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.

    • 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 Housecleaning Project (clip from exhibit)

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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    • Still from The New Black

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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An Informal Staging of Oscar Wilde's Salome

On October 8, Humanities Writ Large Visiting Faculty Fellow Kimberly Stern and Jay O'Berski, Assistant Professor of the Practice, Theater Studies presented Oscar Wilde's controversial play Salome. The informal staging featuring students, faculty,… Read More...
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The Many Tentacles of Humanities Writ Large

Eric Ferreri's survey of the first three years of HWL in Duke Today shows that the initiative has facilitated innovative, cross-disciplinary classes and projects all over Duke's campus. The result is a deeper,… Read More...
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    • pSearch Humanities 7

What Do These Six Questions Have in Common?

“How does media shape a child’s perception of race, both of herself and others?” “How has domestic and global international policy concerning direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising for pharmaceuticals affected the use of prescription drugs… Read More...
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    • Protest Photo for Global Brazil

New Humanities Lab Takes On the World’s Largest Unknown Country, Brazil

Brazil is an increasingly important player on the world stage. Its profile at Duke is rising as well. A Humanities Lab launched this semester, Global Brazil: Culture, Nature, Politics, joins a new major… Read More...
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Humanities Writ Large Funding Opportunity

There is currently one open call for proposals for support of Duke faculty and students in the humanities and interpretive social sciences.

Emerging Humanities Networks CFP
Deadline: March 6, 2015

Leadership and Psychopathy

The Activists' Playbook: From SNCC to Selma to the New Civil RIghts Movement

Wednesday, March 4, 7pm, Durham County Library main branch

One Person One Vote video screenshot

A panel about how the civil rights movement of the past can inform directed and purposeful political action today, featuring SNCC activists Charlie Cobb and Judy Richardson, social justice activist Cynthia Brown, and young activists from Durham.

The event celebrates the launch of, a website created by the HWL Emerging Network One Person, One Vote: The Legacy of SNCC and the Fight for Voting Rights.

Unaccompanied Child Migration Symposium

Monday, Feb. 23, 9am-2:15pm, West Duke Building room 101

Unaccompanied Migration Symposium graphic

This interdisciplinary symposium, hosted by the Kenan Institute for Ethics and organized by Frank Graziano, Humanities Writ Large Visiting Faculty Fellow at Duke, will examine the ethical implications of migration by unaccompanied minors. Three guest speakers—Jacqueline Bhabha, Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco, and Susan J. Terrio—will highlight the health, legal, and human rights issues at play. They will be joined by over a dozen discussants, including six from Duke—Sara Katsanis (Science and Society), Jolie Olcott (History), Nadia El-Shaarawi and Suzanne Shanahan (Kenan Institute for Ethics), Orin Starn (Anthropology), and Charles Thompson (Documentary Studies).

The event is free and open to the public. Visit the event webpage for event details and to sign up for the complimentary lunch.

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."

Sound Studies Workshops in the Audiovisualities Lab

Audiovisualities Sound Dictionary logo

The Audiovisualities Lab is hosting a series of five introductory sound studies workshops this year. The Lab explores the connections between image and sound, in practice and in theory. Its aim is to encourage teaching and research in the booming field of sound studies, complementing and challenging the existing primacy of visual studies.

All workshops meet on Thursday evenings in the Audiovisualities Lab, room C104, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse. Any and all students interested in sound studies are invited to attend—no experience necessary.

  • Oct 16 5-7pm — Workshop 1: Sonic Perspectives
  • Nov 13 5-7pm — Workshop 2: Listening across Media
  • Feb 5  5-7pm — Workshop 3: Sonic Pedagogies
  • Feb 26 5-7pm — Workshop 4: Sound, Situated
  • Mar 19 5-7pm — Workshop 5: Bridging Writing & Production
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