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No more solo disciplines - students organise their own conference

Are your studies cross-disciplinary enough? Students fed up with the lack of mixing between faculties and departments have organised their own conference to bring the disciplines together

Interdisciplinarity. Try and say it. In-ter-dis-cip-lin-ar-it-y. It is a tough one to pronounce, but this is nevertheless the theme of a conference hosted by the Faculty of Humanities. The interesting thing is that it is led by students.

If you are a humanities student, how often do you talk research over coffee with your friends in food science? Or grab a beer with the landscape architects while discussing the current issues in political science? This group of students are reaching out to you, students from all departments, to discuss the way courses overlap and to create a more vibrant academic environment.

The event, on 30 April, is hosted at the Faculty of Humanities, but is open to everyone. ‘Interdisciplinarity & Coffee’ will comprise of a series of short talks by students and keynote speakers, followed by a workshop session, referred to as ‘Interdisciplinarity & Beer’.

Forge your own connections

The organisers say that speakers and attendees will discuss the way their own research crosses into different fields.

”The idea is to discuss how to make the university a place that encourages interdisciplinarity, and pinpoint the intersections between different departments. We plan to create a report out of these ideas and present it to the university,” explains Maria Loroño Leturiondo, one of the organisers.

So what is ‘interdisciplinarity’? For many students, the unpronouncable word is something that just turns up in trendy academic papers. But students of Cognition and Communication, one of the University of Copenhagen’s youngest masters programmes, feel it should be a bigger part of their everyday studies. Despite the variety of courses within the programme, not much effort is made within the class to connect them, according to Maria.

”Students are left to make the connections within their own work, because the lecturers won’t in class. It looks like our university lacks the ability to make a truly interdisciplinary Master’s course,”

Positive response from the faculty

The Interdisciplinarity Conference is not alone in the effort to create points of contact between students at UCPH. See our University Post report on the Chamber of Clandestine Knowledge group at KUA.

The aim of this conference is to get the administration itself to take notice. So far, this seems to be working.

”The reactions we have received from people in our department have been very positive, they are forwarding us to other departments and encouraging us to get the whole faculty involved,” says Maria.

Submit abstracts here

Students courageous enough to deliver a 10-minute paper on the rewards and difficulties of interdisciplinarity in their research are invited to deliver a 100-word abstract to the event organizers by 13 April. Abstracts can be submitted here.

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