The Paradox of Inter/Disciplinarity: A Rethinking of the Politics of Inter/Disciplinarity and ‘Women’s and Gender Studies’ for the Current Moment

  • Karen Ella McCallum School of Advanced Study, University of London
  • Felicia Rahaman McMaster University
  • Haley Turnbull M.A. Gender Studies and Feminist Research, McMaster University; B.A. History and Political Science, University of Toronto
Keywords: Pedagogy, Interdisciplinarity, WGS Graduate Program

Abstract

Abstract
In this paper, we argue that Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) should be embraced and acknowledged as a discipline. This is premised on two contentions: that disciplines are arbitrarily differentiated and that couching WGS in the mystique of interdisciplinarity serves to marginalize the study of issues pertinent to gender, women, and feminisms in comparison to other topics. We maintain that WGS is disciplinary, but we also highlight the importance of multi- and interdisciplinary partnerships and research.

Résumé
Dans cet article, nous faisons valoir que les études des femmes et du genre doivent être acceptées et reconnues comme une discipline. Cet argument est basé sur deux assertions : que les disciplines font l’objet d’une distinction arbitraire et que la présentation des études des femmes et du genre dans la mystique de l’interdisciplinarité ne fait que marginaliser l’étude des enjeux pertinents au genre, aux femmes et au féminisme, comparativement à d’autres disciplines. Nous soutenons que les études des femmes et du genre sont disciplinaires, mais nous mettons aussi en évidence l’importance des partenariats et des recherches multidisciplinaires et interdisciplinaires.

Author Biographies

Karen Ella McCallum, School of Advanced Study, University of London

Karen McCallum is a second-generation Canadian settler and scholar interested in issues of Indigenous governance and sovereignty, critical settler studies, gender and feminism, and female embodiment and work. She is an MPhil/ PhD candidate at the University of London, School of Advanced Study in the Human Rights Consortium, studying Human Rights with a focus on decolonial potentialities for settler and Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Felicia Rahaman, McMaster University

Felicia Rahaman is a scholar whose research interests include the construction of gender roles and stereotypes through language in television and film, feminist legal theory, and issues concerning sex and gender in organizational settings with a focus on occupational sex segregation, and gender pay equity. She is currently working at the YWCA, Durham.

 

Haley Turnbull, M.A. Gender Studies and Feminist Research, McMaster University; B.A. History and Political Science, University of Toronto

Haley Turnbull is a Feminist scholar and activist living in Vancouver, BC. Her research focuses primarily on the lack of feminist, anti-oppressive quantitative teaching and content in Canadian Gender Studies programs. She sits on the executive of the Women’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes (WGSRF), and runs The Scarlet Woman, a feminist blog.

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Published
2015-09-30