Our Goal:

Humanities Writ Large aims to infuse the undergraduate experience with opportunities to conduct humanities research and thereby learn how humanities fields contribute valuable new knowledge through humanistic analysis, perspective and methods. This is a provocative challenge to the traditional paradigm that research needs to be restricted to faculty and graduate students experts, and also supports Duke’s broader goal of increasing undergraduate research in all fields. Our belief is that early exposure to humanistic research and analysis helps students become more thoughtful architects of their own education and more sophisticated consumers of the humanities throughout their lives.

Faculty Funding Paths for Undergraduate Research

CFP: New Configurations of Undergraduate Research

All faculty who teach undergraduate students are invited to submit proposals to develop new spaces and innovative configurations for mentored undergraduate research within or connected to the humanities or interpretive social sciences. 

The Humanities Writ Large Steering Committee is eager to support a wide range of research methods and possibilities for collaboration, innovation, and distinctive types of learning.  We encourage you to “think outside the box” and come up with intriguing proposals that experiment with unexplored structures for undergraduate research.

Click here for more information on this opportunity.

CFP: Support for Graduation with Distinction Programs

The Humanities Writ Large initiative seeks to support innovations in mentored research for undergraduates specifically within the humanities and interpretive social sciences that lead to graduation with distinction projects. 

Click here for more information on these opportunities.

The HWL effort augments a larger Trinity College of Arts & Sciences (TCAS) effort to strengthen the culture of undergraduate research by funding initiatives to increase the number of Duke students engaged in faculty mentored research that leads to graduation with distinction projects. TCAS is considering proposals from individual departments or programs, multiple departments or programs, as well as from institutes, centers, or other interdisciplinary combinations.

Project Search Expands to Include Humanities

The Fall 2013 incoming first-year students at Duke had a new pre-orientation option.  Project Search – founded in 2009 – is a two-week program designed to provide research opportunities to students who have not had substantial lab experiences prior to admission.  This year for the first time P Search included an option for students who are interested in learning to do research in the humanities.  Philip Stern, Associate Professor of History and co-director of the BorderWork(s) Lab, partnered with a undergraduate students and a graduate student to guide a group of incoming students through a range of techniques and tools that are important to humanities scholars and researchers.  

Students in the humanities track in P Search lived and socialized with students in the original biology sequence.

Feedback from the participants was very strong.  Plans are being put in place to offer the humanities track in pSearch again in Fall 2014.

Re-thinking what "research" looks like

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    • Student blogger Andrew Soltoff recently wrote about humanities research, which defies the stereotypes "of people in white lab coats [who stare] solemnly into microscopes or operate complex contraptions with unpronounceable names."

Don't overlook library research resources, Simon says

Andrew Simon T'10, who majored in Arabic and did a DukeEngage project in Yemen in '07, found great assistance and even financial reward from Duke Libraries for the research he conducted on the Middle East.  more

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