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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Valences of Interdisciplinarity«

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Valences of Interdisciplinarity

Foshay, Raphael (Hrsg.) | Athabasca University Press | Cultural Dialectics


The modern university can trace its roots to Kant's call for enlightened self-determination, with education aiming to produce an informed and responsible body of citizens. As the university evolved, specialized areas of investigation emerged, enabling ever more precise research and increasingly nuanced arguments. In recent decades, however, challenges to the hegemony of disciplines have arisen, partly in response to a perceived need for the university to focus greater energy on its public vocation—teaching and the dissemination of knowledge.

Valences of Interdisciplinarity presents essays by an international array of scholars committed to enhancing our understanding of the theoretical underpinnings and the practical realities of interdisciplinary teaching and research. What is, and what should be, motivating our reflections on (and practice of) approaches that transcend the conventional boundaries of discipline? And in adopting such transdisciplinary approaches, how do we safeguard critical methods and academic rigour? Reflecting on the obstacles they have encountered both as thinkers and as educators, the authors map out innovative new directions for the interdisciplinary project. Together, the essays promise to set the standards of the debate about interdisciplinarity for years to come.

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“What all the essays here seem to be wrestling with—at their core—is the creation of an engaged self, both for the practitioner of interdisciplinary studies and for students.... In wrestling with the shifting valences of interdisciplinarity, the authors reveal their own quests for integration, to find a stable nucleus within the cloud of shifting electrons.”

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“This volume of essays could be of interest to faculty and administrators of graduate interdisciplinary programs or those contemplating developing such programs, because it shows the complexity of clarifying what such a program would be, the value of such programs and the challenges in gaining acceptance for them.”

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Raphael Foshay is the program director of the Master of Arts in Integrated Studies program at Athabasca University. His research interests include literary and cultural theory and continental philosophy.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »The Digital Nexus«

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The Digital Nexus

Foshay, Raphael (Hrsg.) | Athabasca University Press | Cultural Dialectics


Over half a century ago, in The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962), Marshall McLuhan noted that the overlap of traditional print and new electronic media like radio and television produced widespread upheaval in personal and public life:

Even without collision, such co-existence of technologies and awareness brings trauma and tension to every living person. Our most ordinary and conventional attitudes seem suddenly twisted into gargoyles and grotesques. Familiar institutions and associations seem at times menacing and malignant. These multiple transformations, which are the normal consequence of introducing new media into any society whatever, need special study.

The trauma and tension in the daily lives of citizens as described here by McLuhan was only intensified by the arrival of digital media and the Web in the following decades. The rapidly evolving digital realm held a powerful promise for creative and constructive good—a promise so alluring that much of the inquiry into this new environment focused on its potential rather than its profound impact on every sphere of civic, commercial, and private life. The totalizing scope of the combined effects of computerization and the worldwide network are the subject of the essays in The Digital Nexus, a volume that responds to McLuhan’s request for a “special study” of the tsunami-like transformation of the communication landscape.

These critical excursions provide analysis of and insight into the way new media technologies change the workings of social engagement for personal expression, social interaction, and political engagement. The contributors investigate the terms and conditions under which our digital society is unfolding and provide compelling arguments for the need to develop an accurate grasp of the architecture of the Web and the challenges that ubiquitous connectivity undoubtedly delivers to both public and private life.

With contributions by Ian Angus, Maria Bakardjieva, Daryl Campbell, Sharone Daniel, Andrew Feenberg, Raphael Foshay, Carolyn Guertin, David J. Gunkel, Bob Hanke, Leslie Lindballe, Mark McCutcheon, Roman Onufrijchuk, Josipa G. Petrunić, Peter J. Smith, Lorna Stefanick, and Karen Wall.

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“The Digital Nexus belongs to a new wave of scholarship inquiring into the many challenges and disruptions that networked communication imposes on public and private affairs. It looks at tech-driven transformation through the triple lenses of identity, agency (our ability to participate in society and take action) and political engagement—with a special focus on democratic processes and social action.[...]If we want technology that supports democracy, open dialogue and humanist values, then we will need to shape it accordingly. But there are other agendas at work and the struggle to determine the Internet's future has only just begun. For this reason, we've never needed books like The Digital Nexus more.”

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Raphael Foshay has been teaching in Athabasca University’s MA Program in Integrated Studies, since 2008. His interests lie principally in literary, cultural, and interdisciplinary theory. He has written on Derrida, Hegel, Heidegger, and Levinas, as well as such literary figures as Joyce, Yeats, Kafka, and Wyndham Lewis and is the editor of Valences of Interdisciplinarity: Theory, Practice, Pedagogy.

 
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