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Knowledge Festival / Graduate School 2024

This year, the theme of the Graduate School Conference is 'Valuable knowledge – getting wiser about transdisciplinarity'.  Friday 5 April 2024, from 10.00-15.00 at the University of Humanistic Studies.

At the University of Humanistic Studies, a central value of its overall research program is, that it pursues a transdisciplinary approach. There are different views of what transdisciplinarity may entail and this conference aims to create a platform to study this concept together.

What is the value of integrating different academic disciplines – like philosophy, history and the social sciences – in one study and research program? Even more – since our university seeks to contribute to practical improvements that foster meaningful living in a just and caring society: how could a transdisciplinary approach include knowledge from non-academic stakeholders to address societal challenges? How can this be done in a scientifically sound and rigorous way?

At this knowledge festival you will get wiser about transdisciplinarity, the pitfalls and possibilities, and meet some inspiring and energizing examples. During the festival our PhD-students of the first year will also present their research projects and there will be ample opportunity to learn from each other. Don’t miss this opportunity to actively contribute to our academic community!


Location: 1.40

10.00 – 10.15  - Plenary opening by Carlo Leget, director of research UvH
- Why this subject?
- What are its origins?
- Instruction about poster contest and discussion during the day

10.15 – 10.35
- Lecture by Wander van der Vaart, director of the Graduate School
Transdisciplinarity: aspirations, challenges, and pitfalls

10.35 – 10.55
- Lecture by Alice Schippers, professor of Disability Studies
Transdisciplinarity: a view of possibilities from research practices

10.55 – 11.00
- Buzzing with your neighbor

11.00 – 11.30 - Plenary discussion with the two plenary speakers

Location 1.33,  1.15

11.30 – 12.30 - Poster discussions with coffee 

Location 0.14

11.30-12.30  LSG-HGVPS - How can we understand meaning-making from interdisciplinary or transciplinary perspectives? (What is the difference?)

Based on various definitions and perspectives on ‘meaning’, used in the chair group, we will tackle the question of what researching meaning means from interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary perspectives. And what is the difference?


12.30 – 13.00 - Lunch break at the canteen

13.00 – 14.00 - Parallel sessions (Location: 0.22, 0.14, 1.15, 1.33)

1. Dr. Alistair Niemeijer and Dr. Gustaaf Bos  Location: 0.14

Balancing between vulnerability and strength: a long term collaborative research project.

Having recently completed a 3 year research project which aimed to investigate what good care for families with a child with complex care needs entails, this session will focus on the inherent trans-disciplinarity that underpinned our research project, whereby we will discuss both our experiences with conducting long-term, ideographic, collaborative research and our findings. One of the reasons we opted for this form of research was to portray the richness and variety of experiences, patterns and interactions of families with a care-intensive child and their mutual relationships, and not to describe general laws (nomothetic, cf. Robinson, 2011). The eight participating families in this project were thus seen and involved as important partners in being able to provide (knowledge about) good care. This joint exploration of and working on sustainable (collaborative) relationships between parents, siblings and healthcare professionals is extra relevant in a context in which good professionals are difficult to find and retain. 

One of the reasons we focused so specifically on the everyday lived experience of families is because of the inherent complexity that accompanies these lives, not only in care tasks, formal and informal roles but also in relationships between family members and with care professionals and care institutions. To date, the patterns and interactions within families and between families and healthcare systems has not been sufficiently investigated. 

2. Sylvie de Kubber and Dr. Nikè Wentholt   Location: 0.22

Doing transformative justice in transdisciplinary research: turning the wheel

Description: This workshop integrates transdisciplinary research and practice at the UvH on transformative justice – and helps you explore its relevance to your project. We see in many areas of society that what we think is ‘just’ often reproduces the actual injustice: think of the way we punish individuals for crimes that are often the result of collective and systemic marginalisation. Transformative justice, instead, helps us to turn around the logic of injustice. In this workshop on transformative justice we present this more relational approach to what is just and fair, so that we can think of more radical solutions to the societal problems that we study. Using the work ‘Holding Change’ by adrienne maree brown and the creative intervention toolkit, we explore how you in your positionality can translate principles of transformative justice into your research, by initiating, facilitating, and potentially mediating. 

3. Book presentation (Humanistic Education for Flourishing in the Anthropocene)  Location: 1.33

Writing a book together: 

experiences with a transdisciplinary collaborative approach - Department of Education, UvH

The Education Department works collectively on a book project that explores opportunities and challenges of humanistic education to enhance human flourishing in the face of challenges that arise from the global ecological crisis. While we share an interest in the topic, we all come with our different expertise, disciplinary backgrounds and paradigmatic positions. Working on the book together, provides opportunities for transdisciplinary engagement. In this process we face biases and boundaries, but also possibilities to expand our academic horizons. In this session we will discuss the aims and content of the book and our experiences with a transdisciplinary collaborative approach.


4. Dr. Adrienne de Ruiter and Prof. Christoph Henning - Location: 1.15 
Speaking with different voices: On the opportunities and challenges of using interviews in ethics and philosophy

In recent years, philosophers have become increasingly interested in learning from other disciplines (see e.g. Appiah, 2009; Damasio, 2007) and using empirical research to inform ethical deliberation (see e.g. Alfano et al., 2022; Goodwin, 2015; Knobe, 2003; Knobe & Prinz, 2008; Molewijk et al., 2004; Stich & Weinberg, 2001). In this session, we draw from examples of our own work on dehumanization in the global migration crisis and on sharing economies and art to explore opportunities and challenges for the use of interviewing in philosophical research. While we believe that drawing from testimonies of lived experiences and personal accounts of the phenomena under study can deepen philosophical reflection and enrichen ethics, the philosopher’s focus on making sense of these narrations on an abstract theoretical level holds the risk of not doing full justice to these experiences in their own right. Together with the session participants, we will discuss how to work towards coherent philosophical theorizing while recognizing the different voices of persons whose lived experiences and accounts help inform and refine our ideas.

14.00 – 14.30
- Plenary discussion: what did we learn today about transdisciplinarity?
- urgency
- clarity
- limits and pitfalls

14.30 – 14.45
- Poster prize for the most attractive & convincing poster!

14.45-15.00  Wrap up and closing

15.00-16.00  Drinks in the canteen

Please register

Contactpersoon Graduate School
Locatie UvH
Datum 5-4-2024
Openingstijden 10.00 - 15.00 hrs