Franklin Humanities Institute Invites Proposals for Faculty Book Manuscript Workshops in Spring 2021

Book Manuscript Workshop.

Deadline: November 10, 2020

The Franklin Humanities Institute’s Faculty Book Manuscript Workshop Program provides support for the development and completion of scholarly monographs. It provides a structure for generating constructive, informed criticism on near-final book manuscripts, at a moment in the writing process when authors can most effectively utilize feedback. The aim of the program is to transform already excellent scholarly projects into superior published works.

The FHI introduced the Faculty Book Manuscript Workshop Program in 2008 and developed it with generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation from 2011 to 2015. In recognition of the support that the program provides for faculty research, it is now funded by the Provost as part of the university’s academic strategic plan, Together Duke.

The Book Manuscript Workshop award includes funding as well as logistical support. (Note that it does not include fellowship or course-release funding.)


All regular rank faculty in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences, regardless of seniority, are eligible to apply, but Assistant Professors will receive priority consideration. We are also interested in translations, collaborative projects, and innovative major publications in a variety of formats and platforms.

See the full RFP on the Franklin Humanities Institute’s website.

Propose a Humanities Project for the 2021 Story+ Summer Research Program

Story+ request for proposals.

Deadline: December 4, 2020

The Story+ Summer Research Program is now accepting proposals for Summer 2021 projects that engage undergraduate and graduate students in collaborative research on humanities-based topics. Proposals are due by December 4 at 5:00 p.m.

Faculty are encouraged to link a Story+ project proposal to a 2021-2022 Bass Connections project team. Those wishing to do so must also complete the Bass Connections proposal process, also due December 4, 2020.

About Story+

Story+ is a six-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, nonprofit 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 producing a tangible product 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

The Franklin Humanities Institute invites 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. P.I.s 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 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 expected 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 Starling Gould is available to help all teams envision and enact collaborative remote research practices and methods.

Please submit proposals via Qualtrics by December 4, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

The Qualtrics application form will ask for the following components:

  • Brief description of the overall project
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Workplan: 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.
  • List of essential skills undergraduates will need to contribute to the project
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.

PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge Seeks Graduate Student Fellows for 2020-2021

PhD Lab.

Deadline: September 1, 2020

The PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge seeks PhD Lab Fellows for 2020-21. The purpose of the PhD Lab is to foster innovative new digital research and teaching practices in the humanities and interpretive social sciences. This program is targeted at PhD students at Duke in the humanities or social sciences, or in another program with a “digital knowledge” component that will benefit from a humanistic perspective, who are interested in sustained engagement with digital research and teaching through practice, critique, and collaboration. Pending University approval, Fellows receive a non-compensatory supplement of up to $1500 for the year. They are expected to participate in virtual Fellows gatherings and other events regularly. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, all Lab events and activities will be online until in-person group gatherings are once again permitted at Duke.

In 2020-21, PhD Lab Fellows will be expected to enter the program with a digital project idea at any stage of development, attend Fellows luncheons (roughly every other Thursday from 12-1pm), join a PhD Lab topic-based interest group (groups set their own, separate schedules and agendas), and participate in Lab events and activities.

During the Fall semester, our regular gatherings will be devoted to presentations and discussions by the Lab Directors and our invited guests around various digital concepts, methods, critical approaches, and hands-on applications. These sessions will be based in part on Lab member interest, and might include topics such as digital and virtual pedagogy, digital archives and exhibitions, digital mapping, digital publishing, VR/AR, physical computing, data visualization, and games. Theoretical and critical conversations around topics such as decolonizing and intersectional approaches to the digital humanities, accessibility, and environmental issues are also welcome.

Spring activities will generally revolve around the Lab interest groups and fellows presentations of their own projects. There may also be clusters of readings and other special sessions as the opportunities arise in coordination with other Digital Humanities Initiative and related activities on campus and beyond.

In order to spread the Fellows opportunity around, we are primarily seeking first-time PhD lab participants. However, returning Fellows may also apply. We are especially interested in returning Fellows who wish to organize special presentations and/or lead an interest group as part of their Lab activities.

The PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge is part of the Duke Digital Humanities Initiative, and is based in the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Smith Warehouse. It partners with many existing programs on campus. It was founded by Professor Cathy Davidson. Next year, the PhD Lab will be in its eighth year, and will be Co-Directed by Professors Philip Stern and Victoria Szabo.

How to Apply

Please read the fellowship details carefully. To apply, please complete this Qualtrics form:

Learn more.

