture in the American academy is not confined to a single field, but is a broad-based set of interests located within and across disciplines. This book investigates the relationship among three major ideas in the American academy—interdisciplinarity, humanities, and culture—and traces the convergence of these ideas from the colonial college to new scholarly developments in the latter half of the twentieth century. Its aim is twofold: to define the changing relationship of these three ideas and, in the course of doing so, to extend present thinking about the concept of "American cultural studies." The book includes two sets of case studies—the first on the implications of interdisciplinarity for literary studies, art history, and music; the second on the shifting trajectories of American studies, African American studies, and women's studies—and concludes by asking what impact new scholarly practices have had on humanities education, particularly on the undergraduate curriculum.

Julie Thompson Klein is Professor of Humanities at Wayne State University and is the author of Interdisciplinarity: History, Theory, and Practice.