Spotlight: Humanities & Interpretive Social Sciences Departments

Posted on September 5, 2016 by

Updated 4/9/19

The centerpiece of Humanities Futures is an ambitious set of program partnerships with Duke’s 18 humanities and interpretive social sciences departments. In the first phase of the grant (2014-16), these partnerships took the form of inter-departmental seminars that brought multiple departments together into transdisciplinary conversations (e.g. around performance, translation, global humanities). A full list of all six seminars, plus a summary of the first four, can be browsed here.

In the second phase, which begins Fall 2016, we will be turning the spotlight more squarely on individual departments – on each unit’s distinctive profiles, challenges, and future-oriented strategies. Building upon Phase 1’s emphasis on shifting paradigms in humanities research, in Phase 2 we have invited the Departments to link questions of research more explicitly with graduate training, undergraduate curriculum, public engagement, and other dimensions of humanities theory and practice. First up in late September is the Music Department’s Project Orfeo (9/25 concert and 9/23 pre-concert discussion). An experimental “mixed media concert” inspired by the distinguished novelist Richard Powers’ writing on music, featuring a new work by Duke composer Scott Lindroth and performances by Duke violist Jonathan Bagg and other musicians, Project Orfeo stages an encounter between the humanities and the arts, between music history and music futures. It promises to be a thrilling start to the next phase of Humanities Futures.

We are delighted to share the following partial preview of department programs for 2016-17 – with more dates, links, and information to come, and the caveat that some details may be subject to revisions. This list will be updated periodically. Please also come back and check our event calendar and departmental listings early and often!

African and African American Studies
•    Global Blackness: A Multidisciplinary Exploration
•    Rethinking Slavery in the 21st Century: Images and Archives

Art, Art History & Visual Studies
•    Material Desire in the Digital Age
•    fracture/suture: 2016 Art, Art History & Visual Studies Graduate Student-Organized Symposium

Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
•   Middle East in Latin America
•   Dissident Subjects
•   Worlding Chinese Literature

Classical Studies
•    Classics Reborn: New Perspectives in the Study of the Classical World

Cultural Anthropology
•    Experimental ethnography speaker series
•    Precarious Publics

•    Power/Full: Bill T. Jones Artist Residency
•    Dance Technology and Circulations of the Social

•    Write Now! (Part of the Department’s ongoing initiative on academic writing)

Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (formerly Women’s Studies)
•    Transgender Studies and the Humanities

•    German Studies in Dialogue
•    Humanities and Migration

•    Inaugural Exhibit at the John Hope Franklin Gallery
•    "Micro-meets-Macro": Designing Historical Research Methods to Scale
•    Muslim Europe: African and Asian Diasporas, Migrations and Continental Histories

•    Pleasure/Suspicion: An Interdisciplinary Conference Hosted by Polygraph and the Literature Program
•    Alt-Ac(tivism)
•    The Futures of Literature, Science, and Media

•    Project Orfeo

•    New Narratives of Philosophy
•    Workshop on neuroscience and philosophy
•    Workshop on evolution and morality
•    WiPhi (Wireless Philosophy)

Political Science
•    Interdisciplinary Political Theory Program

Religious Studies
•    Entanglement: The Art of Between and Beyond

Romance Studies
•    University Finances and Public Education
•    Economic History of the University
•    Death of a Discipline & Digital Humanities

Slavic and Eurasian Studies
•    New Structures in Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Theater Studies
•    Mortality and the Creative Response Symposium
•    Performance in the 21st Century Speaker Series