The Working Group has several aims: to question the meaning of the term interdisciplinarity, and to explore the possibilities it can–or cannot–afford to medievalists; to promote the community of medievalists across disciplines both within and outside Notre Dame; to provide graduate students wide-ranging exposure to important methods and trends in scholarship, as well as models for how and to what extent interdisciplinary can be pursued within the demands of the single-discipline department; to allow graduate students an opportunity to explore ideas and methods with esteemed scholars in an informal setting, along with the possibility to receive feedback on their own work.
The format of the Working Group is designed to meet the above goals. Meeting monthly, each session will feature at least two speakers from different disciplines, typically one faculty member and one graduate student. Each speaker presents for twenty to thirty minutes on the same broad topic or problem, highlighting the insights and approaches that the different disciplines can bring to the question at hand. The presentations will be followed by a discussion among the speakers and the audience. Speakers are asked to circulate either a copy of their talk and/or a text or image before the meeting in order to facilitate discussion. Following the session, we invite speakers and all attendees to continue the conversation over dinner at a local restaurant (on us!). Above all, the Working Group is meant to be informal and convivial, emphasizing dialogue and collegiality.