Undisciplining Knowledge: Interdisciplinarity as an ideology and as practices


  • Harvey J. Graff Ohio State University




The ubiquitous appearance of the term “interdisciplinary” in recent academic and educational writing suggests that it was rapidly becoming the dominant form of scholarly work. Major newspapers and periodicals created the same impression, especially in their discussion of research on current issues ranging from healthcare, to the environment, and national security.

Author Biography

Harvey J. Graff, Ohio State University

Harvey J. Graff is Professor Emeritus of English and History and the Inaugural Ohio Eminent Scholar in Literacy Studies at The Ohio State University. He is the author of The Literacy Myth: Literacy and Social Structure in the Nineteenth Century City; The Legacies of Literacy: Continuities and Contradictions in Western Society and Culture; Conflicting Paths: Growing Up in America; The Dallas Myth: The Making and Unmaking of an American City; Undisciplining Knowledge: Interdisciplinarity in the Twentieth Century; and Searching for Literacy: The Social and Intellectual Origins of Literacy Studies, among other works. My Life with Literacy: The Continuing Education of a Historian will be published in 2023. He led the development of interdisciplinary programs in a range of institutions, most recently founding and building LiteracyStudies@OSU, a university-wide interdisciplinary initiative. He was president of the Social Science History Association in 2000 for its twenty-fifth anniversary.