The Institutionalisation of Disciplines


  • Publication of Somerset, Richard, and Matthew Smith, eds. Mapping Fields of Study: The Cultural and Institutional Space of English Studies. Nancy : Presses universitaires de Nancy – Editions Universitaires de Lorraine, 2019.
  • 16 November 2018: Half-day conference entitled “Literary Instruction in Britain and France: Historical Heritage, Contemporary Challenges”. With guest speakers Marie Baudry (Université de Lorraine), Josephine Guy (University of Nottingham), Greg Kerr (University of Glasgow), William McKenzie (Université de Lorraine) and Marie-Pierre Pouly (Université de Limoges).



  • 26 June 2018: “Madame de Staël ou l’invention des littératures nationales en Europe: premières approches”. Marie Baudry (Université de Lorraine).
  • 11 June 2018: Half-day research workshop entitled “Recherche et enseignement: au delà des disciplines”, followed by a round table “La recherche en LEA”. ANLEA Annual Congress, 11-13 June 2018. Université de Lorraine.
  • 16-17 April 2018: partner in Strasbourg University’s “Ordering Knowledge: From Bacon to the Shelleys” international conference.


2016-2017 Seminar Series: 

  • Friday 9th June, 1-6pm: Half-day workshop entited “Les études ‘régionales’: émergence, institution, évolutions” (‘Regional’ Studies: emergence, institution, evolutions), with guest speakers Stéphanie Bory (études galloises), Jean Casenave (études basques), Erwan Hupel (études celtiques), Hervé Le Bihan (études celtiques) and Sarah Mohamed-Gillard (études du Pacifique francophone).

2016 International Conference in Nancy: “Mapping Fields of Study: Renegotiations of Disciplinary Spaces in the English-Speaking World

2014-2015 Seminar Series:

  • 27th April 2015: “Pigeons and Prejudice: Notes on the Social Conditioning of
    Knowledge,” Philip Riley (Emeritus, Université de Lorraine).

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  • 6th March 2015: “(Re)configurations of Disciplines in the Victorian Era and Beyond”. Joint Pôle 1/Pôle 2 (Théorisation de l’interdisciplinarité / Public History) workshop: plenary lecture by guest speaker Laurence Talairach, papers by Richard Somerset and Matthew Smith, round table on disciplinary reconfigurations.

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  • 20th November 2014: “‘Secular Spirituality’ and the Institutionalisation of English as a Discipline from the Late 18th to Early 20th Centuries”, Matthew Smith, 6-8pm, Room A168, CLSH.

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Previous Activities of the Project:

  • 2013-2014 Seminar Series
    • 14th March 2014, Discussion Session.
    • 17th December 2013, Guest Speaker Seminar: Jennifer Rutherford, “The Collective Zombie”.
    • 5th November 2013, First round table seminar.

Information about the project: 

Period: September 2013 – December 2017

Project Director: Marilyne Brun

Core Team: Vanessa Boullet, Matthew Smith, Richard Somerset

This project seeks to extend IDEA’s theorisation of interdisciplinarity through a reflection on the institutionalisation of disciplines. While a number of IDEA’s projects successfully focus on interdisciplinary practice, this project rather focuses on the theorisation of interdisciplinarity. IDEA’s theorization of the notion since 2005 has focused on defining the concept as well as the various methodological approaches that it involves. This project proposes to continue the reflection started in 2005 through a focus on the ways in which disciplines have been institutionalised in English-speaking countries. Understanding, analysing and theorising the concept of interdisciplinarity necessitates a thorough theorisation of the various ways in which disciplines have been historically and socially constructed. The 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 pattern of their institutionalisation has affected academic methodology.