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03 JANUARY 2013

The Value of Culture: Two Cultures

"Melvyn Bragg considers the 150–year history of the Two Cultures debate. In 1959 the novelist C.P. Snow delivered a lecture in Cambridge suggesting that intellectual life had become divided into two separate cultures: the arts and the humanities. The lecture is still celebrated for the furore it provoked – but Snow was returning to a battleground almost a century old. Melvyn Bragg visits the old Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, scene of many of modern science's greatest triumphs, to put the Two Cultures debate in its historical context – and Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, reveals the influence the Two Cultures debate had on his development as a scientist."

(Melvyn Bragg, 2013)

"The Value of Culture: Two Cultures", Radio broadcast, Episode 3 of 5, Duration: 42 minutes, First broadcast: Wednesday 02 January 2013, Presenter/Melvyn Bragg, Producer/Thomas Morris for the BBC Radio 4, UK.

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TAGS

1959 • all matters which most concern us • American education • American schools • artistic intellectuals • arts and humanitiesarts education • British education • C P Snow • Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge • Charles Percy Snow • civilisationClassicalclassicscommerce • cultural agenda • cultural high ground • cultureCulture and Anarchydisciplinary protectionism • editorial control • education system • elites • experimental teachingF R Leavis • free thought • German education • German schools • GreekH G Wellshabitshigh culture • illiteracy of scientists • intellectual life • John Tyndall • knowledgeLatin • literary intellectuals • manufacturingmaterialismMatthew ArnoldMelvyn Braggmodern sciencemodern society • Paul Nurse • quality of education • Rede Lecture • reliable official knowledge • Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts Manufactures and Commerce • RSA • schoolingsciencesciences and humanitiesscientific age • scientific culture • scientific education • scientific naturalism • scientific revolution • scientific teaching • scientists • Second Law of Thermodynamics • shared languagesocial class • speaking the same language • stock notions • study of perfection • technological culture • technology • the best which has been thought and said in the world • the classics • The Value of Culture (radio) • Thomas Huxley • traditional culturetwin pillarstwo cultures • Two Cultures debate • two separate cultures

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 MAY 2011

Disciplinary Identities: Professional Writing, Rhetorical Studies, and Rethinking 'English'

"In his concept of 'disciplinary boundary–work,' sociologist Thomas Gieryn offers a useful lens through which to examine the controversies that arose within our department (see also David Russell's discussion of boundary work in the composition/literature split). According to Gieryn, a discipline's representatives strategically shape its boundaries by means of discourse: they articulate the discipline's mission in a certain way, they define a set of characteristic problems to coincide with the discipline's methodologies, they articulate collective values, and they engage in other practices to widen the discipline's scope and strengthen its resources. In Gieryn's approach, the epistemological, ontological, and practical relationship between a discipline and the surrounding culture is interpreted according to a cartographic metaphor. Gieryn employs this familiar metaphor to explain that a discipline relates to other disciplines, and to larger systems of knowledge and activity, in the same manner as a geographic territory relates to neighboring territories and to the larger land mass that encloses it. Furthermore, the relationships between neighboring territories strongly influence the overall health, power, and legitimacy of the involved territories. As such, it is helpful to know how the boundaries between territories are formulated and how they share resources.

What's up for grabs in boundary conflicts is not just traditional 'resources' (such as faculty lines, research funds, courses, and students), but also control over representations of the discipline's central problems, concepts, and methods – that is, the 'rhetorical resources' that disciplines create and maintain in order to solidify their boundaries. Contests over the department's undergraduate curriculum have the potential to shape not only very practical matters like hiring priorities and new course creation, but also the distribution of rhetorical resources – namely, formulations of 'English' as a discipline. One of the primary rhetorical resources in this case is control over the names assigned to different programmatic elements – concentrations, degrees, and so on – of the department."

(Brent Henze, Wendy Sharer and Janice Tovey, 2010, p.70)

Russell, David R. 'Institutionalizing English: Rhetoric on the Boundaries.' Disciplining English: Alternative Histories, Critical Perspectives. Ed. David R. Shumway and Craig Dionne. Albany, NY: SUNY P, 2002. 39–58.

1). Henze, B., W. Sharer, et al. (2010). Disciplinary Identities: Professional Writing, Rhetorical Studies, and Rethinking 'English'. Design Discourse Composing and Revising Programs in Professional and Technical Writing. D. Franke, A. Reid and A. DiRenzo. Fort Collins, Colorado, The WAC Clearinghouse and Parlor Press, LLC. 32.

TAGS

academic disciplinesboundaries • boundaries between territories • boundary conflicts • boundary work • cartographic metaphor • characteristic problems • classification and framingcollective valuescontextually specific practices • contextually specific texts • control over representations • David Russell • disciplinary boundariesdisciplinary classification • disciplinary discourse • disciplinary identities • disciplinary protectionism • disciplinary resources • disciplinary structures • distributing principles • distribution of rhetorical resources • epistemology • geographic territory • hiring priorities • knowledge territorialisationlegitimate scholarly practicesmethodologiesontology • pedagogic codes • pedagogic recontextualising field • professional writing • research funds • rhetorical resources • rhetorical studies • Thomas Gieryn • undergraduate curriculum

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
01 MAY 2011

Digital Libraries as a new discipline formed through the integration of concepts and epistemologies

"For [Erica] Schoenberger, academic disciplines are both an object of study, as well as a method of study. For example, anthropologists study culture through participant observation [Sch01]. Geographers may add place to the criteria that define a discipline; for example, historians study in archives. Forms of discourse, the rhetorical strategies, also vary among the disciplines; some are linguistic, while others are mathematical. Finally, evidence and epistemological commitments define a discipline. For Hurd, disciplinarity is defined by Roy as 'a field of knowledge which some minimum number of universities (say, 12–20) have established in departments labeled with the discipline's name.' [Hur92]. Disciplines are thus constructs as well as ways for controlling knowledge production. Disciplinary cultures produce objects and methods of study, the credentialed practitioners of the discipline, values and ways of knowing, and identities.

