Violence and ill-health are inherently related concepts, especially when it comes to the experiences of marginalised population. My recent visit to India contributed to my reflections around this idea. I travelled there to participate in “Difficult Dialogues”, an event co-organized by UCL in Goa, and to give a lecture on “violence in post – colonial contexts” at the SNDT Women´s University, in Mumbai. While in the country, I also tried to travel around a bit, and to experience the local culture first-hand (although the only thing a couple of days could grant me was a short “taster” of the local landscape). After my trip, my perspective on health and illness as contextually shaped was enriched. In fact, a fundamental idea remains salient: structural and cultural violence are a crucial underlying cause of ill-health across cultures.
Interdisciplinary is a buzzword these days- one needs to cross-over rigid academic disciplines to solve real life problems which require a multi-faceted approach. In the UK, interdisciplinarity seems to be normatively accepted, even an admirable practice within the Universities. UCL itself clearly emphasizes its focus on interdisciplinary research which in part contributes to its modern progressive research and learning environment. But to quote David Wood (from an article in Nature, 2015), “There’s a huge push to call your work interdisciplinary… but there’s still resistance to doing actual interdisciplinary science.” Building up on this paradox, I’ll discuss, in this post, some of my own reflections on doing an interdisciplinary project. How does one approach interdisciplinary projects- are they just the new academic fad or a new paradigm of research in an ever so complex world?