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.

    • Pedro Lasch: HOW TO KNOW

Pedro Lasch's Curricular Intervention in Venice

HOW TO KNOW: The Protocols and Pedagogy of National Abstraction, a new piece by visual arts professor Pedro Lasch, was presented recently as part of the 2015 Creative Time Summit at the Venice… Read More...
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    • Pulitzer Prize

Future Salary Doesn't Have to Be Your Major

"If salary is important to you, make that your goal. But it doesn't have to be your major." This advice is from Elizabeth Djinis, a rising senior at Duke, who penned a column… Read More...
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    • Frank Graziano:Miraculous Images and Votive Offerings in Mexico

Miraculous Images and Votive Offerings in Mexico

Visiting Faculty Fellow Frank Graziano's new book, Miraculous Images and Votive Offerings in Mexico, will be published next year by Oxford University Press. The beautiful companion website, however, is already online. Graziano was… Read More...
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    • Jon Favreau at Kenan lectern

Presidential Rhetoric Comes to Duke

Jon Favreau, former chief speechwriter for President Obama, brought his incomparable experience to Duke on April 21. Favreau had his “stamp on all the great speeches from 2005 to early 2013,” according to… Read More...
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    • Barnes' Chinese Medicine class in D.C.

Chinese Medicine Class Research trip to Washington, D.C.

Nicole Barnes' freshman seminar, Chinese Medical Beliefs and Practices, recently made a trip to the National Library of Medicine in Washington, D.C. "The students consulted the library's collections of Chinese public health posters—one… Read More...
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    • humanities tree

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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    • HWL Wordmark - white on blue

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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Global Brazil Lab Open House

The Global Brazil Humanities Lab at Duke University will host its annual welcome back event on Friday, August 28 from 4-6 P.M. in the garage space (Smith Warehouse, Bay 4) at the Franklin Humanities Institute. Stop by to learn more about exciting opportunities for the 2015-16 academic year. We are also pleased to offer refreshments from Mami Noras Peruvian Chicken and live music by Caique Vidal and Batuque de Terreiro. Hope to see you there!

story lab

STORY LAB Welcome Reception

Thursday, August 27, 5:00 p.m., in the new lab space at the Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI), right next door to the Smith Warehouse Garage in Bay 4. Stop by to learn more about exciting opportunities for the 2015-16 academic year, particularly initiatives centered around fan fiction. In the fall semester, we will be hosting several visiting authors, sponsoring creative writing sessions, and working collaboratively on a short book exploring all manners of fan labor--including fan fiction, fan art, cosplay and formations of fan communities. Independent studies are very welcome. Sushi and refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there!

Undergraduate Oral History Fellows:
Collecting the Life Narratives of Arab Refugees 

Info Session:  Thursday, August 27 at 5:00 pm
John Hope Franklin Center Room 240

Applications are due on Monday, September 14 at 5:00 pm. Send to .

We seek applications from all Duke undergraduates to become 2015-2016 Oral History Fellows. The Fellows will conduct audio interviews with Arab refugee families from Sudan and Iraq presently residing in the Research Triangle area. These recorded oral histories will become part of Duke's Archive of Documentary Arts. Fellows will create individual final projects based on their oral history research for presentation at the spring 2016 Arab Refugee Week. Final projects will also be posted on Duke's Arabic Communities website. Fellows will have intensive oral history immersion with practitioners from the Center for Documentary Studies on two Saturdays this year. 

The Fellows receive a $500 honorarium and are eligible to enroll in the spring 2016 Collaborative Research Project with AMES.

Applications should include a copy of your most recent academic transcript, a one-page (single spaced) statement of your interest in working with Arab refugee families and recording their life stories. In the statement, describe the courses you've taken, past research projects or documentary work, and relevant extracurricular activities. Tell us about your prior experiences working with people. Let us know if you have Arabic language skills (not required). 

Project Vox in the Media

Philosophy's Gender website

Project Vox, a website associated with the Humanities Writ Large Emerging Network Philosophy’s Gender in Historical Perspective, is attracting attention well beyond the confines of academic philosophy. The project, in the words of its creators, "seeks to recover the lost voices of women who have been ignored in standard narratives of the history of modern philosophy." It is also meant to address the discipline's oversized gender disparity.

There have been a number of articles about Project Vox. It has generated commentary on social media, as well, including a tweet from Melinda Gates:

Some of the greatest minds have been left out of history because they were women. Proud @DukeU is changing this:

— Melinda Gates (@melindagates) May 31, 2015

Media coverage of the project includes...


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