Pedro Lasch: HOW TO KNOW

Social Art Practice & Socially Engaged Humanities

Students are invited to a series of lunchtime "edit-a-thons" and conversations with Professor Pedro Lasch in advance of his Spring 2016 class: "Social Art Practice & Socially Engaged Humanities" (ARTVIS 590S / VMW 590S).

Friday November 6, 12-1pm
Friday November 13, 12-1pm
Friday November 20, 12-1pm

All happening at Lilly Library (009) on East Campus. No need to RSVP. Just come by. If we run out of pizza, we will get more.

Topics will include:

  • Bringing more "practice" to the humanities and more "social time" to the arts.
  • Running your own wiki, or working with others who do.
  • Learning how MOOCs work and how they are made.
  • Exploring whether a MOOC can be a work of global public art.

To learn more contact Pedro Lasch (

Vilches Art of the Americas talk, square

Gallery Talk by Elvira Vilches at the Nasher

6-7pm Thursday, Nov 12
Art of the Americas gallery at the Nasher Museum

The talk, part of the museum's exhibition The New Galleries: A Collection Come to Light, will be followed by a chocolate tasting.

Fall 2015 Humanities News

Philosophy's Gender website

Publishing Project Vox

11:45 - 1:00
Thursday, Nov 5
The Edge / Workshop Room

Project Vox, launched in March 2015, encourages rediscovery of the ideas and contributions of early modern women philosophers. Currently the project is developing standards and workflows for publishing content, including how to solicit and review new material, credit contributors, track use, and build broad participation. Project Vox team members will present work to date and invite conversation around questions they're still working through. 

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...


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.
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!

gbhl wbflyer 2 1

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!

Spring 2015 Humanities News

Leadership and Psychopathy

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

Norman Sandridge on the deeply interdisciplinary research he has pursued at Duke as a Humanities Writ Large Visiting Faculty Fellow. "Sometimes even a 5 minute conversation... can put you on an exciting new trajectory." Sandridge is an Associate Professor of Classics at Howard University.

Announcing Story Lab

Storylab banner 700x360
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. 

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."

Words Matter: Storytelling with President Obama in an Age of Sound Bites

The significance of meaningful and effective words cannot be overrated, especially when a critical message is needed to stand out in a 24/7 news cycle and break through the constant noise of social media.  Jon Favreau—director of speechwriting for President Barack Obama (2009-2013)—knows this all too well. 

At this public talk, Favreau will discuss the ability to “see” or get behind the words—to capture the essence of an issue and create dialogue that clearly and powerfully articulates what it is about that issue that matters and why we should care. Favreau will offer his insight on how precisely—from conception to delivery—to “get behind the words we speak,” including the significance of “mining” resources for inspiration, creating scripts that speak from and to the heart, and “walking the walk” of talk.

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.

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

Materiality and Embodiment in Sacred Economies of Exchange

Thursday, January 29, 1-5pm, Alumni Memorial Commons Room, Langford Building, Duke Divinity School

Creating a Living Archive of the Fight for Voting Rights

The mission of the SNCC Legacy Project (SLP) is to preserve and extend the legacy of the freedom struggle, assuring that it is passed from generation to generation. To that end, SLP is partnering with Duke University Libraries and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke to create a pilot program focused on the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The project will bring SNCC veterans to campus for extended periods in 2014–15 to work alongside students, faculty, and archivists in establishing a new archive on the SNCC organizing efforts that led to the Voting Rights Act. We hope in this way to create a living freedom archive that will be publicly accessible through the web and include K–12 outreach.

One Person, One Vote is a collaboration between the SNCC Legacy Project and, at Duke University, the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, John Hope Franklin Research Center, and Center for Documentary Studies, with support from the Forum for Scholars and Publics, Women’s Studies, Department of History, Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Office for Institutional Equity, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, and the Office of the Provost.


Fall 2014 Humanities News

Sacred Economies Poster

This workshop-style conversation about sacred economies in several different religious traditions is presented by Duke's Department of Religious Studies. It has been organized by department chair David Morgan and HWL Visiting Faculty Fellow Frank Graziano. They will be joined by behavioral economist Panos Mitkidis and by Jessica Boon, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Contact for further information.

