Duke University Receives $6 Million to Broaden Humanities Program

Duke University has announced a five-year, $6 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a new initiative designed to broaden the role of humanities in its undergraduate curriculum.

Building on the university's existing humanties laboratory model, the initiative, Humanities Writ Large, will provide more experiential learning in and outside the classroom to help spark collaboration among undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty and staff. The grant also will enable the university to support visiting scholar and new faculty appointments, undergraduate research efforts, humanities labs, and interdisciplinary collaborations across departments and institutions.

In addition, the grant will support an inter-institutional model for research and teaching that builds on existing relationships and and helps develop collaborations between specialists in various disciplines that lack a sustainable structure or permanent funding stream.

"The humanities offer historical perspectives and critical analytical skills of great relevance to the pressing problems and opportunities of our time," said Mellon Foundation vice president Mariet Westermann. "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."

"Duke to Overhaul Humanities." Duke University Press Release 06/28/2011.