Interdisciplinarity in Amsterdam

Keele University was well-represented at the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies Conference, this year held in Amsterdam.

The Keele contingent, composed of Ella Tennant, Sophia Hayat Taha and Emily Brannen, presented their individual work and joined in three full days of interdisciplinary exchange with delegates from all over the world.


Living Labs – the impact on learning and teaching experiences in Liberal Arts

Ella Tennant, a lecturer in the Language Centre, and formerly Acting Programme Director of the Liberal Arts degree programme at Keele, presented the outcome of a Teaching Innovation Project which focused on the ‘living labs’ trips in the first year core module. Qualitative research from the trips and from a focus group discussion demonstrated that ‘living labs’ had a positive impact on students as well as staff who were involved in the carefully prepared visits.

More details of the project can be found here:

AIS Conference - Ella 1

Transforming the Pathways to Justice: Knowledge Transfer and its Emancipatory Potential

Sophia Hayat Taha, a PhD Candidate in Law and International Relations, presented findings from her interdisciplinary MRes project via a poster. The work focusses on a review of local organisations’ policy documents to ensure migrant women who have ‘no recourse to public funds’ are better assisted.


The Voice of Migrant Women: Knowledge Transfer from University to Local Communities

Emily Brannen, a final year undergraduate student in Liberal Arts also presented a poster which resulted from a workshop in collaboration with Sophia. Emily asked the audience to reflect on the way in which we communicate with the local communities and organisations that interact with migrant women and how effective knowledge transfer can be done in a way that avoids hierarchy and paternalistic tendencies.


The “Keele Three” participated in all the conference events and Emily and Sophia even attended the 8:30 am “Morning Coffee Networking Sessions”.



With more than 200 delegates from all over the world, the conference theme, ‘Interdisciplinarity in Global Contexts’ was stimulating, inspiring and provided a great deal of food for thought.

Ella, Sophia and Emily would be happy to share their reflections on the conference theme and discussions in more detail, in a workshop or panel discussion session.