Academic work has long been divided according to disciplines, which can be considered as the major reference frame of the university. Despite this long-lasting management of scientific activities, many researchers consider such a frame a contrived constraint, especially since scientific objects themselves proceed from the defining of a specific problematic, to which a proper methodology is to be applied to solve it. The uneasiness surrounding the debate on disciplines is increased by two factors: their growing fragmentation into subdisciplines and the rise of the new paradigms of trans- and interdisciplinarity within all research fields.
The research seminar Between Disciplines and Areas aims at discussing this development through the presentation of the research with which scholars of IMS and the French Research Center in Humanities and Social Sciences (CEFRES) are engaged. Indeed, they are used to working within two frames: the area (or “territory”), which places the research object in a specific context, and the discipline, which constitutes the theoretical backbone of the inquiry. Traditionally area and discipline are divided along the line drawn between empirical and theoretical approaches. This border prompts two main questions: To what extent does a theoretical frame fit to objects in context? And on the other hand, can empirical outcomes provide a more comprehensive understanding?
These are some of the questions that will be addressed at our seminar. By presenting their research in situ, scholars are invited to reflect upon the connection between their discipline(s), object and research field. They should therefore elaborate on the methodological inputs and theoretical framework of their researches.