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Thursday, May 12 • 10:30am - 10:45am
Interdisciplinary Configurations of the Digital

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Interdisciplinarity (ID) is often associated with pathbreaking developments, and digital work is no exception. This paper distinguishes interdisciplinary configurations in digital research and education. Methodological ID typically improves the quality of results by using a method, concept, or tool from another discipline in order to test a hypothesis or address a particular research question or problem. In contrast, Theoretical ID develops a more comprehensive general view, typically in the form of new conceptual frameworks or syntheses. Digital work is widely viewed as methodological in nature because of close association with tools and methods. Yet, the current discourse of Making is developing a new epistemology of building that dismantles the dichotomy of “making” and “thinking.” In further contrast, Instrumental ID typically focuses on creating a product or meeting a designated pragmatic need, whereas Critical ID interrogates the dominant structure of knowledge and education with the aim of transforming while raising questions of value and purpose silent in instrumental discourse. Critical ID is heightened in studies of race and gender in initiatives such as #transformDH and Postcolonial Digital Humanities as well as cultural critique of new technologies and media. The question of interdisciplinary work practice follows. Anne Balsamo’s concept of “interdisciplinary shift work” provides a helpful framework. Unlike shifts that begin and end by punching a clock, interdisciplinary shift work entails on-going travel across boundaries in academic institutions and beyond in new platforms of cultural reproduction, virtual environments, networked social spaces, and mobile access points. The “digital,” as a result, is simultaneously horizontal and vertical. It is located within local domains of disciplines, interdisciplinary fields, and professions. At the same individual practices cross-sect, with multiplicative impacts across the interdisciplinary “circuit” of digital work.


Thursday May 12, 2016 10:30am - 10:45am MST
COOR L1-88 975 S Myrtle Ave Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85281