The epistemic barriers to interdisciplinarity are understudied. To fill this gap, we ask whether a university initiative designed to reduce structural barriers to interdisciplinarity also facilitates the dissolution of epistemic ones. Through analytical autoethnography of graduate training in two disciplines, sociology and ecology, we develop the concept of asymmetric epistemology to better understand the unique epistemological position that emerges for interdisciplinarians. Building from feminist science and technology studies (STS) and scholarship on epistemic identities, our work illuminates how epistemologies are embodied by individuals, leading to tensions around identity, materiality, and spatiality during the practice of interdisciplinarity. While some epistemic barriers recede and others remain, we reveal that the navigation of these boundaries deeply impacts individuals’ epistemic identities.

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