Interdisciplinarity and Social Justice
Revisioning Academic Accountability
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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 detail histories of the interdisciplinary fields that emerged from social movements, examine how effectively they have achieved their goals of intellectual and social change, and consider the challenges they now face inside and outside the academy.
Joe Parker is Associate Professor of International and Intercultural Studies at Pitzer College. He is the author of Zen 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.