Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Humanities and Sciences as Traveling Partners: Interdisciplinary Study Abroad and other Interdisciplinary Educational Examples

Judith Baker, Dr James Brey.

How can faculty from a liberal arts institution instil knowledge and appreciation for the fine arts in their science or technology-interested students while encouraging art students to embrace the wonders of the natural world through understanding and study? We have found that building a cooperative atmosphere between the subjects of art and science through interdisciplinary courses and related educational activities, deeply engages both art and science students who gain a more expansive view of their chosen subject, greater respect for the other discipline and, truly, a meaningful start on their journey toward development as full human beings.
Our combined experiences with interdisciplinary studies through courses and activities, well prepared us for a successful interdisciplinary study abroad course entitled "Art and Earth Science in Italy". Our approach was to teach a full-fledged 12 week course via the internet during the Spring Semester.
In this workshop presentation we will demonstrate some of the ways we brought our subjects together in a number of examples over the last ten years. We will offer participants strategies in which they identify elements from their departments that can evolve into intellectually challenging and inspiring interdisciplinary/and/or study abroad courses. We will illustrate ways in which some of the conference themes, "Knowing", specifically, but parts of all of them, fit within our core of beliefs regarding the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to teaching humanities and science subjects to our future world citizens.


Judith Baker  (United States)
Associate Professor of Art
Art Department, Humanities Division
University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley

Judith Baker is a painter who teaches a variety of studio art, survey art history and interdisciplinary art and science courses. She was born in St. Louis, MO. Her education included Wichita State University for undergraduate degrees and Indiana University Bloomington for the terminal Art Studio degree. Her paintings often address visual connections between art and science combined with poetic content.

Dr James Brey  (United States)

University of Wisconsin -Fox Valley

Dr. Jim Brey has been teaching geography, geology and meteorology with UW Colleges since 1982. He currently holds the rank of Professor at the UW Fox Valley campus. He is known for innovation in teaching and has pioneered the use of technology in instruction in many of his classes. Long a proponent of project-based science and interdisciplinary approaches, he is also an advocate of the learning community approach to science instruction. He has offered Art and Earth Science in Italy, an interdisciplinary study abroad course which effectively merges the excitement of science with the reflection and creativity of art. This course has been offered twice. He has been involved with collaborations with faculty in art and history throughout most of his career.

  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Study Abroad
  • Art and Earth Science in Italy

(60 min. Workshop, English)