Humanities Futures



Humanities Futures explores possible trajectories of the humanities in the wake of interdisciplinary developments of recent decades, particularly the rapidly changing paradigms and practices in research, teaching, publishing, and public engagement today. Made possible by a general grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Humanities Futures is a 3.5-year initiative running from Fall 2014 through Fall 2017. The grant supports a broad array of programs in collaboration with academic units and individual faculty across multiple institutional and disciplinary/interdisciplinary locations.

At the center of Humanities Futures is a set of program partnerships with Duke’s 18 humanities, arts, and interpretative social sciences departments focused on their disciplinary and interdisciplinary futures. The Academic Futurology series invites humanists to think proactively and creatively about the structures and practices of academic life, in departments and beyond. The grant sponsors faculty-led seminars on concepts, figures, and art forms of historical significance in the humanities; interdisciplinary working groups on global and emerging humanities; and a digital humanities collaboration with North Carolina Central University, the FHI's long-standing HBCU partner and Durham neighbor. The grant also sponsors distinguished speakers and signature innovations beyond the primary “tracks.” The Humanities Futures website serves as a virtual hub for “think pieces” and multimedia materials generated by this ambitious constellation of programs. The grant will culminate with a major conference in which our department partners are encouraged to engage from their own disciplinary culture with a prominent interdisciplinary humanities topic, health humanities. This broad topic will serve as a “portal” to conversations about future strategies in humanities research, teaching, public engagement, and collaboration.

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