Moti Nissani outlines the value and importance of interdisciplinary knowledge and research including: “Creativity often requires interdisciplinary knowledge […] Some worthwhile topics of research fall in the interstices among the traditional disciplines […] Many intellectual, social, and practical problems require interdisciplinary approaches […] Interdisciplinary knowledge and research serve to remind us of the unity-of-knowledge ideal […] More so than narrow disciplinarians, interdisciplinarians often treat themselves to the intellectual equivalent of traveling in new lands […] Interdisciplinarians may help breach communication gaps in the modern academy, thereby helping to mobilize its enormous intellectual resources in the cause of greater social rationality and justice […] By bridging fragmented disciplines, interdisciplinarians might play a role in the defense of academic freedom. “, in ‘Ten cheers for interdisciplinarity: The case for interdisciplinary knowledge and research’, The Social Science Journal, 34, 201-216.
“Interdisciplinary methods are not mere links or associations between disciplines that somehow stand above our outside their object of study, but dynamic conduits for relations of interference in which differences and assymetries between disciplines are explored and exploited in relation to specific problems, in specific places, with specific materials” Celia Lury, Routledge Handbook of Interdisciplinary Research Methods, 2018, p.21.
Celia Lury draws on Michel Serres writing to argue that, “…. By pre-posing problems – that is, by ‘following out the ‘with’ of communication and contract, the ‘across of translation, the ‘among’ and ‘between’ of interferences, the ‘through’ of the channels through which Hermes and Angels pass, the ‘alongside’ of the parasite, the ‘beyond’ of detachment (Serres, 1994: 83) interdisciplinary methods can activate the present.” She continues that the handbooks concern with -ings (with entries including Making and Assembling, Arranging, Drawing, Figuring, Diffracting, Timing, Digging, Diagramming, Dissenting, Troubling) “is intended to identify the potential of interdisciplinary methods to compose problems as interruptions of the (historical) present. That is, the aim is to emphasise the role of interdisciplinary methods in the activation of the present […]” Routledge Handbook of Interdisciplinary Research Methods, 2018, p.3.
Lury continues to explore the “compound” and “lateral” dimension of interdisciplinary research: “One of the reasons to focus on compound methods, as we do here is to detach techniques from specific disciplinary uses (and related proprietary claims) and describe them instead in terms that can be recognised across disciplines […] Describing the methods included here as compound is also designed to demonstrate inter- rather than meta- or trans-disciplinarity: that is, it is to show how methods emerge from within a necessarily contingent, more-or-less enduring interaction between disciplines” (p.7).
She states that interdisciplinary methods are methods of the lateral. “…. The lateral observes a many-to-many relation between domains of knowledge and practice. To describe interdisciplinary methods as methods of the lateral is thus to draw attention to the many-to many relations that are made across and between disciplines”, p.21