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​NTU and Sorbonne Universities Joint Workshop ​

Published on: 13-May-2016

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Through Time and Space: Synergies in Science, Thought and Culture
INTERDISCIPLINARITIES – the second series of workshops jointly organised by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Sorbonne Universities to be held at NTU on 2 to 4 June 2016 – explores, through its presentations of cross-boundary research, practice, and findings, two key concerns – the concept of ‘interdisciplinarity’ and recent developments at knowledge’s continually expanding and impinging frontiers. Participants speak from their expertise in diverse fields, such as the visual arts, literature, history, philosophy, sociology, the behavioural sciences, medicine, history of science; and render through the disruptions, collisions, and collaborations of disciplines the dynamic and challenging work of the interdisciplinary.
[I]nterdisciplinarity which is today held up as a prime value in research cannot be accomplished by the simple confrontation of specialist branches of knowledge. Interdisciplinarity is not the calm of an easy security; it beginseffectively (as opposed to the mere expression of a pious wish) when the solidarity of the old disciplines breaks down -- perhaps even violently, via the jolts of fashion -- in the interests of a new object and a new language neither of which has a place in the field of the sciences that were to be brought peacefully together, this unease in classification being precisely the point from which it is possible to diagnose a certain mutation.              
Roland Barthes, ‘From Work to Text’ (De l’oeuvre au texte)
Roland Barthes’ comments, originally published in Revue d’esthetique in 1971, are a salutary reminder still of the ‘prime value’ of interdisciplinarity and the difficulties attendant upon this research field. Interdisciplinarity, as the ambivalences in the statement attest to, is not ‘an easy security’ but is arrived at through the breaking down -- ‘perhaps even’ violent breaking down -- of the ‘old disciplines’; it seeks ‘a new object and a new language’ that have no place in the ‘old disciplines’ and have yet to find their place in the new research; it holds out the promise of a ‘certain’ mutation with the term ‘certain’ bearing the double notions of ‘affirmation’ and ‘vague possibility’.
 Revisiting Barthes in her 1996 study, Interdisciplinarity: History, Theory, and Practice, Julie Thompson Klein concurs that ‘interdisciplinarity’ is a term ‘almost inherently contradictory’, taking in ‘both the historical quest of unified knowledge … and the latest developments at knowledge’s ever-expanding frontiers’. At the same time, through a comprehensive and detailed exposition of a wide range of cross-boundary work, she leaves the reader in no doubt that, since the last century, ‘interdisciplinarity has developed from an idea into a complex set of claims, activities, and structures. It has become a challenge to orthodoxy and a force of change’.
2 June 2016, Thursday
Registration and Opening of the Workshops
Keynote and panel speeches on Interdisciplinary Topics
Theatre @ the Nest
NTU Innovation Centre (Block 1)
16 Nanyang Drive
Singapore 637722
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3 June 2016, Friday
Keynote and panel speeches on CMI, NTU & SU cotutelle
Nanyang Technopreneurship Centre
Harvard-Inspired Room
50 Nanyang Drive
Singapore 637553
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4 June 2016, Saturday
Keynote and panel speeches on Heritage, Culture and Complexity
HSS Conference Room
Level 5, HSS-05-57
NTU School of Humanities and Social Sciences
14 Nanyang Drive
Singapore 637332
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-  Sorbonne Universités, France
-  College of Engineering, NTU Singapore
-  College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, NTU Singapore
-  College of Science, NTU Singapore


You can register for the Workshops from the link here.

Should you have any questions regarding accommodation and registration, please contact 
the Workshops Secretariat

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