Interdisciplinarity: a sketch for a history

Wednesday 20 March 2013 18.00-19.30

Interdisciplinarity: a sketch for a history

This short history of interdisciplinarity begins with the concept of ‘discipline’ and the rise of three disciplines in medieval universities (theology, law and medicine), before focussing on the 19th and 20th centuries, the age of specialization and of the institutionalization of academic specialities.  It is in this context that we need to place various attempts to resist specialization and even to institutionalize this resistance, from the Revue de Synthèse in France and the Bibliothek Warburg in Germany to the University of Sussex in Britain and the centres for ‘cultural studies’, ‘area studies’ and ‘interdisciplinary studies’ in the USA.

Peter Burke (University of Cambridge)