Humanities Writ Large began as a five-year initiative aimed at redefining the role of the humanities in undergraduate education. It has been extended for a full range of programming in 2016-17 and will support Visiting Faculty Fellows through 2017-18.
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 was led from its inception 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 until his death. Effective Spring 2016, Laurent Dubois assumed project leadership. Dubois is a Professor of Romance Studies and History, a former co-director of the Haiti Lab, and has served on the HWL steering committee since the project began.
Over the life of the grant, more than 200 people from throughout the range of humanities and interpretive social sciences departments, and from beyond Duke, have participated at a leadership level across a wide range of projects. The impact on the teaching and research experiences of undergraduates is difficult to quantify as new pedagogies developed in one project are then brought to bear in multiple other classes and research teams. But we can state with certainty that students today have richer opportunities for engagement in research and learning thanks to the work supported by Humanities Writ Large.