Working Group: Interdisciplinarity in Action: Collaborative Projects in the Arts and Humanities at OSU and Beyond

Friday, November 30th, 3:00-5:00

MLK Jr. Lounge/Room 132, Hale Hall


  • Theodora Dragostinova (Department of History) “Beyond Mosque, Church, and State: Alternative Narratives of the Nations in the Balkans”
  • Linda James Myers (AAAS Community Extension Center and The Department of African American and African Studies) “Love Labors: AAAS CEC and the Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise”
  • Richard Samuels (Department of Philosophy) “The Emergence of Number”
  • Lucille Toth (Department of French and Italian) “From Theory to Practice, and back: On Board(hers), a dance project on borders and women in motion.”
  • Nora Zuniga-Shaw (Department of Dance) “Collaboration for Humane Technologies”

The Department of French and Italian is organizing a series of events around interdisciplinarity in the Arts and Humanities: six invited presentations, two cross-disciplinary OSU-based working groups, and a capstone iTunes U course aim to reconsider the theory and practice of interdisciplinarity. After a very successful working group entitled: “A Meta-Reflection on Interdisciplinarity in the Arts and Humanities”, where speakers questioned the heuristic value of interdisciplinarity and its evolution during the past decades, a second working group will bring together colleagues who will discuss collaborative projects in the Arts and Humanities. Five scholars from the Arts & Humanities who working on collaborative projects with partners at OSU or at other institutions will speak to their collaborations. Presenters will give short, accessible presentations about their completed project and address their personal experience. In particular, participants are invited to reflect upon the following questions:

  • What was the origin of your collaborative project? How did you identify the need for this project and how did you select collaborators? 
  • What are the challenges and rewards  of supervising a collaborative project? 
  • What are the challenges and rewards of being a participant in a collaborative project? 
  • Discuss the funding for the project (departmental, institutional, external).
  • What do you see as the challenges and opportunities of engaging in collaborative work at OSU?
  • What did you wish you had known before undertaking this collaborative project?
  • Questions of time: how long did it take to complete this project and did the actual length of time matched your expectations? 
  • What did you learn about your own discipline by working collaboratively on an interdisciplinary project?
  • What would you differently if you had to do it all over again? On the contrary, what worked particularly well in the process?
  • What was the impact of your collaborative project and how did you measure it?

Audience members will then reflect upon points raised in the presentations, and pose queries to speakers and discuss more broadly the following queries: how can our institution foster a productive dialogue between departments and create collaborative projects, beneficial to OSU, its members, and our larger community? How can the institution recognize and assess the value and impact of collaborative projects? What resources already exist to help the creation of interdisciplinary projects and what structures might best help the realization of new endeavors?