L’institutionalisation des disciplines

Projet: L’institutionalisation des disciplines / The Institutionalisation of Disciplines

Coordinatrice : Marilyne Brun 


Nature and place in IDEA’s structure: The institutionalisation of disciplines is a project that will be part of IDEA’s “Théorisation de l’interdisciplinarité” Pôle.


Contributing Members: John Bak, Nelly Graziani, André Kaenel, David Ten Eyck (as well as other IDEA members interested in joining the project)


Period: September 2013 – December 2017

Description: This project seeks to further strengthen IDEA’s theorisation of interdisciplinarity through a focus on the institutionalisation of disciplines. Unlike IDEA’s other projects, which mostly deal with interdisciplinary practice, this project aims to continue IDEA’s reflection on the theory of interdisciplinarity. IDEA’s theorization of interdisciplinarity since 2005 has focused on defining the concept itself as well as the various methodological approaches that it involves. This project proposes to continue the reflection started in 2005 by a focus on the ways in which disciplines have been institutionalised in English-speaking countries. The concept of interdisciplinarity relies on the idea of disciplines, so that a thorough theorisation of the concept necessarily demands an understanding of academic disciplines and of the various ways in which they have been historically and socially constructed. This project therefore proposes to investigate the ways in which disciplines have been progressively integrated into educational institutions, how they have been codified and how the nature of their institutionalisation has affected academic methodology. The project will build on IDEA’s previous work on interdisciplinarity and will aim to call upon the wide variety of specialisations of its members. Possible disciplines of focus include historiography, postcolonial studies, Australian studies, cultural studies, “civilization”, etc., with a view to working comparatively by examining the process of institutionalisation in different contexts (the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, etc.).


Goals & Output: This project will seek to further IDEA’s position as a distinguished center for research on interdisciplinarity (notably as it pertains to the English-speaking world) in France, Europe, and, ultimately attracting scholars from around the world.

The project will begin with a series of round table discussions and seminars intended to encourage cross-disciplinary dialogue and cross-disciplinary theorisation. Organisers will hold an international conference in 2015 (possibly 2016) on the institutionalisation of disciplines to expand its reflection on the question. The international conference will allow the members of the project to discuss their findings with major researchers in the field and to improve, through the unique interaction made possible by the format of a conference, IDEA’s reflection on interdisciplinarity.

The project will involve two main publications. First, it will aim to publish a selection of papers from the international conference organized in 2015 or 2016. Its second goal will be to generate an edited work in English on the institutionalisation of disciplines with chapters authored by members of IDEA and a few internationally-recognised scholars in the field. IDEA members who are part of the project could each contribute a chapter that analyses the institutionalisation of their field of research. Each chapter will engage with the general argument of the edited book. The major advantage of such an edited book will be to avoid the pitfall of heterogeneity in edited books, which can at times lack general coherence and only offer a series of disparate chapters. The exact schedule remains to be determined, and will be established in 2013.


Potential partners & Funding possibilities: Once this project is approved by IDEA, project directors will approach potential partners in France, Europe and the English-speaking world and investigate funding possibilities for its publications.