The theme will be how to navigate field boundaries. We often think of certain areas of inquiry as being the “bread and butter” of a certain field, the questions that a field considers central and attempts to answer. Yet there are many other questions that are asked within a field that might be at the boundaries with other disciplines or that might be asked by a somewhat small number of researchers, at a given time, and thus might be seen as less “central”, in a sense, an interest shared by fewer members of the field. Moreover, what counts as the central questions of a field change over time, as do the approaches a field might take to answering them. The coffee hour on November 15th is going to give us a chance to discuss issues around this topic, in a very informal way.
The format we have in mind is the following: Claire and I will start by sharing some of our personal experiences about situations where our research interests seemed more or less central to the interests of the group we were in. We’ll share how we navigated those situations and what we see as the benefits and difficulties that come with them. Then we’ll invite others to share their experiences, ask questions or bring up issues that they’d like to discuss. Natalie will serve as a moderator, the one who encourages and facilitates the discussion.
We hope that this will be a chance for us to share views and opinions on a set of issues that we might all be interested in and which can affect our choices, in our academic lives. We’ll send out reminders, but please mark your calendars: Monday, November 15th, 4:00-5:00pm. The success of the coffee hour will depend on our collective willingness to share experiences and opinions about these issues.