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'Impact for the common good?' - CfP Association for Interdisciplinary Studies conference, Oct. 22-25, 2015

'Impact for the common good?' is the theme of the upcoming Association for Interdisciplinary Studies conference at Merrimack college (in the Boston area), October 22-25, 2015. How to define and then assess 'the common good'? Or, preliminary to those questions, who is to be involved in the processes of defining and assessing it? Are we as a society and as academia doing enough to involve marginalized groups in the dialogue and processes regarding the common good?
Join the lively and highly diverse conversations on this topic and others at our conference in October and send in a proposal before April 1!

See the complete call below or at:



Impact for the Common Good?

37th Annual Association for Interdisciplinary Studies Conference

October 22 – 25, 2015

Hosted by Merrimack College, North Andover, MA

School of Education & Social Policy


Submission Deadline: April 1, 2015
Notification by May 30, 2015


What does it mean to have an impact, and how is impact defined and measured in each field? When approaching problems with an interdisciplinary lens, how does one assess impact among the respective fields represented? When we are considering impact for the “Common Good,” who is the “Common” and what is “good”? We hope to challenge and re-think the norm of who is included in dialogue of the “Common Good.” We also wish to question the role of the academy in its inclusiveness of others (or lack thereof) in defining and making progress towards impact. How often are the marginalized included in dialogue with those with power and privilege in influencing change, rather than others assuming they know what is best for the “Common Good”? We hope these questions will urge others to consider how power and privilege influence impact, and how the magnitude and kind of impact is measured subjectively. A Common Good would imply a Common Goal. But is anyone excluded from charting and achieving those goals? There may be marginalized groups (e.g., imprisoned, impoverished, persecuted, and ignored) whose rights and desires are not considered in the Common Good (e.g., LGBTQ individuals, the elderly, the incarcerated, immigrants, the homeless, and the relationship between sustainability of the environment to physical and community health), or for whom the Common Good should be redefined. We want to bring in members of the community to understand what they perceive as “impactful,” and how partnerships with the academy could bridge and achieve a real goal of impacting the Common Good. How do we cross boundaries and speak a common language with common goals? How can interdisciplinary studies play a pivotal role in advancing and expanding notions of the Common Good? What kinds of promising interdisciplinary partnerships can serve as models for change?

We welcome proposals for presentations in multiple formats, including, but not limited to, roundtable discussions, integrated panels, papers, workshops, and “showcases”. “Showcases” are artistic expressions of projects, such as performances, art installations, videos, and more.

While the program committee welcomes sharing best practices, we are especially interested in presentations, events and conversations that include stakeholders in their research agenda and / or researchers or practitioners who work with marginalized populations and are actively seeking ways to help improve the physical, social, economic, and / or political conditions and positions of these groups.

As always, the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies welcomes more general presentations that advance its mission to promote the interchange of ideas among scholars, administrators, and practitioners in all of the arts and sciences on intellectual and organizational issues related to advancing interdisciplinary studies.


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