Disciplines and Interdisciplinarity in Foreign Language Studies

By Hans Lauge Hansen | Go to book overview

Philology of the Future, Futures of Philology
Interdisciplinarity, Intertemporality, and Begriffsgeschichte

by Helge Jordheim


Introduction

In this article I wish to develop some of the ideas I introduced in my book The Science of Reading. Towards a New Philology (Jordheim 2001). Here I used the term 'philology' to indicate a relationship between language and what I have referred to in a very general way as 'history', not as opposites but as necessarily interdependent and interrelated phenomena. It is thus not a question of language or history, or even of language and history, but of language in history.

In this article, however, I will try to move one step further, redefining and hopefully thus defining more clearly the notoriously ambiguous notion of 'history'. Redefining in this case actually means replacing. More specifically, it means replacing 'history' and 'historicity' with the concepts of 'time' and 'temporality', one important effect of this redefinition, this replacement, being that 'temporality' doesn't seem to have the same disciplinary constraints as 'historicity', but also points in the direction of linguistics and literary criticism. From the concept of 'temporality' I shall then move on to another concept, that of 'intertemporality'.

As I see it, there is more than a morphological affinity between this concept and the already mentioned concept of 'interdisciplinarity'1. The question I shall ask here is whether one way of achieving the ambition of interdisciplinarity in the study of foreign languages is by means of a the-

1 In this article I shall refrain from going into a theoretical discussion of the
concept of 'interdisciplinarity' as such, but stick to what I understand as the
interdisciplinary ambition of the Foreign Language Studies: to integrate the
linguistic, literary, historical and cultural perspectives that are always at stake
when we study a foreign language.

-35-

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