Announcements News

March 25, 2015 at 8:59 am

New Faculty Learning Community: Mapping New Worlds Of Interdisciplinary Enquiry

Mapping New Worlds Of Interdisciplinary Enquiry is a new faculty learning community.

Mapping New Worlds of Interdisciplinary Enquiry seeks to facilitate the development of emergent interdisciplinary areas of study through the definition of their boundaries, the articulation of the questions they seek to answer and the controversies they embrace, along with the identification of the pedagogical tools necessary for their dissemination

The faculty learning community will forge an intellectual interdisciplinary community out of diverse faculty currently involved in the development of either curricular themes or other emergent interdisciplinary areas of study in order to help map out the intellectual identities of these inchoate realms of study. In other words, to answer the question: “What is X in a similar fashion to the way that established disciplines are able to articulate “what is Linguistics, what is Anthropology, or what is Cognitive Science, etc. In addition, the faculty learning community will allow newly emergent interdisciplinary areas of study the opportunity to articulate the questions they seek answers to and to embrace controversies those answers provoke.

The specific aims of this faculty learning community are:

  • Further development of “What is X” definitions of each emergent interdisciplinary area
  • Development of a set of questions that capture the intellectual endeavor of the emergent area of study
  • Description of the controversial issues that characterize each new area of interdisciplinary enquiry
  • Development of a short list of key readings in each area
  • Development of individual glossaries for each emergent interdisciplinary focus
  • Where appropriate, the development of course descriptions that embrace the faculty learning community products discussed above and which incorporate the ideas on experiential learning discussed in the community

There will be 10 members plus one facilitator, Dr. David Bell, Associate Professor of Linguistics. The faculty learning community aims to balance representation in natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities as well as existing curricular theme membership.

The faculty learning community will consist of seven meetings. There will be a planning meeting before the end of the Spring semester. A further six discussion meetings will be scheduled for fall semester, culminating in a final showcase of what the faculty learning community has achieved at the end of the fall semester.

Participants will receive a stipend of  $585.

Faculty learning community members will, amongst other things, read and discuss assigned readings, share syllabi and pedagogical methods and materials. Each participant will be expected to contribute substantively to the presentation of the controversial issues debates by identifying readings and assuming facilitator duties for the selected areas of study. Above all, faculty learning community members must be active listeners to and critical examiners of presentations of definitions, questions and controversies pertaining to emergent interdisciplinary foci of which they may have little content knowledge. Indeed, their very lack of knowledge will aid their roles as impartial facilitators of the articulation of emergent areas of study. Finally, participants will be expected to complete an on-line survey following the faculty learning community with a reflective essay that should address, along with the pluses and minuses of the experience, substantive learning outcomes.

If you would like to join this faculty learning community, please indicate your interest in an email to David Bell at by Friday, April 3 detailing your interdisciplinary area of enquiry and what you hope to accomplish through participation in the faculty learning community. Anticipated outcomes from participation will be an important part of deciding the composition of the community.

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