Critical gender studies and international development studies: interdisciplinarity and inclusion

Critical gender studies and international development studies are both interdisciplinary, but intellectual agility can ensure they are inclusive sites of knowledge production. To develop intellectual agility, which underpins progressive interdisciplinarity, students must paradoxically venture into more closely defined disciplinary traditions in the social sciences, the humanities, and the sciences. Intellectual agility begins by being fully cognizant of epistemological and theoretical framings in substantive debates, such as, for instance, the perpetuation of violence against women or the entrenchment of poverty. I argue that by explicitly tethering ideas to disciplinary traditions, interdisciplinary research and teaching can more successfully address pressing international development concerns in an inclusive manner. International development studies can easily be seen as utilitarian and instrumental just as critical gender studies can easily be seen as impractical and vague. Here, I show how I have worked critical gender studies into international development studies so that students can develop intellectual agility. Underpinning this is the call for progressive interdisciplinary research and teaching delinked from the defensive claims of long-standing scholarly traditions or the aspirational ambitions of newly cast bodies of knowledge. This article is published as part of a thematic collection dedicated to multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives on gender studies.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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