Game of Academic Thrones

Map-largeA collaborative, hand-illustrated case study of the nature and “ownership” of intellectual property in academia, and how the emergence of interdisciplinarity is either reviled or embraced. 

This large scale, hand-illustrated map was the result of weeks of research into the causes and effects of the “turf wars” that are known to occur between academic disciplines in regard to the knowledge, theories and methods utilized by each. Based on an intensive review of doctoral dissertations from a broad range of university departments across the United States, these departments were portrayed as medieval kingdoms, fiefdoms, or nomadic tribes. Sea routes were drawn and an icon system developed to represent the exchanges of knowledge between disciplines, and whether that exchange is treated as friendly or hostile.

Key questions that were explored included “What is the nature of knowledge in a university setting?,” “How do disciplines and departments collaborate to create new knowledge?” and “Who gets to lay claim to the resulting new knowledge, and why?.”

Team members: Jeff Joiner, Andrew Pottkotter, Howe Yang

A high-res pdf is available by request.