Call for papers

CfP: Humanities and Beyond: Exploring the Frontiers of Interdisciplinarity

Date: Friday 27th May 2016

Location: York University, Berrick Saul Building 

Deadline for submissions: 11th March 2016


Keynote speaker: Robin Mackay, Philosopher and director of Urbanomican organisation that negotiates the space between art, philosophy, and science. 

Purpose of the event 

The humanities departments of the universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York excel in their commitment to interdisciplinary study. A large proportion of researchers, doctoral and masters students work across a range of disciplinary boundaries, within the humanities and beyond. We are running a symposium day in which students from these universities can share their experiences of interdisciplinary research with each other, and with established academics and practitioners. Students will be able to:
  • Reflect upon the processes and methods of interdisciplinary study
  • Gain knowledge of different  interdisciplinary methodologies
  • Share practical experiences and challenges of interdisciplinary study
  • Explore interdisciplinarity as a concept within and beyond academia, and how it affects day-to-day research

The day will take the form of a symposium with 15-minute conference-style papers, workshops with practitioners, a round-table discussion with established academics, and a keynote presentation from Robin MacKay, philosopher and director of UK arts organization Urbanomic, addressing the relationships between philosophy, science and art practice.

Who is it for?

Submissions are open to all Leeds, Sheffield, and York students and researchers working across interdisciplinary boundaries, whose research includes a humanities subject. We particularly welcome submissions from graduate students and early-career researchers.  We encourage speakers to present on interdisciplinary themes that may include work-in-progress, challenges you have encountered and overcome in interdisciplinary study, or interdisciplinary methodologies. 


We are inviting proposals for the conference-style session. Submissions may address (but are not limited to):

  • Interdisciplinary methodologies
  • Structural and organizational challenges to interdisciplinary research
  • The role of interdisciplinarity in a “digital age”
  • Interdisciplinarity beyond academia: public engagement,       policy, arts and industry
  • Measuring impact   
  • Structural change in the university: moving past disciplines
  • Challenges and limits to interdisciplinarity
  • Interdisciplinarity and academic trends
  • Academic tribes, and moving between them
  • Distinguishing between cognitive and instrumental interdisciplinarity
  • Combining practice based and academic research 
  • Challenges, shortcomings and limits to interdisciplinary study
  • Definitions and uses of interdisciplinarity/transdisciplinarity/multidisciplinarity
  • Teaching interdisciplinary skills in the education system or at university level
  • “Lost” academic disciplines, and subjects that are inherently interdisciplinary

Submissions may include the disciplines of (but are not limited to):

  • History, philosophy, religious studies, law
  • Contemporary arts practice, theory in art, design and media, architecture, visual arts, creative writing, music, dance, drama and theatre studies, film studies
  • Art history, conservation, cultural geography, archaeology, classics and ancient history, and library, information and museum studies
  • Journalism, media and communication studies, American studies, cultural studies and popular culture, gender and sexuality, lifewriting, literary and cultural theory, post-colonial studies, text editing and bibliography, English language and literature, linguistics and modern languages

Abstract submissions should be 250 words for a 15-minute paper presentation. We also invite abstracts for posters to go on display on the day, presenting an interdisciplinary project, methodology or issue. Poster proposals should be 200 words. 

All submissions should include a short biographical note. Please send all submissions to by 5pm on 11th March 2016.