Duke’s “Humanities Writ Large” Initiative

Duke University has received a five-year, $6 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help support and emphasize the role of the humanities the undergraduate curriculum. The “Humanities Writ Large” initiative will support visiting scholars and new faculty appointments, undergraduate research, humanities labs, and interdisciplinary collaboration across departments and institutions. As reported in Duke Today, the grant will build on Duke’s existing humanities labs model, which brings together humanities scholars and students from different departments and institutions to work together on specific projects, and invest in new collaborative humanities projects. Coming at a time when American higher education institutions are experiencing declining enrollments in the humanities, the grant is designed to support the critical role of the humanities in a global world:

“The humanities offer historical perspectives and critical analytical skills of great relevance to the pressing problems and opportunities of our time,” said Mariet Westermann, vice president of the Mellon Foundation. “To realize this potential, the humanities need to be a vital part of all undergraduate education, and humanities scholarship cannot be disconnected from the social sciences, sciences, and engineering.

“Duke’s new initiative recognizes these imperatives and will put in place innovative structures to enhance the role of the humanities across disciplines and across the university community, from undergraduate students to Ph.D. candidates and from post-docs to senior faculty,” Westermann said.

Read more in Duke Today.

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