Call for Proposals: Project Sponsors Story+ 2021

story+ program logo: the word Story+ is in a comment bubble

Deadline: December 4, 2020

About the Program

Story+ is a 6-week summer program that immerses interdisciplinary teams of students, faculty, and staff in humanities research and public storytelling. Story+ promotes inquiry-based learning and vertically-integrated collaboration through projects that may be driven by archival research, oral history, textual analysis, visual analysis, cultural criticism, or other humanistic research methods. Small teams of undergraduates, supervised by graduate student mentors, collaborate on focused projects that contribute to the broader research, teaching, scholarly communications, and/or public engagement agendas of Duke faculty, Duke librarians, non-profit organizations, and other University or non-University project sponsors. Story+ final projects have taken the form of writing, exhibits, websites, annotated archives, short films/videos, podcasts, social media content, and other genres.

A typical Story+ team consists of a project sponsor, a graduate student mentor, and three undergraduate researchers. Project sponsors benefit from the opportunity to engage a team of students, who are provided with appropriate guidance and mentoring through Story+, in research that may further their work. Story+ undergraduate students learn how to conduct rigorous interpretive research in a team setting, connect academic knowledge to broader social issues, and communicate their research stories with diverse audiences – within and outside the University – in a complex media environment. Graduate mentors get the distinctive pedagogical and professional opportunity to manage a complex collaborative project, and facilitate the network of relationships that such projects entail.

Call for Proposals Story+ 2021

We invite proposals from Duke faculty, archivists, and other campus and community members for the Summer 2021 edition of Story+. We seek projects of any topic that are anchored in humanities research methods and questions, with well-defined project goals that can be feasibly completed in six weeks. Outcomes of past Story+ teams have ranged from “finished products” (e.g. a completed curatorial plan a physical exhibit or a published research report), “prototypes” or pilot projects (e.g. a prototype online teaching module or a proof-of-concept audio podcast), as well as preliminary, exploratory research that contributes to a larger ongoing project (e.g. oral histories, translation, transcription, or archival discovery). We encourage proposals that build upon or towards course offerings, Humanities Labs, or Bass Connections teams during the regular school year. As possible points of reference, please see our Story+ website for descriptions and outcomes from previous teams. PIs or projects previously supported by Story+ are eligible to apply, but note that priority may be given, in these cases, to projects that demonstrate a significantly new direction or outcome. Individuals are strongly encouraged to consult with Amanda Starling Gould (amanda.gould@duke.edu) about interest and available opportunities.

Story+ is built upon the foundational values of care, inclusion, and community. Our primary objectives are to enable undergraduate and graduate students to participate in rigorous, hands-on humanities research, to facilitate collaborative and creative research transmission, and to promote teamwork and interdisciplinarity as humanities modes of work. 

Our values also animate how we reach out for partnerships across Duke and beyond Duke, in the projects we solicit and select, in the ways we recruit and support students, and in our common programming throughout the summer.  We understand that our work is done with and within a privileged institution of higher education that has a historically complicated relationship with research subjects, objectification, and positivism. To generate humanistic research means paying attention to how structures and systems influence the collection of evidence, methods of analysis, and communication of results and to our particular identities and contexts as researchers.

This embrace of situated knowledge does not require that Story+ projects adhere to certain topics, modes of work, or presentation practices; it does however, require a self-awareness about the choices any particular project makes from subject matter, to methodology, to communication with the public, to divisions of labor, and supervisory authority. As such, we ask all potential and participating partners to consider how you might (no matter your topics or goals) acknowledge, address, or understand intertwining systems of oppression (ableism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, etc.) as you create your projects and, more importantly, your projects’ plans of student work.

Project sponsors should plan to be accessible to their teams on at least a weekly basis and are excepted to be regularly available to collaborate with their full team. The most successful and highly-ranked of our projects are those with dedicated sponsors and clearly-articulated goals.

Please Note: We anticipate Story+ 2021 will again be a remote experience. Feeling a little stuck on how to translate or transform your project to online-only? Amanda amanda.gould@duke.edu is available to help all teams envision and enact collaborative remote research practices and methods.

Please submit proposals via Qualtrics, at https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5vyxEycXsOcpHBr by December 4, 2020 at 5pm.

The Qualtrics application form asks for the following components:

  1. Brief description of the overall project.
  2. Description of the specific project goal(s) and output(s) you hope to accomplish through Story+. Please include here a basic timeline (approximately May 13 to June 25), project milestones, expected outcome(s), and how/why this work is important to your research/your unit/your organization.
  3. Description of how your project aligns with the mission and goals of Story+ to offer a rich humanities research and public storytelling experience for graduates and undergraduates.
  4. Work plan: this is optional but ideal. This might include a sketch of methods, methodologies, weekly schedule, opportunities for students, campus/community partners who might collaborate, post-Story+ afterlives of the research.
  5. List of essential skills undergraduates will need to contribute to the project.
  6. Do you have a graduate student in mind for the role of your graduate mentor? If you would like us to help match you with a mentor, please list essential skills you would like this person to have.
  7. Any funding from external sources or other Duke units that can support the work of the team.

For queries about the program and/or to discuss specific project ideas, please email Amanda Starling Gould at amanda.gould@duke.edu. Story+ is funded by Together Duke and administered by the Franklin Humanities Institute in conjunction with Bass Connections, with additional support from the Duke Libraries.

Download a pdf copy of this Call here.

Associated Program(s)