What is Interdisciplinarity, and Why is the Artistic Lens so Important?

Placing the Arts at the Heart of the Creative Campus, a paper by Alan S. Brown and Steven J. Tepper, Ph.D, takes stock of the Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program, a six-year, $3.5 million grant initiative administered by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the national service organization for performing arts presenters, with funding support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The overall goal of the program was to support exemplary campus-based performing arts presenters in developing programs and strategies beyond conventional practice that integrate their work across the academy, with the ultimate goal of elevating the role of the arts in academic life.

Within the academy, there is a growing awareness of the need to rethink our approach to knowledge and creativity. Many believe that academic and intellectual silos are simply not up to the task of meeting and addressing the pressing economic, social, and scientific challenges we face. The creativity and innovation necessary to solve non-routine problems requires interdisciplinarity. Moreover, new technologies drive opportunities for exchange across disciplines that were not possible in the past. And, student learning and engagement thrive when teaching is organized around student interests and real world problems rather than narrow disciplinary perspectives.

Read the section about interdisciplinarity ›