Ten Years of Interdisciplinary Humanities

This is an Archive of a Past Event

A Festkonferenz in Honor of Lanier Anderson, JP Daughton, and the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in the Humanities

Roundtable Panels of current and former Mellon fellows will lead open discussions the following questions facing the humanities today

10:00 – Introduction and Welcome

Caroline Winterer, Director, Stanford Humanities Center

10:15am to 10:40am - Panel 1 - What is a humanistic question?

What is the nature of question formation in your discipline and how is it changed by interdisciplinarity? Can we speak of a general, if shifting, set of guiding questions (or problems, difficulties) central to the humanities or to humanistic study? How have key questions of the humanities changed from the recent or more remote past to the present? How might they change in the future?

11:00 am to 11:40 - Panel 2 - What is a humanistic answer?

What counts as humanistic knowledge? What does finding an answer or solution consist in or amount to, and by what methods do we get there, when we get there? How do the humanities deal with the search for truth?

11:40 am to 12:00 pm - Break - Coffee/Tea

12:00 pm to 12:40 pm - Panel 3 - What is interdisciplinarity today?

Is there any field that is no longer interdisciplinary, and if so what is the fate of “the discipline”? What differing demands do professional and scholarly contexts place on interdisciplinarity? In what ways might we reflecting in a serious way about the nature of the disciplines themselves, as well as possible interactions and cross-disciplinary fertilization? Are there particular interactions between humanistic disciplines that are especially fruitful, or conversely, especially dangerous for their potential to produce misunderstanding, given the current state of humanities disciplines?

Break for Lunch

2 pm to 2:40 pm - Panel 4 - What kind of transformative change can we produce within the confines of the academy?

What problems are most pressing to the humanities now? What counts as a revolutionary idea, method, or discourse? What impact does change in scholarly ideas within the academy have on the world at large?

2:45 pm to 3:25 pm - Panel 5 - How can humanistic inquiry be put to work beyond the academy?

What is the place of the humanities in the public? What is the work of the public intellectual? And how does public intellectual work also shape discourse within the academy? How can work in the humanities change the world, and what leadership is needed to do so?

3:25 pm to 3:45 pm Coffee Break

3:45 pm to 4:45 pm - Reflections on the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in the Humanities

R. Lanier Anderson and JP Daughton, Co-Directors

4:45 pm to 5 pm - Closing thoughts


Eli Alshanetsky (Stanford University); Anne Austin (Stanford University); Rebekah Baglini (Stanford University); Heather Brink-Roby (Stanford University); Sarah Carey (McGraw-Hill Education); Frederick Clark (New York University); Willie Costello (Stanford University); Jorah Dannenberg (Stanford University); Julie Draskoczy (Jewish Community HS of the Bay); Kate Elswit (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama); Brendan Fay (Eastern Michigan University); Shana Goldin-Perschbacher (Temple University); Danielle Heard (University of California Davis); Patrick Iber (University of Texas at El Paso); Alvan Ikoku (Stanford University); Alexandra Kieffer (Rice University); Minku Kim (Chinese University of Hong Kong); Shawon Kinew (Stanford University); Jamie Kreiner (University of Georgia); Anton Matytsin (Kenyon College); Alan Mikhail (Yale University); Peter O’Connell (University of Georgia); Aileen Robinson (Stanford University); Luca Scholz (Stanford University); Will Shearin (University of Miami); Edith Sheffer (Stanford University); Sixiang Wang (Stanford University); Karen Zumhagen-Yekplé (Tulane University)