What am I Becoming? Crossing Borders and Teaching Theory in an Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program
Focuses on the problems, practical implications and consequences of using theory in the introductory and capstone course framework of a non-traditional PhD program as a way to model interdisciplinary practice; considerations of the reading of De Certeau, Eagleton, Heidegger, Debord, Benjamin and Sebald by a diverse pool of doctoral candidates. In a non-discipline specific program a student in the introductory course asks "what are we becoming?" The impetus behind the creation of the program was the realization that in addition to specialists there is also a need for catalysts, translators and boundary crossers. Salve Regina University doctoral students have completed and are currently working on a wide range of interdisciplinary questions and problems in Philosophy & Ethics, Religious Studies, the History of Ideas, Art, Literature, Military History and Defense Policy, education, urban planning, mental health, human rights and the environment. The doctoral program curriculum is intended to introduce students to models that combine scholarly perspectives and engage them in the review and reassessment of major debates concerning the uses of evidence, theory and method within and across the disciplines. This is of course easier said than done. This paper is not a solution to the challenges inherent in the nature of all interdisciplinary work but a current snap shot of the specific struggle to meet some of the challenges.
Keywords: Interdisciplinarity, Teaching Theory
Prof. Michael Anton Budd
Associate Professor, Program Director, Humanities/Liberal Studies