Roderick A. Ferguson: What is Interdisciplinarity?

This talk addresses interdisciplinary fields as occupying a contradictory history within the academy--as both the critics of the institution and its supplicants. Observing this contradictory history, the talk asks what conditions are necessary for increasing interdisciplinarity's critical possibilities. 

Roderick A. Ferguson is a faculty member in the Department of African American Studies and the Gender and Women’s Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the co-director of the Racialized Body research cluster at UIC. Prior to his appointment at UIC, he was professor of race and critical theory in the Department of American Studies at the University of Minnesota, serving as chair of the department from 2009 to 2012. In the fall of 2013, he was the Old Dominion Visiting Faculty for the Council of the Humanities and the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University.

From 2007 to 2010, he was associate editor of the American Studies Association’s flagship journal American Quarterly. He is the co-editor with Grace Hong of the University of Minnesota Press series Difference Incorporated. Also with Hong, he is the co-editor of the anthology Strange Affinities: The Gender and Sexual Politics of Comparative Racialization (2011). In addition, he is the author of We Demand: The University and Student Protests (2017), The Reorder of Things: The University and Its Pedagogies of Minority Difference (2012), Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique (2004), and articles on race, social theory, cultural formations, sexuality, and feminism. He is the president-elect for 2017/2018 of the American Studies Association.

This talk is sponsored by Africana Studies, American Studies, Latina and Latino Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the Davis Center, and the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Monday, September 25 at 4:15pm to 6:00pm

Griffin Hall, 3

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