The tension between disciplines and interdisciplinary initiatives has been present in different areas around the world. This paper discusses the roots of the tension in the world and in the Philippines, as well as issues and challenges of implementation. It begins with the meaning of discipline and the nuances in the interaction of multiple disciplines, (e.g. multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, or transdisciplinary) and traces and traces the development of disciplines in relation to the development of higher education. While academic departments and programs give life and power to the disciplines, there were pressures to work across disciplines to achieve the underlying goals of scholarship. Multiple disciplines are needed in solving real-world problems, understanding complex systems, implementing policy or applying research, and generating groundbreaking ideas. However, there are challenges in implementing interdisciplinarity in the Philippines and this includes issues tied up with the implementation process; the need for leadership to navigate through the complex relationships of the disciplines; the balance of grounding in the discipline and interdisciplinarity; assessment of outcomes of interdisciplinary work; and defining an institution’s desired outcomes to guide the support systems.


assessment of outcomes, CHED Memorandum Order No. 20, implementing interdisciplinarity, resolving real-world problems, support systems

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)