Special Issue Editors' Introduction

  • Bruce Janz University of Central Florida
  • Tamara Seiler University of Calgary

Abstract

University: A place in which a civilization's knowledge is divided up into exclusive territories. The principal occupation of the academic community is to invent dialects sufficiently hermetic to prevent knowledge from passing between territories. By maintaining a constant flow of written material among the specialists of each group they are able to assert the acceptable technique of communication intended to prevent communications. This in turn establishes a standard which allows them to dismiss those who seek to communicate through generally accessible language as dilettantes, deformers or popularizers.1

Interdisciplinarity is another term fast fading from the higher education lexicon. It was always more a feature of the discourse of higher education than of its practice; but now it is disappearing even from the language of the higher education community. Sporadic attempts have been made to breathe life back into the idea but the task is now fruitless. The world of higher education has moved on and, with it, the idea of interdisciplinarity has almost disappeared.2

Author Biographies

Bruce Janz, University of Central Florida

Bruce Janz janzb@mail.ucf.edu is an Associate Professor of Humanities in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Central Florida. His Ph.D is in Philosophy, and is from the University of Waterloo. His areas of research include contemporary continental philosophy, African philosophy, and the concept of place across the disciplines. Currently he is completing a book called Philosophy as if Place Mattered: Hermeneutics and Contemporary African Philosophy. For eight years he was the director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Liberal Arts (CIRLA), at Augustana University College in Camrose Alberta. Currently he is the Director of the Humanities Program at UCF. He was a co-chair of the organizing committee for Paradigms Lost and Paradigms Gained: Negotiating Interdisciplinarity in the Twenty-First Century.

Tamara Seiler, University of Calgary

Tamara Palmer Seiler tseiler@ucalgary.ca is an Associate Professor in the University of Calgary's Faculty of Communication and Culture. Educated in the United States and Canada in the fields of American and Canadian literature and history, she received an MA from York University and a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta. Specializing in fiction about the experiences of immigrants and ethnic minorities in Canada, she has also written more generally on immigration and ethnic diversity in Canada, has co-authored two books on Alberta history, as well as articles on Alberta politics and culture, and co-edited an anthology of Alberta prose. Currently President of the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association, she co-chaired the organizing committee for Paradigms Lost and Paradigms Gained: Negotiating Interdisciplinarity in the Twenty-First Century.