Abstract

This paper discusses the approaches generally grouped under the heading of “interdisciplinarity.” There is no intention to arrive at a perfect, authoritative definition of interdisciplinarity, but rather to assess the contribution those approaches might make. The essay begins by briefly covering some generalizations about Pacific knowledges and considers the European academic framework before and during the emergence of disciplines. It then outlines that emergence, reviews a range of ideas about the nature of interdisciplinarity and related methodologies, and examines the relationship between interdisciplinarity and area studies. Finally the paper attempts to establish the specific identity of one Pacific studies program, that of Victoria University of Wellington, considering some possible obstacles and impediments to its development, and presenting some suggestions for possible program orientation and content.

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