Subnature and Culinary Culture

Subnature and Culinary Culture is a Humanities Writ Large event that explores subnature, a term coined by architectural historian David Gissen for aspects of nature that the architectural discipline has traditionally shunned, such as dankness, darkness, mud, weeds, smoke, puddles, dust, debris, crowds, and pigeons. Applied to food, the concept encompasses smelly cheese, offal, and other acquired tastes.

The project is presenting a number of events in September and October. See the project web page for more information.

  • Sep. 3 John Hope Franklin Center Lunch, Subnature and Culinary Culture “Writ Large”
  • Sep. 9 Subnatural Histories from Buildings to Palates
  • Sep. 15 Public Lecture — Heather Paxson, "The Cultural Life of Cheese: Gender, Labor and Microbes in American Craft Production"
  • Sep. 16 Public Lecture — Subnatural Cultures in and Around the Creamery from Science to Animals and Art: A Talk, Tasting, and Art Opening at Duke's Jameson Gallery
  • Sep. 18 Foraging Walks on Duke's Campus with "Wildman" Steve Brill
    Subnature and the Culinary Campus: Duke Dining Special Event on East Campus
  • Sep. 19 Foraging Walks on Duke's Campus with "Wildman" Steve Brill
  • Oct. 2 Panel Discussion — Food Utopias From Denmark To Durham: The Ethics of Eating Well
    Copenhagen’s Nordic Food Lab and North Carolina Chefs Dinner
  • Oct. 3 Subnature and Culinary Cultures Event Series Reception & Reflections

The Sep. 17 Duke Dining Special Event on the quad and in the Marketplace was a great success. See the story in Duke Today. Here are some photos:

Tom Parker, a Humanities Writ Large visiting  faculty fellow from Vassar College, conceived and organized the 'Subnature and Culinary Culture' project. Parker's book Taste, Identity, and Nation: A Cultural History of French Terroir is forthcoming from the UC Press.

Spring 2014 Humanities News

Envisioning Landscape Archaeology:  Duke in Tuscany Students Document a 2,500-year-old Etruscan Tomb

Finding My Sisters In Cinema: Yvonne Welbon's Archive of African American Women's Media Production
Tuesday, April 15, noon
Center for Documentary Studies

ywelbon samller

Yvonne Welbon's Sisters in Cinema archive is one of the largest single collections of African American women's media production in the United States. At an event at CDS, Welbon, a 2013-14 Humanities Writ Large Visiting Faculty Fellow at Duke, will talk about the origins and contents of the archive and present one of the first public viewings of its holdings.

The archive includes over one hundred hours of videotaped interviews and transcripts; hundreds of films, videotapes, and DVDs directed by African American women; and related artifacts. During her year at Duke, Welbon is recording, cataloging, and documenting the archive. She is also working on a book related to the project.

Yvonne Welbon is an independent filmmaker and producer and associate professor of journalism and media studies at Bennett College for Women. She holds an MFA in Film and Video from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a doctorate in Radio/TV/Film from Northwestern University. Welbon's directing credits include the award-winning documentaries Sisters in Cinema and Living with Pride: Ruth Ellis @ 100.

From Harlem to Hamburg and Back Again
Friday, March 28, noon - 6pm
FHI Garage, Smith Warehouse

harlem to hamburg symposium

Harlem to Hamburg is hosting a one-day symposium called "From Harlem to Hamburg and Back Again." The keynote speaker, Professor Werner Sollors of Harvard University, who will be giving a talk entitled “Are You Occupied Territory? Black G.I.s in Fiction of the American Occupation of Germany after World War II.” There will also be talks from Michelle Wright of Northwestern University ("Off the Beaten Path: Theorizing Blackness outside the Middle Passage Epistemology") and Michelle Eley of North Carolina State University ("Bringing New Perspectives of the Black Diaspora to the Classroom").

