November 9, 2010: CIR sponsors Situating Science's panel on science and the media, featuring Jay Ingram.
Akin to leading American universities such as Chicago, Stanford, St. John’s College, and Columbia, the University of King’s College combines research and teaching which focus on close engagement with primary texts and the diverse traditions of reflection and critique that belong to what are broadly defined as the liberal arts.
By building relationships between the humanities, arts, and social and natural sciences, King’s has led the way in Canada with our resolutely interdisciplinary approach to such studies, and this approach has inspired and continues to inspire other initiatives across the country. The presence of a nationally-recognized School of Journalism at King’s affords further dimensions of interdisciplinarity and public profile to these growing and increasingly varied efforts. Our thriving programmes and our unique relationship to our sister university, Dalhousie, have attracted and fostered a keen group of scholars who have quickly come to offer a calibre of leadership in interdisciplinary research that belies the University’s small size and the relative youth of its faculty.
Our areas of research strength are located in and seek to integrate the fields of intellectual history, literary and political theory, and the history and philosophy of science from the ancient to the contemporary periods. We have consistently demonstrated our commitment to making such research public through individual and collaborative publications, and through public lecture series. In addition to several SSHRC Standard Research Grants and design grants awarded for interdisciplinary projects in these areas, the $2.1 million Strategic Knowledge Cluster (or ‘Situating Science’) has placed King’s at the hub of a national network of scholars working in the interdisciplinary field of History and Philosophy of Science/Science and Technology Studies.
In recognition of the College’s growing research profile and of certain convergences within it, the King’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Research has been created, building in part upon the successes of a prior entity known as The Institute for Advanced Study. The mandate of the new centre was substantially defined through projects supported by funds from a successful Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Aid to Small Universities grant for the period 2008-2011.
Pictured above: Scholar Gayatri Spivak spoke at King's for this year's CIR-sponsored Flemming Lecture.
To quote from the constitutional document which formally established the Centre’s mandate in April, 2010:
The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research acts as a resource to aid faculty in their research, collaborations within and outside King’s, academic events (conferences, symposia, guest speakers, lecture series, etc.), travel associated with conferences specifically identified in the A.S.U. programme application, and dissemination of research.
The Centre’s key mandate is to foster such activities in three key areas:
1. Historical and contemporary research on the concept of ‘interdisciplinarity’ and its various modes and applications. This includes examination of how the discrete demarcations separating disciplines are defined, employed, redefined and/or questioned. It also includes research on past and present divisions between the humanities, journalism and the various sciences.
2. Interdisciplinary re-examination of texts, figures, ideas and periods central to historical and contemporary representations of the ‘Western Canon’, including elements within it and those excluded by it, as constitutive, critical and/or subversive of societies and their institutions.
3. A reflexive consideration of questions of interdisciplinarity present in local, national and international research concerning the character and future of humanities and journalism education.
On June 27 - June 29, 2012, the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research at the University of King’s College will be pleased to host “Great Books, Great Questions: Interdisciplinary liberal arts education in Canada - A symposium dedicated to discussing past experiences, present realities, and future challenges.”
Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of its Foundation Year Programme, the University of King’s College, through its Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, invites scholars from diverse perspectives who share a commitment to interdisciplinary, undergraduate, liberal arts education in Canada to take part in this national symposium. For more details, please go to www.greatquestions.ca
From June 9th to June 12th, 2011, the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research hosted an international conference, entitled '...a past that has never been present': Art/ Philosophy/ History, that brought scholars together from across the humanities disciplines to discuss matters relating to memory, time and historicity. For more details, please go to www.originarypast.ca.
A series of occasional panels on themes of interdisciplinarity is being launched in 2011 under the aegis of the Centre.