'The impact of knowledge on action – whether in the field of social or natural phenomena – forces interaction between the disciplines and even generates new disciplines. The 'inter–discipline' of today is the 'discipline' of tomorrow.' [INT72]. Therefore, proposing and structuring Digital Libraries as an academic inter–discipline is in one sense knowledge fragmentation but it also has the potential for unification. Since interdisciplinarity can be defined as the integration of concepts and epistemologies from different disciplines, digital libraries constitute a problem domain to which both LIS and Computing (among others) contribute. The only relevant question in this context is how can interdisciplinary DL education be truly achieved and disciplinary protectionism battles be avoided [Abb87]? Explicating the nature of the disciplines and professions involved may move us closer to the goal of interdisciplinary DL education."

(Anita Coleman, 2002)

Coleman, A. (July/August 2002). 'Interdisciplinarity: The Road Ahead for Education in Digital Libraries.' D–Lib Magazine 8(7/8).

[Sch01] E. Schoenberger. Interdisciplinarity and Social Power. Progress in Human Geography, 25 (3): 365–382, 2001

[Hur92] J. Hurd. The Future of University Science and Technology Libraries: Implications of Increasing Interdisciplinarity. Science and Technology Libraries, 13 (1): 17–32, Fall 1992.

[INT72] Interdisciplinarity: Problems of Teaching and Research in Universities. Paris, OECD, 1972.

[Abb87] A. Abbott. The System of Professions: An Essay on the Division of Expert Labor. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1987.

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TAGS

academic disciplines • academic inter-discipline • computing • controlling knowledge production • credentialed practitioners • digital librariesdisciplinaritydisciplinary culturesdisciplinary knowledgedisciplinary protectionism • epistemological commitments • Erica Schoenberger • field of knowledge • forms of discourse • integration of concepts • integration of epistemologies • inter-discipline • interdisciplinarity • knowledge fragmentation • knowledge integration • knowledge unification • LIS • methods of study • new disciplines • objects of study • RCA • rhetorical strategies • university discipline • ways of knowing

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
01 MAY 2011

Stop funding Mickey Mouse degrees, says top scientist (a plea to stall the advancement of regionalising discourses)

"A leading scientist has attacked the government for funding students doing 'Mickey Mouse' degrees – and called for the money to be spent on science instead.

Dr Richard Pike, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said degrees in celebrity journalism, drama combined with waste management, and international football business management – all of which exist – should be 'kicked into touch'.

Funds for the courses should be channelled into science degrees and research. ...

Pike said degree courses should reflect the challenges the country will face in the future, rather than an 'ephemeral demand that in 10 years' time will be viewed as a curiosity'. ...

'Funding for the sciences should be ringfenced so that, in effect, it becomes a more dominant component. This is not a question of pleading a special case. Such a move is essential if we are all to enjoy the lifestyle we have become accustomed to, and ensure that we are prepared for the changes that will affect us all in the future.

'We need a population with an enduring set of skills, such as an understanding of the physical world around us, literacy and communication, numeracy, and how to function and continue to learn in a complex society.'"

(Jessica Shepherd, 10 February 2010, guardian.co.uk)

[While Dr Richard Pike is making a noble effort –it is a vain one. His plea is a naive attempt to stall the advancement of regionalising discourses (Bernstein 2000, p.52) as they continue to undermine the authority of the strong classification principles (Bernstein 2000, p.99) of the traditional European Enlightenment university disciplinary model (Nussbaum 1997; Weeks and Glyer 1998). His comments fail to recognise dramatic global technological and sociological changes (Beck, Giddens et al. 1994) which have accelerated the pace of change and whose needs steadily diminish the relevance and potency of traditional scholarly insight.

Beck, U., A. Giddens, et al. (1994). Reflexive Modernization Politics Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Stanford California, Stanford University Press.

Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy Symbolic Control and Identity Theory Research Critique. Oxford, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship Reconsidered Priorities Of The Professoriate. Scholarship Reconsidered Priorities Of The Professoriate. New York, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: 15–16.

Nussbaum, M. (1997). Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press.

Weeks, D. L. and D. Glyer (1998). The Liberal Arts in Higher Education. Challenging Assumptions Exploring Possibilities. Lanham, Maryland, University Press of America.]

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TAGS

Alistair Darling • an enduring set of skills • celebrity journalism • classification principles • complex society • cultural forms • cuts and closures • disciplinary knowledgedisciplinary protectionismDrama with Waste ManagementEuropean Enlightenment • fundamental sciences • fundinghigher educationHigher Education Funding Council for England • international football business management • knowledge regionalisation • leading-edge work • Mickey Mousenumeracyphysical worldpublic money • put the genie back in the bottle • reflexive modernisationregionalisation of knowledge • regionalising discourses • research fundingRichard Pike • ringfencing • Royal Society of Chemistry • RSCscholarshipscience • traditional scholarly endeavour • university degrees • university disciplinary model • vertical discourses • waste management

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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