Ethics and the Role of Humanities in Transdisciplinary Research? A Short Reflection on the KNOTS Project


  • Barbora Nováková Charles University, Czech Republic
  • Marta Lopatková Charles University, Czech Republic



Cross-Cultural Awareness, Ethics, Humanities, Reflection, Transdisciplinarity


In this paper, we reflect upon our role as researchers embedded in humanities in the KNOTS project. In the course of the project, we noticed various misapprehensions among both staff and students stemming, among others, form different cultural, political, and educational backgrounds. While a diversity of inputs and perspectives is considered an advantage for transdisciplinary projects, cooperation among actors with various backgrounds can also be challenging. Based on our observations and previous experience living and working in Vietnam, we created a session focusing on ethics for the last summer school in Ho Chi Minh City. We decided to bring participants’ attention to research ethics and issues of cross-cultural communication, and suggested reflection and discussion as a coping strategy. In the course of a three years long mutual learning process, we realized that striving to create a common understanding of research ethics and cross-cultural awareness is an indispensable element of teaching and doing transdisciplinary research in a multicultural environment.

Author Biographies

Barbora Nováková, Charles University, Czech Republic

Barbora Nováková is a lecturer at the Institute of Asian Studies at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Her research interests include precolonial Vietnamese history and religious beliefs, as well as the Vietnamese community in Czechia and its history.

Marta Lopatková, Charles University, Czech Republic

Marta Lopatková is a lecturer at the Institute of Asian Studies at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Her focus lies on history, colonialism, and intellectual and social life in French Indochina, with an emphasis on gender and modernity. She also explores the Vietnamese community in Czechia specifying on gender and equality issues.


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