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The sciences and humanities have long been regarded as discrete intellectual cultures, separated by a sharp epistemic divide. Recently, however, turns toward "transdisciplinarity" have intimated the growing importance of overcoming disciplinary boundaries. The Rhetoric of Inquiry and digital humanities are two transdisciplinary projects that have attempted, respectively, to bring humanistic inquiry to the sciences, and to bring scientific inquiry to the humanities. This paper attempts to trace the parallel genealogies of both projects in an attempt to theorize some common traits of theory in a transdisciplinary mode. I suggest that articulating these projects with one another enables us to suppose that building transdisciplinary theory will entail a heightened reflexivity concerned with questions about scope, methods, and epistemic values.


Rhetoric of Inquiry, Digital Humanities, Transdisciplinarity, Theory, Communication

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Copyright © 2015 Chris Ingraham

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.




Thank you to John Jackson, Bob Craig, and Jerry Hauser for their help guiding early drafts of this manuscript.