• [A monopath is]…a person with a narrow mind, a one-track brain, a bore, a super-specialist, an expert with no other interests–in other words the role-model of choice in the Western world.”

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Post-Disciplinarity: Student Expectations

  • September 15, 2014
  • By a2ru      
Students in higher education don’t see the world in single disciplines; this shapes interdisciplinary expectations.


Dr. Tara McPherson is an Associate Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where she is also Director of Undergraduate Studies. Reflecting on students’ expectations when it comes to disciplinarity, McPherson argues that “none of them see the world in single disciplines. They have come of age in a generation with access to lots of arts and media, in formal and informal ways, through digital technology that I’m not sure students had 10 years ago.”

In addition to this exposure McPherson says that students, “don’t see any use for the kinds of artificial boxes the university has been divided into…They see connections across things that we might think of as artistic expression and analytical experiences…I’d like them to be able to come into colleges that don’t beat that out of them, but instead give it some depth and rigor, and help them make those sorts of connections.”

The research videos produced for a2ru’s YouTube channel are provided courtesy of ArtsEngine at the University of Michigan, and are the products of an ongoing research project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.