The College of Arts & Sciences is committed to the idea that education for the 21st century may not in all cases fit neatly in to the "boxes" of traditional academic departments. Rather, some students will require courses of study that are interdisciplinary and multidisicplinary to prepare them for their career choices. The College offers a range of programs to serve these students.
"Interdisciplinarity" means to us that courses and programs offer students access to knowledge from a plurality of disciplines, explicit opportunities to connect seemingly different sorts of knowledge, and tools to provide them with the capacity to solve complex problems employing an array of intellectually exciting and illuminating strategies.
UNF's Venture Studies program -- a pathway through UNF's General Education program -- is strongly interdisciplinary. Interdisciplinary programs of study -- majors and minors -- are listed below. In addition, the College frequently offers other interdisciplinary programming in the form of Transformational Learning Opportunity (TLO) experiences and Study Abroad experiences. We invite you to explore interdisciplinary options with any of the professors listed below or with any Academic Advisor in the College.
If the main reason for interdisciplinary studies is learning about and solving complex problems, other reasons include building your abilities to gather, analyze, and integrate information and thus providing you with the opportunity to gain skills that employers value. Tanya Augsburg (2006), in Becoming Interdisciplinary: An Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies, summarizes previous research by Klein (1990) and Newell (1983) in presenting skills and qualities possessed by students engaged in interdisciplinary studies:
These advantages for individuals grow out of the strengths of an interdisciplinary education:
Augsburg, T. (2006). Becoming interdisciplinary: An introduction to interdisciplinary studies. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing.
Klein, J. T. (1990). Interdisciplinarity: History, theory, and practice. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.
Newell. W.H. (1983). The case for interdisciplinary studies: Response to professor Benson's five arguments. Issues in Integrative Studies 2, 1-19.
Repko, A. (2008). Interdisciplinary research: Process and theory. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
International Studies. This major is currently hosted by the Department of Political Science and Public Administration; it involves many Arts & Sciences departments. Dr. Pam Zeiser is the director of this program.
Religious Studies. This major -- available for the first time in Spring 2012 -- is offered by the Religious Studies Program, housed in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies; core faculty in the program come from Religious Studies and Anthopology & Sociology. Dr. Julie Ingersoll is the director of this program.
Interdisciplinary Studies. The Interdisciplinary Studies major -- formerly known as the Liberal Studies major -- is designed for students who seek to work in fields that fall beyond the borders of a single traditional department. Interdisciplinary Studies offers students the opportunity to work with a faculty mentor to assemble a group of courses from throughout the College of Arts and Sciences, typically culminating in a research project. This major is hosted by the Department of English. Dr. Sam Kimball, Chair of the Department of English, is the director of this program.
African Diaspora/African American Studies. Courses for this program come from a variety of Arts & Sciences departments. Directed by Dr. Tru Leverette of the Department of English
Asian Studies. Courses for this program from a variety of Arts & Sciences departments. Directed by Dr. Harry Rothschild of the Department of History
Classical Civilization. Courses for this program from a variety of Arts & Sciences departments. Directed by Dr. Phil Kaplan of the Department of History
Environmental Studies. Courses for this program from a variety of Arts & Sciences departments. Directed by Dr. Radha Pyati of the Department of Chemistry
Film Studies. Courses for this program from a variety of Arts & Sciences departments. Directed by Dr. Sam Kimball of the Department of English
Gender Studies. Courses for this program from a variety of Arts & Sciences departments. Directed by Dr. Erinn Gilson of the Department of Philosophy and Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
Interdisciplinary Minor. To be directed by Dr. Sam Kimball of the Department of English. The College of Arts & Sciences is developing a minor like the major in Interdisciplinary Studies, where the student, under the direction of a faculty mentor, would construct a set of five courses that would constitute what some call a "Designer Minor."
International Studies. Courses for this program from a variety of Arts & Sciences departments. Directed by Dr. Pam Zeiser of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration
Religious Studies. Courses for this program from a variety of Arts & Sciences departments. Directed by Dr. Julie Ingersoll of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Urban & Metropolitan Studies. Courses for this program from a variety of Arts & Sciences departments. Directed by Dr. Krista Paulsen of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology
All Venture Studies courses are interdisciplinary.
INR4930 International Studies Capstone Seminar
Harry Rothschild (History) is working on an interdisciplinary project (presented this past Feb. in Past and Present Seminar) tentatively titled, "Severing Grandma’s Phallus: Tang Xuanzong’s Symbolic Reclamation and Reassertion of Normative Patriarchal Confucian Values." Investigating the excess zeal with which a young male ruler in 8th century China uprooted and destroyed a 105 foot octagonal Buddhist pillar erected at the very hub of a traditional capital, a phallic monument built by his grandmother Wu Zhao, the only female sovereign in Chinese history, the project draws on a wide variety of sources and disciplines for inspiration including (but not limited to) psychology, gender studies, history, religious studies, ethnic studies, film studies, art history and anthropology.
Scott Brown (Art & Design)
Dale Clifford (History)
David Fenner, Chair (Dean's Office)
Julie Ingersoll (Religious Studies/Philosophy)
Krista Paulsen (Sociology & Anthropology)
Dan Richard (OFE)
Harry Rothschild (History)
Pam Zeiser (Political Science & Public Administration)
Association for Integrative Studies
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