pSearch Humanities Returns for Year Two

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Humanities Writ Large

Project Search: Humanities—“pSearch”—is a pre-orientation program designed to introduce incoming students to research methods and opportunities in the humanities and interpretive social sciences at Duke. The session this year begins on August 3 and ends two weeks later, just before orientation week.

The program offers students a chance, in a risk free and friendly environment, to get a jump start on the skills they will need to navigate the often daunting and complex world of university-level humanities research, from the general (how to formulate a research question, argument, and thesis) to the wide range of more specific tools available at a research university (such as how to master the immense wealth of library and online resources on campus).

The pSearch experience also aims to acquaint students with the many venues in which they can choose to pursue research at Duke, such as the Rubenstein Special Collections Library, University Archives, the Nasher Museum, the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment (DiVE), the Center for Documentary Studies, and more. Students also have the chance each day to meet with various faculty members for intimate lunchtime conversations about different kinds of research going on throughout the campus. By the end of the program, each student will have developed her own individual research project—which in the past have covered subjects including the ethical dilemmas surrounding organ trafficking, the legal and political implications of the disenfranchisement of felons, the debate over the use of online technology in the classroom, and more—while also meditating more generally on the power of the humanities to help us to think critically about the great problems and opportunities facing the world today.