In addition to the talks, the West German film Gottes Zweite Garnitur will get its first screening with English subtitles. The film tells the story of a romance between a German woman and an African American soldier that scandalizes a small town near the East German border.

Harlem to Hamburg, a Humanties Writ Large Emerging Network, is an interdisciplinary investigation of the cultural exchange between African American and German culture during the 20th century, from the Harlem Renaissance through the Civil Rights movement and beyond. It brings together faculty from Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central University, and North Carolina State University.

Bound Images: Maps in Books, 1500-1850
Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Rubenstein 318, Perkins Library

    • map in book

When most people think of maps and books they immediately imagine maps, or atlases. Yet maps illustrate and contribute to a larger argument in books of all kinds, including histories, geographies, travel accounts, and novels.  Beyond atlases, maps are often studied or collected as individual items, or "sovereign" maps, in the words of French scholar Christian Jacob.  This discussion dethrones the sovereign map, asking what changes theoretically and curatorially when we think about maps as “bound images” and a graphic part of the story told by authors and printers in book form.

Carla Lois, CONICET, Universidad de Buenos Aires
Matthew Edney, University of Southern Maine, History of Cartography Project
Ricardo Padron, University of Virginia
Susan Danforth, John Carter Brown Library
Jordana DymHumanities Writ Large/BorderWork(s) Lab, Duke; Skidmore College

A Humanities Lab Moment:  Gallery Talk by Student Curators

BorderWork(s) Lab students Elizabeth Blackwood, Mary Kate Cash, Katie Contess, Rachel Fleder, Lauren Jackson, Jordan Noyes, and Jeremy Tripp led a gallery tour of Defining Lines: Cartography in the Age of Empire.

Defining Lines is on view at Duke's Nasher Museum from September 9 - December 15, 2013. This student-curated installation draws exclusively from the holdings of Duke University's David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and explores the mutual relationships between maps and empires.

As imperial colonial structures rose, consolidated, and ultimately collapsed, the legacy of how their maps delineated colonial holdings, visualized spaces, and reinforced control remains with us. As varied and conflicted as their purposes and perspectives may be, maps continue to function as a powerful and popular medium through which we understand the world and the man-made lines that define and ultimately control it.

Fall 2013 Humanities News

Rapping The Revolution

Friday, October 4
Islamic Media:  Sense and Sensation Workshop
Rapping the Revolution Coffeehouse

A day-long workshop on Friday, October 4 will explore how film, graffiti, rap, poetry, and street art have flourished at the intersection of religion (specifically Middle Eastern Islam) and revolution, transforming not only the social and political landscape, but also the human sensorium.  That evening that Duke Coffeehouse will host a dance party and music jam featuring music from the recent revolutions in the Arab World.

The workshop will explore:

  • How does this cultural production help breathe new life into older religious forms?
  • How is this new life lived, felt, and experienced in human perception?
  • How does material production give expression to the spirit?
  • How do representational practices give voice to the soul?
  • How do they help make the invisible visible?

This project is built around a set of public performances and conversations in which Duke students play critical roles as facilitators, interviewers, and interlocutors. Performing an interactive public sphere, they engage with distinguished speakers in fields critical to the disciplinary study of media and the senses.

Wired! Lab Undergraduate Research Fellows Program

The Wired! Lab is now accepting applications for undergraduate Research Fellows to work during the fall 2013 semester with a faculty member and a graduate assistant on a long-term research project. They seek independent and motivated students to work as part of a digital humanities research team. 

Applications will be accepted from students in Trinity College and Pratt who have taken or are currently enrolled in at least one course in Art History, Classical Studies, History, Medieval/Renaissance Studies, or Visual and Media Studies. Those students interested in eventually pursuing Graduation with Distinction are particularly encouraged to apply.

The research stipend for the fall semester is $750, with a possibility of renewal for the spring 2014 semester.  Learn more here.


Humanities Writ Large is pleased to announce the newest humanities lab:  Audiovisualities.

The inaugural courses in the Audiovisualities Lab include a first-year seminar in Audiovisualities, Introduction to Film Studies, and Sounds of the South.  Students enrolling in these courses will be presented with opportunities to work with faculty and other students on original research.

