Plenary sessions

At ITD24 we will have the honor to welcome several internationally renowned speakers to hold a keynote address or other plenary session. On this page you read more about them and the topic for their talks. In the coming months we will announce more speakers.

Confirmed plenary speakers

Mieke Bal

Inter-ships: On Being In-Between in Cultural, Disciplinary, Subjective and Medial Encounters 

Read full abstract below

Panel with Rick Szostak

Commonalities and Divergences in Inter/Transdisciplinary Thought

Read more about this panel below

Plenary #3

Will be announced soon

Plenary #4

Will be announced soon

Inter-ships: On Being In-Between in Cultural, Disciplinary, Subjective and Medial Encounters 

Mieke Bal
Respondent: Frédéric Darbellay

The differences between cultures and media, which I take for granted, are less important to me than the way they connect – let’s say, inter-connect. This is why I use the preposition “inter-” rather than “trans-“. I have coined the generalizing term “inter-ship” as an encountering way of merging that never leaves the items involved as they were before. Hence, transformation is key to all inter-ships. But I keep the preposition “trans-” in mind for the idea of transgression: overstepping boundaries. For, all forms of inter-ship involve transgressions of boundaries. The result of this combination of encountering and transgressing can become clear in many interdisciplinary analyses and practices, whether done by scholars or by artists. An instructive artistic example is the Indian artist Nalini Malani, one of the most productive creators of politically powerful, activating art. She makes her viewers think, animated as they are by the experience of her work. And the thinking propels advances, ameliorations; hence, progress. Activating, thus, is the best result of such interships. Between Asia and Europe, Malani blends culturally specific items, such as myths, painting styles, stories, and traditions. None of these remain the same. One intership will always impact on the previous situation. This also holds for more practical work.

I will argue for interdisciplinarity in scholarship and skills in particular in order to advocate the recognition of the importance, academic and otherwise, of leaving dogmatic methodologies behind, not necessarily rejecting them but making them less dominant, in favour of the enriching potential of inter-ships that enable the participation of creativity in what we already know, or think we know. 

Mieke Bal is a cultural theorist, critic, video artist, and curator. She has published over 40 books. Her view of interdisciplinary analysis in the Humanities and Social Sciences is expressed in what she has termed “cultural analysis” and through “travelling concepts”.
(photo: Lena Verhoeff)

Frédéric Darbellay is Full professor in Inter- and Transdisciplinary Studies at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), Head of the Inter- and Transdisciplinarity Unit at the Center for Children’s Rights Studies (CIDE) and the CIDE Deputy Director. 

Commonalities and Divergences in Inter/Transdisciplinary Thought

With: Rick Szostak (chair), Bianca Vienni Baptista, Frédéric Darbellay, Iris van der Tuin, and others

A global network of scholars of interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity has strengthened in recent decades. The purpose of this plenary is to take stock of areas of emerging consensus around the nature of inter/transdisciplinarity and how best to perform inter/transdisciplinary research and teaching, and areas in which important differences in point of view can still be identified. Special attention will be paid to regional differences in these topics.

The panelists have each been longtime contributors to both the literature and global networking. 

Rick Szostak joined the Department of Economics at the University of Alberta in 1985. He served as Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts from 2002 to 2005, was President of the Association of Academic Staff at the University of Alberta from 1995 to 1996, and President of the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations from 1996 to 1998. His B.A. is from McGill and his PhD from Northwestern University. He was Chair of the Department from July 1, 2017 to 2022. Szostak’s research interests span the fields of economic history, world history, methodology, history of technology, ethics, study of science, knowledge organization, future studies, and especially the theory and practice of interdisciplinarity. Read more.

PD Dr. Bianca Vienni Baptista is Privatdozent at the Department of Environmental Systems Science of ETH Zürich. Her research is focused around Inter-​ and transdisciplinary methods, theories and knowledge cultures, Transdisciplinary research for energy transitions, participatory modelling, Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary institutionlising processes, Research policy and evaluation of inter-​ and transdisciplinary research, Qualitative research methodology, and Integrative teaching and learning. Read more.

Frédéric Darbellay is Full professor in Inter- and Transdisciplinary Studies at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), Head of the Inter- and Transdisciplinarity Unit at the Center for Children’s Rights Studies (CIDE) and the CIDE Deputy Director. Read more.

Iris van der Tuin is professor in Theory of Cultural Inquiry at Utrecht University (Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies). She is also Utrecht University Dean of Interdisciplinary Education and vice-dean for undergraduate education in the Faculty of Humanities. Read more.