Humanities Research Center Continues Online

Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Duke Kunshan University is transitioning to online learning until the situation returns to normal. During this online period, the Humanities Research Center will take advantage of the high tech infrastructure developed at Duke University and Duke Kunshan University to continue its activities, ensuring that students and faculty can continue to advance the research mission of the university.

HRC Co-Director James Miller working at Duke University

HRC Co-Director James Miller and Lab Manager Tim Smith are working from an office in the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University. They are joined by several of the DKU faculty who have relocated temporarily to Duke University. Other faculty are continuing to participate in the work of the HRC through videoconferencing and other online platforms.

The following is a summary of activities that will be undertaken online.

Seminar on the Human, Social, and Political Consequences of COVID-19

Duke Kunshan University’s Humanities Research Center, in partnership with Duke University’s Franklin Humanities Institute, is pleased to announce a special seminar on the human, social and political implications of COVID-19. This seminar will take place on March 3 in two forms: an online Zoom meeting with panelists, Duke and DKU students, and an in-person seminar discussion at Duke University. The seminar will also play a role in helping students and faculty at both universities to collaborate during this extraordinary situation.

PETAL (Planetary Ethics and Artificial Intelligence Lab)

The PETAL program currently contains four tracks, Journey of the Universe, Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, Phones Reach Consciousness (Self-E), and Planet X. Student researchers will be able to participate in an online program through which they can work towards DKU credit through the independent study program under the supervision of co-directors James Miller and Daniel Lim.

Kunshan Digital Humanities Project

In the fall semester, the 13 teams of students traveled throughout Kunshan creating films, photography, audio, and interviews with Kunshan residents. Just before the lunar new year holiday, the teams delivered over 300GB of data to the Kunshan Digital Humanities project, as well as metadata about their work. The next phase of the project was to have involved various curation projects under the supervision of the project co-directors, culminating in a physical exhibition on campus. Instead the project co-directors have created a space on the ArcGIS StoryMap platform for students to work on an online curated exhibition of selected works in progress. We plan to curate a full exhibition of works when the campus reopens.

Health Humanities Lab

The work of the Health Humanities Lab has gained even greater salience given the current situation. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Health Humanities Lab is partnering with DKU digital media artists Ben Bacon and Vivian Xu to create an online memory archive, which will allow DKU students and others to archive, curate, and share their experiences of the COVID-19 outbreak. For further details of this project, please tune in to the COVID-19 online seminar on March 3.

Freedom Lab

The Freedom Lab has been hiring RAs for five research projects under the supervision of co-directors Selina Lai-Henderson and Jesse Olsavsky as well as collaborators Bryce Beemer, Qian Zhu. The planned official launch of the Freedom Lab has been delayed until  March 26, 8:30am Eastern, 8:30pm China time, and will be broadcast on Zoom.

Third Space Lab

The Third Space Lab (TSL) was created to engage students in reflections on their intercultural growth during their study abroad and international education experiences at DKU. Under the leadership of Emmanuelle Chiocca, Xin Zhang and Saghar Leslie Naghib, TSL will be hosting and facilitating three online workshops available to the DKU community in the next few months. These workshops will address a series of topics to optimize students’ international journeys to (1) learn about the host culture by creating their own research projects abroad, (2) learn strategies for meaningful (intercultural) encounters, and (3) learn strategies for conflict resolution. The Third Space Lab will be recruiting undergraduate students as RAs for lab-driven research projects in the coming months.

HumanSpace+ Research Group

The final initiative to be launched this semester is the HumanSpace+ Research Group, which will focus on the theory and practice of interdisciplinary integration of the humanities (broadly construed) with other domains of knowledge, including science and technology. The group, led by James Miller and Tim Smith, will work with a small group of students who are interested in visioning, implementing, and facilitating research and pedagogy that is true to the original spirit of the DKU undergraduate curriculum to be both interdisciplinary and innovative.