Conducting Interdisciplinary Research in Modern Languages. Towards ‘Common Ground’ and ‘Integration’’

Janice Carruthers*, Linda Fisher

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article explores interdisciplinary working in Modern Languages, drawing on recent theoretical reflection on interdisciplinarity and in particular on the notions of ‘integration’ and ‘common ground’. It is based on the experience of interdisciplinary working in a large project entitled ‘Multilingualism. Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies’ (MEITS), one of the Open World Research Initiative projects, led by Wendy Ayres-Bennett (Principal Investigator) and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. After a discussion of interdisciplinary theory and a brief outline of the project and its research questions, the core of the paper explores the process of interdisciplinary research. This involves consideration of how a large research team, with disciplinary perspectives that range from entirely qualitative to strongly quantitative, can approach core concepts in a way that seeks common ground and attempts to build an integrated response to the project’s overarching research questions. The article includes discussion of challenges and tensions as well as benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalModern Languages Open
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2020

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