Category: "University / Academia"
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(Link via netbib weblog)
Los Angeles Times / KTLA TV
Teamwork across departmental lines was once a rarity at the nation's most prestigious universities. But the practice, usually known as interdisciplinary research, is spreading rapidly. They are teaming psychologists and anthropologists with economists, laboratory biologists with computer-modeling experts, and scientists who study the brain with humanities professors who explore music and art.
One of the main reasons for the surge in interdisciplinary research is the complexity of today's crucial issues. "For any problem that has some importance today, you find that, really, it doesn't fit neatly into biology or into chemistry or into law" said Roberto Peccei, UCLA's vice chancellor for research.
Still, some experts say, the quality of some interdisciplinary research is questionable. In certain cases in the humanities and social sciences, "interdisciplinary work simply provides a home for misfits, malcontents, those who are anti-disciplines without being pro-anything," said Howard Gardner, a Harvard Graduate School of Education professor studying interdisciplinary trends.
(no longer available online)
Myra Appel and Brita Servaes, Anthropology News (AAA)
Recently libraries have begun to assume another role, that of publisher, and to provide new opportunities for scholars to disseminate their research freely, inexpensively and fairly.
In response to the growing crisis of unsustainable access to scholarly content, the California Digital Library (CDL) developed the eScholarship Repository that offers free access and permanent electronic archiving for working papers and peer-reviewed articles alike. Other institutions, such as Cornell University or Indiana University with its Digital Library of the Commons, have developed similar venues.
Anthropologists have the opportunity to take part in shaping a new culture of sustainable access to scholarly information. In fact, anthropologists with their cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary interests are especially well-poised to take a significant role in charting the directions for change in the systems of scholarly communication. >> continue
An interview, about the current perspective of Central-European and Polish anthropology, with Dr. Marcin Brocki (PhD adjunct professor - Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology - University of Wroclaw, Poland).
- We are surprised how popular ethnology is now. There are almost 200 candidates each year for the study in Wroclaw. It is definitely fashionable discipline. I suppose that it is because of interdisciplinarity of the course, emerging "anthropologization" of humanities and social sciences (especially sociology and philosophy), and also general trend toward searching for more stable structures in our culture.
- People are seeking for something to rely on against globalization, "McDonaldization", "hypermarket" culture, and they usually think of ethnology as a kind of remedy or a good source of alternative knowledge (alternative views). Due to those processes we are observing a growing interest in ethnical issues, ethnic music, roots searching, so that is the reason why students come to us in such a "giant" number.
National Catholic Reporter
American scholars are alarmed by a controversial education bill that would increase government monitoring of federally funded programs in international studies at colleges and universities.
Backers of the bill say it will help restore balance to Middle East studies programs, which they say are overly critical of Israel and of U.S. policy in the Middle East. Opponents say the bill could lead to intrusive investigations of faculty and will undermine the credibility of American scholarship.
The proposed board would have the authority “to study, monitor, apprise and evaluate a sample of activities” to ensure that programs represent “diverse perspectives.”
Although the legislation was born out of the polarized debate about Middle East studies, it will apply to a variety of other academic programs related to international studies, including the study and research of modern languages, area studies and anthropology. >> continue
Cash-strapped British universities are awarding degrees to students who should be failed, in return for lucrative fees, The Observer can reveal. The 'degrees-for-sale' scandal stretches from the most prestigious institutions to the former polytechnics and includes undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, foreign and home students. In the most extreme case, The Observer has evidence of a professor ordering staff to mark up students at risk of failing in order to keep the money coming in.
At Swansea, the government's University Visitor, Phillip Havers QC, is conducting an investigation into why the vice-chancellor had ordered the closure of five traditional departments - chemistry, anthropology, sociology, philosophy and development studies. Staff believe the decision has been made to boost the numbers of foreign students coming to study at the university's new management school on lucrative masters' degrees >>continue