|Leadership Workshop on “Cultivating Interdisciplinarity: Opportunities for Curriculum, Faculty Development, and Hiring”|
This year’s leadership workshop, “Cultivating Interdisciplinarity: Opportunities for Curriculum, Faculty Development, and Hiring,” will be held at the Annual Meeting in Atlanta on Friday, October 29. Sponsored by the Academic Relations Committee, it continues a three-year sequence of interactive, daylong workshops exploring the implications of the Teagle/AAR White Paper The Religion Major and Liberal Education. The workshop will focus upon the convergence of interdisciplinary opportunities that are emerging within our field and the pressures felt by departments to think about curriculum and hiring in ways that enable larger institutional outcomes. Participants will explore the interdisciplinary shift implicit in the white paper’s advocacy of moving from a seminary model to a comparative model of religious studies. Also, we will address if and how such a shift can encourage teaching and learning in ways that better serve the needs of students while advancing the institution’s core mission. Participants will be invited to examine the implications of such a shift for curriculum, faculty development, and hiring. The workshop will conclude with presentations and discussions about resources and programs that might enable departments to cultivate such interdisciplinarity in meaningful ways within their institutional contexts.
“This workshop is timely because we as a discipline can no longer have solely internal discussions about curriculum and hiring in our current climate in higher education. We must look at institutional strategic plans and needs of students; departments have to be strategic in ways that don’t water down what a new hire brings to the department, but can be more interdisciplinary and address broader institutional goals and objectives,” said Fred Glennon, chair of the Academic Relations Committee.
The interactive workshop will feature several speakers, panelists, and breakout sessions. Richard Carp will open the workshop with a session titled “Cultivating Interdisciplinarity: A Conversation.” Carp is professor of philosophy and religion, interim chair of the department of Foreign Languages and Literature, and past chair of the department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Appalachian State University. He publishes and teaches extensively in the area of interdisciplinary studies. A panel will follow Carp’s workshop exploring the opportunities for curriculum, faculty development, and hiring that the cultivation of interdisciplinarity presents. A breakout session led by members of the Academic Relations Committee immediately follows, which will allow participants to discuss these issues in-depth and in relation to their own contexts. Following lunch, which is provided, panelists will share resources and programs that embody and enable such interdisciplinary approaches. Another breakout session will allow for participation from attendees. The workshop will conclude with a wrap-up plenary and discussion with Carp.
“Our hope is that this workshop will not only continue the conversation begun by the AAR/Teagle Working Group but also extend it to illuminate some best practices for program and faculty development in our varied changing institutional contexts,” Glennon said.
Faculty colleagues in your institution, including chairs, interdisciplinary program directors, faculty in other leadership roles, and deans, are invited to attend this workshop. Chairs may want to bring a team of faculty or send a designated faculty representative. Registration is limited to the first 75 participants. The cost for the workshop is $100, which includes the entire day of sessions, lunch, and readings and/or other resources related to the topic. To sign up for the workshop, log back into the online Annual Meeting registration system and add the workshop; fax in the form on page 10 of the Annual Meeting Program Planner, or call Experient at 1-866-229-2386.
We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta!
The Academic Relations Committee: Fred Glennon, chair, Joseph Favazza, L. DeAne Lagerquist, Steve Young, Rosetta Ross, Edwin David Aponte, and Jack Fitzmier, staff liaison.