Call for SNS Roundtable Proposals: Interdisciplinary

Interdisciplinary: An SNS Roundtable Series

Following the “Collaboration” roundtable series, the SNS team continues to be intrigued by what it means to work in a field that is inherently relational — what commitments it demands, the kinds of opportunities it encapsulates, and the challenges those create. With our 2019-2020 Roundtable Series, we focus on auto/biography studies as an interdisciplinary field.

The interdisciplinary nature of our field is a requirement for scholars and practitioners who explore multifaceted subject-matters as selfhood, identity, truth, memory, and the processes by which life stories are conceived, constructed, and consumed. This interdisciplinarity emerges, in part, from the intellectual and ethical traditions that have shaped our field as one situated at the intersections of scholarship, creative practice, and political activism. Additionally, it responds to contemporary academic cultures which value multiplicity, versatility, and experimentation. It is easy to take for granted the freedom that comes with being part of an interdisciplinary field. But our field has been demanding that we remain attuned to the ethical stakes and political efficacies that are embedded in modes of working across and between categories.  

This is why we want to explore the concept of interdisciplinarity as it pertains to the study of the auto/biographical. Interdisciplinarity is intended as an inclusive practice: it values different ways of approaching the same problem and is invested in producing knowledge between sites. But inhabiting such spaces of transition, we must ask: what are unexplored spaces that we have yet to open up?

Questions we want to ask include, but are not limited to:

  • Who gets to decide what “counts” as an appropriate interdisciplinary approach?
  • What challenges does interdisciplinarity pose for scholars of auto/biography? What benefits does it have?
  • How do we practice and model interdisciplinary research?
  • If we work across fields, what intellectual communities are we committed to? Who benefits from our work?
  • How do specific theoretical frameworks offer practical approaches that serve to re-shape our ideas of disciplinarity or interdisciplinarity?
  • What are the limitations or failures of interdisciplinary work? Who or what is excluded?
  • How do we foster inclusive research methods and practices while being wary of appropriation?
  • How do we encourage scholars, activists, and artists to work across disciplines? What does working across disciplines look like?
  • What interdisciplinary methodologies inform your work?

This roundtable is to be one of a series in conjunction with the 2019 IABA regional chapter conferences. it will have five panelists and one moderator. Panel members can be students, emerging or established scholars, activists, or practitioners. The moderator will be an SNS representative. Each panelist will give a five-minute presentation; a moderated 30-minute discussion will follow.

Please submit a 150-word presentation pitch and a 100-word biographical note to Languages other than English are welcome; please email to inquire about non-English submission criteria.

If you’ll be attending the IABA Americas Conference (June 13-15 in Kingston, Jamaica), please make the subject line of your email “Interdisciplinary Roundtable – IABA Americas” and submit your proposal by  April 20, 2019.

If you’ll be attending the IABA Europe Conference  (June 19-21 in Madrid, Spain), please make the subject line of your email “Interdisciplinary Roundtable – IABA Europe.” Deadline: May 10, 2019.

If you’ll be attending the IABA Asia-Pacific Conference (October 25-27 in Shanghai, China), please make the subject line of your email “Interdisciplinary Roundtable – IABA Asia-Pacific.” Deadline TBA.

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