Western Metaphysical Fallout and the Discourse of Writing among Scientists

By Marsha I. Walker.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

C. P. Snow, twentieth century British physicist and novelist, famously described intellectual enterprise as divided into two cultures—the literary and the scientific—with a great gap of mutual ignorance and indifference separating them. Since Snow’s observation, the fissure within the house of intellect appears to have grown even wider. In this 21st century technological universe, undergraduate students housed within STEM colleges often fail to understand the relationships among their scientific engagements, career preparation, and college curriculum prerequisites and electives that involve the study of the humanities. Disavowing the Western metaphysical binary system that has produced hierarchical aims both within and without college level humanities, I propose a revisionist English curriculum framework that makes English studies more relevant to current pedagogical trends in cross-disciplinary praxis. More specifically, I address the transformative trends and demands of undergraduate students as they seek placement in STEM-related internships and careers. Empirical data shows that courses such as Literature of Science and Composition for STEM majors are sustained, successful interventions in bridging the gap between the sciences and the humanities. Essentially, these interdisciplinary course interventions ask STEM students to consider what literary writings teach us about scientific thought and vice versa, and how two disciplines so frequently opposed to each other may be fruitfully juxtaposed.

Keywords: Humanities, STEM, Western Metaphysics, Scientists, Literature, Interdisciplinary, English

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 9, pp.27-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 765.727KB).

Prof. Marsha I. Walker

Assistant Professor of English and STEM Liaison, Department of Languages and Literature, College of Arts and Letters, Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Marsha I. Walker is an assistant professor of English and Interim Director of the Writing Studio at Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina. She will complete her dissertation in literature and criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the spring of 2012. Walker has extensive experiences in working with undergraduate STEM majors as a humanities faculty STEM liaison, HBCU-UP representative, scientific learning communities instructional leader, science in the humanities course developer, Ronald McNair program co-chair, and faculty writing associate. Her research interests include the convergences of scientific and literary communities, performance theory, critical gender studies, and religiosity.

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