Humanities Futures



Humanities Futures is a multi-faceted exploration of the states and directions of the humanities in light of the interdisciplinary developments of recent decades, particularly amidst the epistemological and methodological shifts of the current moment. Supported 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 centerpiece of the initiative is a set of public seminars co-convened by the FHI and Duke’s 18 humanities and interpretive social sciences departments. Beyond the departmental framework, the grant supports working groups focused on global and/or emerging areas of studies in the humanities, as well as a series of historically focused seminars organized around major concepts, figures, and art forms (co-sponsored by Duke's the Center for Philosophy, Art, and Literature (PAL)). In addition, Humanities Futures includes a digital humanities collaboration between Duke and North Carolina Central University. As a key part of these programs, invited guests will be asked to contribute position papers on disciplinary and interdisciplinary dynamics in the humanities. More than 100 of these “think pieces” are expected and will be collected and published on the Humanities Futures website.


2015-16 Programs

>>> Go to the Humanities Futures website for latest updates


2014-15 Programs

Cross-Departmental Public Seminars Series
A series of cross-departmental public conversations on the future of humanities disciplines jointly organized by the FHI and Duke's 18 humanities and social sciences departments. In 2014-15, each event will seek to bring together departments across the arts, the humanities, and the interpretive social sciences. Seminar participants will contribute position papers to be published on the HF website.

Non-Departmental Working Groups
Working groups initiatied by non-departmental units (centers, institutes, or collectives of faculty working on emerging topic), selected through CFP process. Working group guest speakers will contribute position papers to be published on the WF website.

  • The Ancient Mind: Mind, Brain and Society
  • The Future of the African City
  • Narrating the Environment
  • Present and Future of Critical Islamic Humanities
  • Theorizing the Emerging Field of Global Health Humanities - Inaugural Workshop April 9, 2015

PAL-FHI Seminars in Concepts, Figures, and Art Forms
A series of year-long faculty-led seminars co-sponsored by the Center for Philosophy, Art, and Literature (PAL) and the FHI

* See CFP for 2014-15 Seminars - deadline April 15, 2015 *

  • Whose Kafka? Multiplicity, Reception, and Interpretation - co-convened by Kata Gellen (German Languages & Literature) and Saskia Ziolkowski (Romance Studies)
  • The Contemporary Novel - co-convened by Nancy Armstrong (English) and Erdag Goknar (Slavic & Eurasian Studies)