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.

    • 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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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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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...


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. 

Leadership and Psychopathy

Visit Norman's blog for a rich and engaging exploration of 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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