Wayne State hosts 40th Anniversary AIS Conference

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Roslyn Abt Schindler, Associate Professor Emerita of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies (1973-2007) and Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, recently headed the organizing committee for the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies and the 40th Anniversary Conference held in Detroit.

Here she reflects on the successful conference and on the timeliness of its theme.

The Association for Interdisciplinary Studies (AIS) has a long, rich, and prestigious history:  

AIS ConferenceFounded in 1979, the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies (AIS) is the U.S.-based international professional association devoted to interdisciplinary studies. Interdisciplinarity integrates the insights of knowledge domains to produce a more comprehensive understanding of complex problems, issues, or questions.

Based in the United States, AIS has increasing international participation and is a diverse, inclusive organization. AIS encourages inclusive international and global conversations on interdisciplinarity. AIS actively seeks out the full range of available perspectives in order to gain the richest and most comprehensive understanding of complex issues.

Wayne State University was proud to be the host for this year's 40th Anniversary AIS Conference within the context of our university's 150th anniversary. The conference took place at the Detroit Crowne Plaza. The 2018 conference theme was “‘Inter/diversities’: Intersecting Race, Gender, Class, Abilities, Theories, and Disciplines.”

AIS ConferenceThis important, relevant, and timely conference theme attracted 175 participants from around the country and the world.  College and university faculty and administrators as well as graduate students presented in workshops, panels, and plenary sessions that stimulated lively discussion both during and after the sessions. By all accounts, the conference was a resounding success.

As Planning Committee Chair, I know that It takes a village... Heartfelt thanks to my planning committee: faculty Nicole Coleman, Scott Crabill, Julie Koehler, and Daphne Ntiri, and former Department of Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) graduates Sharon Finch and Irene Bazan Waller... and to additional volunteers, also IS graduates, Antonetta Johnson-Gardner and Carole Keller.

AIS ConferenceSpecial appreciation, too, to former Provost Margaret Winters, current Provost Keith Whitfield, CMLLC Chair Anne Duggan, and CMLLC Associate Chair Elena Past for their encouragement and support.

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