Humanities Futures (2014-18)

Health Humanities & Social Justice: Breath | Body | Voice Conference

Supported by a major grant from the Mellon Foundation, 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. Humanities Futures is comprised of the following program "tracks"—for more details on each, please visit the grant's central website

At the heart of Humanities Futures is a set of program partnerships with Duke’s 18 humanities, arts, and interpretative social sciences departments (see full list in sidebar). These partnerships engage academic departments as vital contributors in the ongoing transformation of humanistic research, pedagogy, publishing, and public engagement.

Outside the departmental framework, the grant supports two "tracks" of faculty-led collective inquiry: the Concepts, Figures, and Art Forms Seminars (co-sponsored by the Center for Philosophy, Art, and Literature) convene scholars from across the humanities disciplines to examine topics with a strong historical dimension, while the Working Groups on Global and Emerging Humanities encourage interdisciplinary collaborations around contemporary and/or trans-regional questions that often range beyond the traditional ambit of the humanities.

The grant also engages with digital humanities through a collaboration with North Carolina Central University, a long-standing HBCU partner and Durham neighbor, with a particular focus on digital pedagogy.

The Humanities Futures website collects and publishes “think pieces” and multimedia materials generated by this diverse array of programs, as a public resource for academic audiences across the US and beyond. In all, the site published 72 essays and over 100 videos.

In Fall 2017, we will present a capstone conference, Health Humanities and Social Justice, that brings the humanities into conversation with the professions, the sciences, the social sciences, and the arts as a means of querying the health of the humanities.