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Duke University Launches New ‘Humanities Unbounded’ Program

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Duke University just received $3 million to launch a new humanities initiative; the move is also expected to help them launch new partnerships with various liberal arts colleges, notably a new teaching partnership with Durham Technical Community College, ultimately with a program called “Humanities Unbounded,” that is expected to start this summer.

What is the ‘Humanities Unbounded’ program going to be like?

The “Humanities Unbounded” project will run from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2023.

It will also focus on three major goals: developing new models that combine undergraduate education, faculty research and graduate student training, helping Duke build relationships with liberal arts colleges, with a special focus on historically black colleges and universities, and a new pilot program, a new teaching partnership, with Durham Technical Community College.

The program will be led by historian and vice provost for interdisciplinary studies Edward Balleisen, dean of the humanities and art historianGennifer Weisenfeld, and director of the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke and professor of English, women’s studies and literature Ranjana Khanna.


What is the school saying about the new programs?

According to Duke Today, University President Vincent Price issued the following statement:

“Duke has long been engaged in building the future of the humanities, both through undergraduate teaching and faculty scholarship.”

“We are grateful for the support of the Mellon Foundation, which will help us strengthen existing partnerships and forge new connections on our campus and beyond.”

Weisenfeld, who, as mentioned above, serves as dean of the humanities, also issued the following statement:

“We plan to develop nine humanities labs over the course of the grant, and we believe this will create innovative and flexible educational pathways that will expose more Duke students to the richness of humanistic thinking and its exciting research possibilities.”

William Ingram, president of Durham Tech, also issued the following statement over the upcoming program between the two schools:

“This new partnership will generate great benefits for both institutions.”

“It creates exciting opportunities for our instructors to further enhance and develop their pedagogy, and that will have long-term benefits for our curriculum.”


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