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.

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The NEH at Fifty: On the Fate and Fortunes of Public Goods

Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead delivered the keynote address at the "Democracy and the Humanities Symposium" commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the National Endowment for the Humanities at Loyola… Read More...
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    • Two-Way Bridges Mural

Two-Way Bridges Documents the Undocumented

This year's NC Latin American Film Festival featured two documentary films produced by the Two-Way Bridges project. The project brought numerous Duke programs and departments into partnership with local organizations in the Latino… Read More...
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Voting Rights, Then and Now: The SNCC Legacy Project

The partnership between Duke's Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University Libraries, and the SNCC Legacy Project was the subject of a recent story on WUNC. The collaboration centers on the living memory of… Read More...
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    • Secret of Good Humanities Teaching

The Secret of Good Humanities Teaching

In a recent piece for The Chronicle of Higher Education an English professor and one of his former students describe what they believe to be "the hidden structure of effective humanities teaching." It… Read More...
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    • 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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Conversations in the Digital Humanities at Duke

Want to know more about the digital humanities projects underway in the Humanities at Duke? Join us Friday October 2, 2-6pm, in the Garage, Smith Warehouse Bay 4, for an afternoon of rigorous “lightning” presentations focussing on both tools and research themes. These highlights will be the point of departure for further discussion and a means of making connections between digital scholars at Duke.

Can a Massive Open Online Course be a Work of Art?

Artist and Duke professor Pedro Lasch and Creative Time chief curator Nato Thompson are excited to present a free Massive Open Online Course, ART of the MOOC. This class functions as both a socially-engaged public art form and a survey course on the subject. It will merge traditional classroom practices with new technology and aesthetic experimentation and allow students to contribute to the field by completing creative assignments and participating in collective art projects.

The course begins on October 18.

Mass Incarceration

Speaker Series on Incarceration

The Mass Incarceration and the Carceral State speaker series for 2015-16 has been announced. The first speaker will be Dylan Rodriguez, speaking on "The Illiteracy of 'Mass Incarceration': Racial Terror and the Insurgent Poetics of Evisceration," on September 16, 6 - 7:30 p.m. in 0012 Westbrook Hall.

Future speakers are:

  • October 8: Daniel Lachance,"The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment," 6-8 p.m., Smith Warehouse Bay 4 "Garage."
  • November 11: Lisa Guenther, "Carceral Dreams, Nuclear Afterthoughts," 6 - 7:30 p.m., location TBA.
  • February 25:  Regina Kunzel, "Sex Panic and the Expansion of the Carceral State," time and location TBA.
  • April 14: Vesla Weaver, "No Name in the Polity: The Carceral State and Black Citizenship," time and location TBA. 

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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