Learn more from this video as well as the Lab website.

    • Sounds of the South flyer
    • intro to film flyer

Audiovisualities is based in Bay 4 of Smith Warehouse. The Franklin Humanities Institute is also home to the BorderWork(s) Lab, another Humanities Writ Large Humanities Lab.

Spring 2013 Humanities News

Visiting Faculty Fellows Upcoming Events

On Wednesday, April 24, Visiting Faculty Fellow Adeline Koh will talk about her experiences designing the game Trading Races - an elaborate role-playing game set at the University of Michigan of Ann Arbor campus in April 2003.  Professor Koh will also be joined by Eileen Chow (AMES), who will discuss her use of the game in her classes at Duke in Spring 2013.  Join them from noon - 2 p.m. at the Garage, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse.

Visiting Faculty Fellow Ralph J. Savarese will host a panel discussion on The Difference that Disability Makes on Friday, April 26.  How might blindness and bipolar disorder be understood as acceptable forms of difference, not conditions to be pathologized and lamented? How might they contribute to the literary arts? Come listen to two celebrated authors read from their work and discuss these questions.  Join them from noon - 2 p.m. at the Mary D.B.T. Semans Center for Health Education.

Symposium on Relief Efforts in Haiti - April 11 & 12, 2013

The Haiti Lab will be hosting a conference during Reunions Weekend on international relief efforts in Haiti.  Visiting Faculty Fellow Joshua Nadel, along with students in his Duke-NCCU class "The Haiti Project," have planned a public event to explore what has worked, what hasn't, and why.  In this video he and Laurent Dubois, co-Director of the Haiti Lab, talk about the class and conference.

Symposium on "Neuroeconomics"

Duke's Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Science and Cultural Theory is sponsoring a symposium April 12th, 2013, from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm in the FHI Garage (Smith Warehouse). The goal of the symposium is to contextualize—both historically and in terms of science studies methodologies—the models of the “brain” and of “economics” that underwrite the recent emergence of “Neuroeconomics.”

This event is open to all members of the Duke community and the wider public.  Additional information is available here.

Writing and the Inscription of Power in South Asia:  Workshop, April 5-6

Visiting Faculty Fellow Matthew Cook and Duke Professor Rich Freeman are convening a workshop to explore questions of how writing literally under-wrote projects of cultural dominance and resistance in this key region of the world.  The workshop has the overall goal of advancing a more general and comparative understanding of the relationships among language, culture and power in South Asia.

The keynote speaker on Friday afternoon, Nile Green of UCLA, will follow the infancy of Muslim printing through responses to European industrialization on the distant frontiers of empire.

For more information, see the workshop site.

Peter Burian: Transforming Classics

Professor Peter Burian has served Duke for 45 year, as Professor of Classical & Comparative Literatures, and Theater Studies, teaching more than 50 different courses; as an active member in Academic Council; as chair of Classical Studies; as mentor; as colleague; and this year as Dean of Humanities. 

On March 22-23, 2013, he will host a conference to mark the end of his service at Duke and the beginning of his next set of intellectual and civic projects.  The conference is free and open to the public.  Contact Shawna Kaufman () for information.

Click here to see Duke Today's profile of his remarkable career.

    • transforming classics final deluxe

Reacting to the Past Conference,
January 19 & 20

During her 2012-13 Visiting Faculty Fellowship at Duke, Adeline Koh is developing a historical role-playing game called Trading Races. The game is set at the University of Michigan in 2003. Players contest the fate of affirmative action there, taking on the roles of specific historical figures and a student assembly.

In this video, Koh talks about her game, about the "Reacting to the Past" pedagogy that it's based on, and about the RTTP conference she has organized for Jan. 19 & 20, 2013 at Duke's Franklin Humanities Institute.

