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In 2006, the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes, along with the University of Chicago, held a conference entitled “The Fate of Disciplines.” Grounded in the long history of disciplinarity in the academy, the conference sought to theorize relations between residual and emergent disciplines and to contemplate the future shape and texture of disciplinary formations and the university structures that contain (and, some would say, constrain) them.

The conference’s keywords set the terms of discussion. More than fixed “content” or objects of study, and not reducible to a “method,” academic disciplines tend to exist in uneasy relation to the institutional structures, such as departments or schools, created to administer them. Conference speakers concluded that disciplines, neither separable from nor reducible to such institutional moorings, exist in tension with the institutional structures that sustain them, and it is in this tension that their transformative promise lies.

The other keyword, “fate,” signaled a sense of the foreordained, predetermined nature of the disciplines’ future—a future that is in some way a destiny, fixed in the natural order of the cosmos, and a natural outgrowth of the past. As Andrew Abbott observes in Chaos of Disciplines (2001), calls for disciplinary change and transformation have been part of the American university system since the 1920s. Indeed, such calls have been one of the academic disciplines’ most enduring characteristics. Over a quarter century ago, Clifford Geertz observed how disciplinary boundaries had dramatically blurred even in his lifetime, and he concluded in 1980 that the procedures then used to analyze our objects of study had merged to the point of forming what he termed “a vast continuous field of interpretation.” The modern American research university came into being from 1880 to 1910, with Johns Hopkins, Chicago, Stanford, and Rice as examples. This event coincided with the emergence of major professional associations governing the disciplines, including the Modern Language Association in 1883, the American Historical Association in 1884, and the American Anthropological Association in 1902.

But challenges to these disciplinary formations of the research university and the professional association were almost immediate. Interdisciplinary committees were common on university campuses by the 1940s, and emendations of the disciplinary system in the form of area studies emerged during the same decade. The enduring intellectual lure of what often were termed "shadow disciplines" has led scholars from Lynn Hunt to Judith Butler to caution against wholesale rejection of traditional disciplinary forms. As Hunt reminds us, it is the certainty of disciplinary borders that makes new disciplinary configurations imaginable. New practices, according to Hunt, will not mean anything if the humanities dissolve into an “undifferentiated pool of cultural studies.” Butler expressed concern that eroding the prominence of well-established disciplinary structures such as departments enables the erosion of professional norms like tenure, academic freedom and faculty dissent.

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
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Source:  OpenStax, Emerging disciplines: shaping new fields of scholarly inquiry in and beyond the humanities. OpenStax CNX. May 13, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11201/1.1
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