td-conference 2009

Forging Collective Concepts, Methods and Practices - Changing Structures
> 19 - 21 November 2009, University of Berne, Switzerland


Programme & abstract booklet (pdf)

This is the second of a series of annual conferences dedicated to practices, methodologies and epistemologies of inter- and transdisciplinary research and teaching. The first conference focussed on the theme of PROBLEM FRAMING (see td-conference 2008) as a decisive and determining initial phase of the research process. This year’s theme is INTEGRATION (see voices of the community). Very broadly speaking, integration refers to the process of relating experience- and research-based knowledge and perspectives of academic and non-academic experts and stakeholders involved in the project. Such integration can be more or less targeted to an overall synthesis, ranging from mutual exchange and learning about different values, standpoints and approaches to jointly developing a theoretical understanding or a quantitative model of the issue at stake. Integration cuts across the whole research process, from problem framing and problem analysis to bringing results to fruition/implementation. The status of integration as one of the core elements of inter- and transdisciplinarity explains why the label „Integrative Studies“ often figures as a synonym for inter- and transdisciplinary research.

By not only transgressing disciplinary boundaries but including knowledge from academic and non-academic experts, an approach to integration has to support two major integrative moves: first, academic expert knowledge has to be linked to non-academic expert knowledge in ways that are conducive to problem solving and, second, the specific knowledge from highly specialised disciplines has to be made accessible and transferable to concrete life-world contexts.

There haven’t been many attempts to develop a structured, systemic and comparative approach to integration concepts and methods in order to facilitate the successful fulfilment of these principle tasks. The major aims of the td-conference 2009 are therefore:
to learn about practical experiences of integrating concepts, methods and practices from research and teaching on issues of gender, health, environment, new technologies or science-and-literature/arts, among others;
to self-reflectively address the norm, values and institutional factors that drive and enable or hinder integrative frameworks;
to present and critically discuss theoretical, conceptual and methodological models and ‚tool kits’ for integration;
to collectively forge theories, concepts and practices to integration in inter- and transdisciplinary research.

In order to provide common reference points and frameworks, we will compile a list of bibliographical references as recommended preparatory reading. (pdf not available yet, in preparation)

The conference includes plenary keynotes, a panel, workshops, and paper sessions.

In the keynote lectures invited experts from Switzerland and abroad will address the theme of integration in different research fields, illustrating specific theoretical and methodological issues with case studies.

A panel will join experts from gender studies and discuss what this field could learn from the inter- and transdisciplinary projects presented at the conference so far and where, in turn, gender studies can substantially contribute to the further development of inter- and transdisciplinarity in research and teaching in general.

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