The Brackenridge fellowship is well-known for its emphasis on interdisciplinary research and collaboration between individuals of different educational backgrounds. It’s my hope that through my cohort and exposure to those outside of my discipline that I am able to learn how to effectively communicate my research to a variety of audiences with varying degrees of prior understanding. Beyond my future in research, the ability to effectively communicate a message to a large array of people is a truly indispensable skill.
Within my cohort the research being done varied quite a bit in a variety of ways. I found very little in common between my research and the research being done by my other cohort members. A lot of their research had some aspect of literary analysis and seemed to be much more subjective than my own. However, there is a small portion of my own work that requires a literary review where I must review related papers and publications to my own research to draw inspiration for methodology, interpretation, and guiding my own research questions.
I was quite interested in Michael’s research which he described as an attempt to demonstrate that nihilism hasn’t laid its claim on as much of society as many believe. He says he will address his claim through literary analysis and cultural observations. I think I found so much interest in his research because I feel as though that nihilism has skyrocketed in popularity and I’m interested in his perspective.
One of the greatest benefits to working with people across disciplines is the access to differing points of view that you gain as a result. There may be an individual with a certain background who is able to point out an experimental flaw that you may have never seen because you simply didn’t have the perspective to recognize the issue. By surrounding yourself with others with different thought processes than your own, you effectively increase your ability to understand and solve issues. However, it may not be extremely simple to work with those outside of your own discipline as learning how to explain your area of expertise to those unfamiliar with it may pose a challenge if it is not something you have made a concerted effort to do.