Volume 3 Issue 2 (2007): On Beyond Interdisciplinarity
Crossing the Boundaries

Breaking the Rule of Discipline in Interdisciplinarity: Redefining Professors, Students, and Staff as Faculty

Alison Cook-Sather
Bryn Mawr College
Elliott Shore
Bryn Mawr College
Published October 25, 2007
  • faculty,
  • discipline,
  • interdisciplinarity,
  • role,
  • education,
  • knowledge,
  • learning process,
  • positionality
  • ...More


In this article we attempt to complicate traditional--and, we argue, limited and exclusionary--definitions of interdisciplinarity as the bringing into dialogue of established disciplines without questioning the parameters and practices of those disciplines. We propose that interdisciplinarity instead might mean teaching and learning among, between, and in the midst of those of innate or learned capacities--not only college faculty but also students and staff. To illustrate this more radical iteration of interdisciplinarity, we draw on a range of definitions of the key terms, “discipline” and “faculty,” and we offer a case study of a workshop we co-facilitated in which we brought differently positioned individuals together to engage in the educational process and the production of knowledge. We hope that this discussion contributes to expanding the notions and practices of interdisciplinarity.