IMC 2003: Sessions

Session 903: Doing Interdisciplinarity: A Round Table Discussion

Tuesday 15 July 2003, 19.30-20.30

Organisers:Andrew F. Butcher, Aberystwyth University
Mary Swan, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds

Achieving interdisciplinarity is a widespread ambition in Medieval Studies, not least in the IMC. Most medievalists agree that doing interdisciplinarity involves proficiency in a number of skills and practices and in a wide range of literatures, and some sort of synthesis of them. We advocate such practices, but do we really interrogate what we mean by them? This round table gives us the chance to reflect on interdisciplinarity, and to ask some key questions: Is it really possible to be interdisciplinary? If so, how do we achieve it in research and in teaching? Are we in fact doing multidisciplinarity? Or are we always imprisoned in our disciplines? We will consider these issues, and also the implications of interdisciplinarity for our practice as medievalists, the constraints upon our practice, and how we might overcome them.
Participants in this round table include Catherine Batt (University of Leeds), Andrew F. Butcher (University of Kent at Canterbury), Matthew Johnson (University of Durham), Stephen Kelly (The Queen’s University, Belfast), Elizabeth Salter (University of Kent at Canterbury), Wendy Scase (University of Birmingham), Philip Shaw (University of Leeds), Mary Swan (University of Leeds), Paul Vetch (King’s College, University of London/St Anne’s College, University of Oxford) and Karen Watts (The Royal Armouries, Leeds).