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Education Higher

Transverse Disciplines

Queer-Feminist, Anti-racist, and Decolonial Approaches to the University

edited by Simone Pfleger & Carrie Smith

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2022
Higher, German, German, Philosophy & Social Aspects, Semiotics & Theory
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2022
    List Price

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For at least a decade, university foreign language programs have been in decline throughout the English-speaking world. As programs close or are merged into large multi-language departments, disciplines such as German studies find themselves struggling to survive.


Transverse Disciplines offers an overview of the current research on the humanities and the academy at large and proposes creative and courageous ideas for the university of the future. Using German studies as a case study, the book examines localized academic work in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States in order to model new ideas for invigorated thinking beyond disciplinary specificity, university communities, and entrenched academic practices. In essays that are theoretical, speculative, experimental, and deeply personal, contributors suggest that German studies might do better to stop trying to protect existing national and disciplinary arrangements. Instead, the discipline should embrace feminist, queer, anti-racist, and decolonial academic practices and commitments, including community-based work, research-creation, and scholar activism.


Interrogating the position of researchers, teachers, and administrators inside and outside academia, Transverse Disciplines takes stock of the increasingly tenuous position of the humanities and stakes a claim for the importance of imagining new disciplinary futures within the often restrictive and harmful structures of the academy.

About the authors

Simone Pfleger is an assistant professor of Gender Studies and German Studies at the University of Alberta.

Simone Pfleger's profile page

Carrie Smith is the vice dean of the Faculty of Arts and a professor of German Studies at the University of Alberta.

Carrie Smith's profile page

Other titles by Carrie Smith