“For the many students who do interdisciplinary Plans, it’s the dialogue that’s important,” said theater professor Paul Nelsen at an open forum about the recent SymBiotic Art and Science conference. Paul explains that whether two disciplines collide or interact may depend as much upon the student as on the different fields involved, but it always creates an interesting dialogue. Ultimately it broadens our lives and has a humanistic impact beyond the studies themselves.
Interdisciplinary exploration is a well-practiced approach at Marlboro, as you can see from many of the Plans of Concentration listed in the commencement section of this issue of Potash Hill. Like all academic endeavors, that work never stops as we explore new and deeper connections between apparently separate perspectives. This issue celebrates Marlboro’s interdisciplinary tradition, whether it’s between philosophy and economics in Isaac Lawrence’s article on the Vermont Land Trust, or literature and international development in Rosario de Swanson’s piece on Guinean writers. It also explores new horizons in the SymBiotic Art and Science conference mentioned above and the Embodied Learning Symposium hosted here on campus.
As always, we welcome your comments. How has interdisciplinary study made an impact on your life and career, and what exciting new syntheses are out there to explore? You can find responses to the last issue in Letters.
—Philip Johansson, editor
Front cover: “La Mer,” a freehand paper cut on recycled paper by Paige E. Martin ’11, from her Plan exhibition titled “When Pictures Speak.” Photo by Jeff Woodward