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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Friday, June 10, 2016

Baseball

My cousin Richard taught me an important lesson when we were teenagers. He is a year older and follows sports avidly. When I casually mentioned to him that I followed baseball, he asked me if I knew who was in first, second, third place, etc... in the American League East, National League West... There were 24 teams at the time, in four divisions. I did not really "follow baseball," it turned out, because all I knew was how a few teams at the top of the standings were doing, not the exact ranking of these twenty-four teams. He wasn't being mean, and wasn't even trying to teach me a crucial lesson, but I learned one from him.

So no, you aren't doing interdisciplinary work if you've read one or two anthropology or psychology articles.A teenage boy can follow baseball as well as anyone else with no special training, and can spot a dilettante instantly.

3 comments:

profacero said...

Worse, you aren't being interdisciplinary when you illustrate a literary work with a related painting, etc. I thought interdisciplinary meant you were to bring the perspective of two disciplines to bear on something, meaning you had to have real training in both, etc., but now people seem to be talking about breaking down disciplinary boundaries, transgressing them, the falsity of them, etc. -- I mistrust this because it serves the objective of making one hire instead of two, but is there something valid to it?

Jonathan said...

There could be a vague no person's land of the humanities where everyone does something vaguely humanistic but without any discipline to it at all. You could talk about everything, film or the media or any form of popular culture, everything in a kind of vague sociological or "cultural" way, but not bringing to bear the insights of any discipline in particular.

Leslie said...

That is what book clubs and such are, I think