Humanities Writ Large is
a five-year initiative aimed at redefining the role of the humanities in undergraduate education.

We recognize the need for citizens and leaders to be able to obtain knowledge, to analyze it, and to think and act collaboratively in innovative ways to address growing interdisciplinary and global challenges.  The humanities are vital to providing the training and skills necessary to understand cultural similarities and differences, to sift through the daily fire hose of incoming information, and to make the imaginative leaps in research, scholarship, business, and policy to address the very many complex issues arising around us in our global world.

Humanities Writ Large is led by Srinivas Aravamudan, Professor of English, Romance Studies, and the Program in Literature; President of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI); and former Dean of Humanities at Duke University.

    • Philosophy's Gender website

Project Vox Travels the Internet

Project Vox, a website associated with the HWL project Philosophy’s Gender in Historical Perspective, is attracting attention beyond the confines of academic philosophy. The project, in the words of its creators, "seeks to… Read More...
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Why do we need the humanities?

The editors of The Conversation asked four former university presidents – of Clemson University, University of Florida, University of Wisconsin and Virginia Tech – to give their perspectives on the ongoing "attack on… Read More...
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    • Social Stoplighting

Social Stoplighting: Participatory Methods for Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Social Stoplighting is a participatory planning method that combines community assessment workshops with digital geo-referenced maps. The goal is to create tools that facilitate participatory politics and community development, tools that can be… Read More...
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Pratt student's "In defense of the humanities" column

Mary Ziemba is a Duke first-year student who writes for The Chronicle. In her March 6, 2015 column she explains that "The value of a study of the humanities lies not only in… Read More...
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    • Deborah Jenson

Deborah Jenson to Direct Franklin Humanities Institute

Provost Sally Kornbluth has announced that Deborah Jenson, Professor of Romance Studies and Global Health, will become the director of Duke's Franklin Humanities Institute effective March 1, 2015. See the full announcement on… Read More...
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The Housecleaner Project on The State of Things

On WUNC's The State of Things, Frank Stasio interviewed three Latina women involved in The Housecleaner Project, an HWL Emerging Network. He also spoke with Liliana Paredes, linguist and director of Duke's Spanish… Read More...
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Visiting Faculty Fellow Returns to Consider The New Black

The audience overflowed the Nasher Museum's auditorium at a recent screening of The New Black, a film produced by former Humanities Writ Large Visiting Faculty Fellow Yvonne Welbon. The film, directed by Yoruba… Read More...
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Humanities Degrees Provide Great Return On Investment

In a column on the Forbes website, University of Georgia economist Jeffrey Dorfman makes a data-driven case that "humanities degrees are still worth a great deal." Using data from on the average… Read More...
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Announcing Story Lab

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The Franklin Humanities Institute is pleased to announce the beginning of a new Humanities Laboratory: Story Lab, in Fall 2015.  Story Lab will offer a dynamic space for exploring what it means to make story, embody story, analyze story, talk story, and live story.  The Lab will offer an opportunity to study and foster a space for storytelling, connecting research with expression. 
The Open House is for students and anyone else interested.  Monday, April 6, 6pm at the FHI Garage.

Words Matter: Storytelling with President Obama in an Age of Sound Bites

jon favreau

Tuesday, April 21
5:30-7:00PM, Fleishman Commons,
Sanford School of Public Policy

The significance of meaningful and effective words cannot be overrated, especially when a critical message is needed to stand out in a 24/7 news cycle and break through the constant noise of social media.  Jon Favreau—director of speechwriting for President Barack Obama (2009-2013)—knows this all too well. 

At this public talk, Favreau will discuss the ability to “see” or get behind the words—to capture the essence of an issue and create dialogue that clearly and powerfully articulates what it is about that issue that matters and why we should care. Favreau will offer his insight on how precisely—from conception to delivery—to “get behind the words we speak,” including the significance of “mining” resources for inspiration, creating scripts that speak from and to the heart, and “walking the walk” of talk.

Leadership and Psychopathy

Subnature Featured on the Gastropod Podcast

  • Nicola Twilley, food blogger and contributing writer at the New Yorker, visited Duke to partake in the Subnature and Culinary Culture events this past September. She and journalist Cynthia Graber discuss the experience on their Gastropod podcast. They incorporate interviews with project organizer Thomas Parker and David Gissen, the scholar who coined the term "subnature."

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