Sunday, 23 June 2013

Can it really almost be over?

It is hard to believe it is two weeks since we all arrived bleary-eyed in Sheffield. Tomorrow we have the group presentations and then it is all over. I've been so impressed by how everyone has approached this study tour, especially those who have faced personal challenges alongside the intellectual ones… I suspect it will be some time before any of us can really assess just what we have learnt along the way - about Sheffield, about Britain, about our disciplines and working in an interdisciplinary way, and about ourselves!

From people's reactions about the interdisciplinary nature of the subject - especially from those who have felt it has been weighted towards 'one' discipline (and perspectives on which one have varied!) - I have started to ponder what makes it possible to work in an 'interdisciplinary' fashion. Do we actually need to feel confident and comfortable in 'our' discipline before we can branch out and start to see how this might be interrelated with other areas? Or is it just harder to 'do' some disciplines on this kind of tour? Do some disciplines just 'go' together more easily? I feel like I have learnt a lot from having students from so many different areas - it has been great speaking to the archaeologists for example, who see things in quite a different way. And in Manchester Art Gallery, the Arts students were really in their natural habitat! I'm looking forward to seeing how the mixed discipline groups have tackled their presentations tomorrow.

My biggest regret is simply not having had enough time!  Oh for another few hours in the Haworth sunshine… And if only we could have squeezed in Castle Howard and a proper trip to Saltaire … and the English seaside…

- Emma Robertson (Lecturer in History)  

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