Fall 2012 Humanities News

First New Faculty Member Hired Through HWL

One component of the Humanities Writ Large initiative is funding for "bridge hires."  That is, hiring a faculty member before the department has the budget line available to support her/him.  The Department of Romance Studies had the opportunity to hire two Brazilianists at the same time -- Professors Gustavo Furtado and Lamonte Aidoo -- allowing a significant multiplier effect that would not have been available to Duke without Mellon support.  Brazilian Studies is a rich area within comparative area studies as Brazil is both quite similar to (for instance in areas of slavery and race relations) and rather dissimilar from (in terms of language and emerging perspectives on race and sexuality) the United States.

Read more about these and other new hires on DukeToday.

    • Aidoo and Furtado

Of Shakespeare and Financial Decisions

Duke alum John Forlines III is using Shakespeare's works to teach undergraduate economics students about life lessons that can help illuminate financial decision-making and serve them beyond the classroom. 

Forlines, chairman and chief investment officer of JAForlines Global in New York, is a past member of the Sanford School of Public Policy's Board of Visitors. He serves on the Duke Law & Entrepreneurship LLM Alumni Advisory Board and is a member of the Athletics Leadership Council. Two of his three children are Duke alumni.

Now that he's experienced life as a businessman, husband and parent, Forlines welcomes the opportunity to teach Duke undergraduates about the importance of making good decisions.  (Read the full article here.)

Deadline Extended for Emerging Humanities Networks Proposals

The Humanities Writ Large steering committee is seeking proposals for innovative projects to begin in Spring 2013.  The deadline has been extended to November 12.

Click here to see the CFP, or go to the Emerging Humanities Networks page to read about the current projects.

    • speculation

Like Computer Games?  Interested in Finance Capital?  Fascinated by Codes, Puzzles and Stories?  Wondering What the Future Will Bring?

Sign up for an independent study with us!  The objective is to test, analyze, and evaluate the extensive Alternate Reality Game “Speculation,” designed here at Duke last year.  Featuring eight modules with multiple levels in each module, “Speculation” combines game play with narratives of a near-future world, codes and ciphers with deep information about the origins of money, credit, and finance.  Learn about game construction and provide input on how to improve our design. Check out the trailer at and the url at  For more information, contact Prof. Hayles at .

    • bucket list

What exactly is a "Humanities Lab"? What does it mean to have a Lab that focuses on a country (Haiti), a concept (BorderWork(s))... and games (GreaterThanGames)??  

Come to the Franklin Humanities Institute's "research fair" to see and hear presentations of lab projects in progress! There will also be time to meet the faculty directors from each of the labs and talk with students about their experience in the labs. Find out how you can get involved!

Directions here.


Saturday, September 15, 9-5

Duke faculty, graduate students, and administrators are invited to attend THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on September 15, 2012, from 9-5.  Sponsored by the Institute for the Arts and Humanities (IAH), THATCamp will be held at IAH’s home, Hyde Hall (175 Franklin Street), UNC-Chapel Hill.  THATCamp is a dynamic, open, inexpensive un-conference where humanists and technologists of all skill levels learn and build together in sessions that are proposed on the spot. 

Registration is now OPEN at

The registration process is very quick and easy.

PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge Information Session

Monday, August 27, noon, The Garage, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse.

To participate as a PhD Lab Scholar, you must:

  • be a Duke doctoral student in a humanities or social science department OR in a program with a "digital knowledge" component that will benefit from a humanistic perspective;
  • have an interest in enhancing one's skills, ideas, and research using digital tools and new ideas of online collaboration, community, and networks;
  • have a set of skills and interests that can actively contribute to the community of the PhD Lab.

Spring 2012 Humanities News

Durham Herald-Sun features "Humanities on Demand"

It “encourages students to be active participants in their education,” he said. “Rather than simply consuming the content of a course, they are encouraged to help produce the course. When students can connect what is being taught in the classroom with their own personal interests, they invariably learn more.”  (read full article here)

Myth No. 4: Liberal arts won’t serve entrepreneurs well.

In a Durham News & Observer article, Kimberly Jenkins, Duke's senior adviser to the president and provost for innovation and entrepreneurship, said she sees people interested in innovation and entrepreneurship make a faulty assumption -- that engineering, business and the hard sciences are the surest path to success. Certainly, they have an important role to play. Jenkins herself earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Duke.

But it’s the historians, graphic artists, sociologists and economists who are often highly effective at grasping the big picture and making the unexpected connections that spark innovation. (read more)

The Role of the Humanities in Higher Education and Society

Professor Chad Gaffield, President of Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, addressing the German Center for Research and Innovation on April 3, 2012 at the German House, New York City. 

Starting at  29 minutes, he articulates seven reasons to be optimistic about the future of the humanities.  Number 7 (at 38 minutes) is Humanities Writ Large at Duke.

Defending the Humanities

Dean of Humanities Peter Burian has written an essay for "Inside Higher Ed" where he explains that academic humanists "will not prosper in the long run by saying we offer better job training, though indeed many of the skills one can learn in the humanities classroom (clear writing, careful analysis, cogent argumentation) are crucial to success in the world outside. Nor can we claim to offer solutions to the world’s problems, though we can say they will hardly be solved without the help of the sort of critical, open-minded and open-hearted thought that the humanities uniquely promotes.

"What we must do is insist — loudly and repeatedly — that liberal education aspires to make people not merely successful but also fulfilled, not merely autonomous thinkers but also contributing citizens, engaged and creative participants in the community. We must show how grounding in the humanities can put political and social issues into perspective and provide new perspectives on our values and beliefs."  (read more)

How Video Games Can Change the World

Victoria Szabo, co-director of the GreaterThanGames Lab, recently talked with DukeToday staff about the economic and social influences of video games. (read more)

Nex is Coming

In a hard-to-reach corner of the Internet, a resistance force is rising up to challenge a ruthless cabal of bankers bent on ruling the world.  And a group of Duke faculty and students are watching it unfold with glee. (read more)

Visiting Faculty Fellow Sharon Raynor on NC Now

News & Observer Spotlight on Peter Burian and the Humanities

"We want to be with it, we want to be modern, we want not to seem tedious and old-fashioned and frumpy,” Burian said in his office, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling shelves crammed with books. “But really, a lot of what the traditional humanities have been good for is not speeding up and creating all the information that you can, but in slowing down, reflecting, developing the imagination, taking the long view and thinking about how to think. And if we don’t have that role, I’m not sure where it’s going to come from.”  (read more)

Technology Brings History to Life

DukeToday has featured BorderWork(s) student Emma Ross, who said working on original research with history professor Philip Stern and other members of the Humanities Lab was the highlight of her Duke experience, helping her "find my intellectual passion." (read more)

"A Powerful Tool for Living"

Tom Ferraro, Frances Hill Fox professor of English and director of undergraduate studies, was recently interviewed for Towerview: The Chronicle's News & Culture Magazine.

    • ferraro

“To Ferraro, a liberal arts education is a powerful tool for living precisely because it involves asking difficult and essential questions. ... Doing the kind of critical engagements with literature that we do produces a form of what an older generation used to call “critical thinking.” English students are among the two highest scorers on LSATs—along with econ majors—and GMATs, and on any of the ones designed to test your ability to think analytically. An astonishing number of the Nobel Prize winners in the sciences have undergraduate liberal arts educations. They can teach you to think better within the box because they can teach you to think outside the box." (Read more)

The Big Bad Wolf and Other Viral Tales

DukeToday has featured "Humanities of Demand" - a new humanities course that challenges traditional teaching methods by encouraging students to build the curriculum. (read more)

Humanities Writ Larger

Duke's Chronicle editorial board wrote on April 4, 2012 that "... the humanities possess a powerful and distinct rigor all their own. More importantly, these fields of study have, and will always be, essential to the education of citizens who are able to interrogate the values and structures that make up our crazy world."  (read more)

Professor Peter Burian spoke about the role of the humanities in developing empathy and understanding - attributes that contribute to a successful life. (read more)

General Martin E. Dempsey G'84, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke of the value his Masters Degree in English has brought to his career and his life in a speech in Page Auditorium on January 12, 2012.

  • blue background