Franklin Humanities Institute Invites Faculty Proposals for Book Manuscript Workshops


Deadline: March 2, 2020


The Franklin Humanities Institute’s Faculty Book Manuscript Workshop Program provides support for the development and completion of scholarly monographs. The workshops provide a structure for generating constructive, informed criticism on near-final book manuscripts, at a moment in the writing process when authors can most effectively utilize feedback. The aim of the program is to transform already excellent scholarly projects into superior published works.

The FHI introduced the Faculty Book Manuscript Workshop Program in 2008 and developed it with generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation from 2011 to 2015. In recognition of the support that the program provides for faculty research, it is now funded by the Provost as part of the university’s academic strategic plan, Together Duke.

The Book MS Workshop award includes funding for the workshop as well as logistical support. (Note that it does not include fellowship or course-release funding.)


All regular rank faculty in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences, regardless of seniority, are eligible to apply, but Assistant Professors will receive priority consideration. We are also interested in proposals to use the workshop format in new ways to support translations, collaborative projects, and innovative major publications in a variety of forms and platforms.

Timing and Leave

Junior faculty are strongly advised to apply for the workshop in advance of their junior leave. While the award does not include funding for additional leave, the FHI commits to assisting workshop recipients who plan to apply for additional leave in order to support the final revisions of their manuscripts.

When applying, applicants should consider carefully their anticipated writing schedule.  The FHI will work with each awardee to schedule their workshop, based on a realistic due date for a complete draft of the book manuscript, which will be sent to participants at least one month prior to the workshop date.

For digital or multi-modal projects, a workshop earlier in the research and writing process might be more useful; feel free to consult the FHI about timing at

The deadline for proposals is Monday, March 2, 2020.

Workshop Details

Each workshop convenes two senior scholars whose work is relevant to the subject of the book in question, an acquisitions editor from a major scholarly press, and a select group of local faculty from Duke and area universities.

The Faculty member whose project is the focus of the workshop will select each participant. The FHI will handle all logistics related to the workshop, including sending formal invitations to workshop participants, making travel arrangements for external guests, scheduling the workshop, reserving a room, printing and distributing manuscripts to workshop participants, providing catered meals, and issuing honoraria. This allows faculty to focus on finishing their manuscripts in the months approaching the workshop.

The half-day workshop begins with presentations from the invited guests, each of whom will be asked to make a formal presentation of their thoughts on the strengths of the draft and areas for further development. The author responds, and an open discussion with the group follows, continuing over a working lunch.

Workshops are closed, and groups are limited to 15 total participants, selected by the author.

Proposal Requirements and Selection Criteria

Proposals should focus on scholarly manuscripts being written with the aim to secure a publishing contract.  One workshop per year may be dedicated to digital or multi-modal projects.

Authors and their projects will be selected based on the potential significance of the finished work to the field in question, and the potential impact of the work on the author’s career. The applicant’s academic accomplishments will also be taken into account.  Workshop proposals must include the following components:

  • A one-page summary of the project in development, including a schedule for completion. In this summary, applicants should also include a statement indicating whether the work is under contract with a publisher, a list of publishers who have expressed interest, or a list of publishers the applicant feels would be ideal for the project but who have not yet been approached.
  • A one-page narrative explaining why and how this opportunity will be important to the process of completing the work. If appropriate, applicants should include a brief statement specifying their tenure and/or promotion timelines in this narrative.
  • A list of prospective invitees to the workshop, to include: (1) two scholars external to Duke; (2) one acquisitions editor at a major scholarly press (not necessarily an editor who has been approached); and (3) a list of general invitees to the workshops from Duke and area universities, divided into areas of relevance. The workshop may include no more than 15 people, although the proposal may include more names, with each prospective participant in each area ranked according to preference. Please note that this list is intended to give the review committee a sense of the proposed workshop and will not be considered final. Applicants should not make advance commitments to anyone on their list beyond confirming the general interest of the prospective participant, if this is deemed necessary. Applicants should be sure to include more than one scholar in each category.
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • A firm date for completion of the book manuscript
  • Proposals must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Monday, March 2, 2020 via email attachment (Word and PDF) to Please include the phrase “Book MS Workshop Proposal” in the subject line.
  • Applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been successful approximately six weeks from the submission deadline.


Email or

Bring Academic Research to Life through the Story+ Summer Program


Deadline: February 14, 2020

Interested in bringing academic research to life through dynamic storytelling? Check out the new projects for the Story+ Summer Research Program before applications open on January 24. The priority deadline to apply is February 14, but applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis.

Explore the 2020 Story+ Projects

Body Work: Reanimating Policy Responses to Coal Mining Disasters

Critical Decisions: Perceptions of AI in Healthcare Management

Curating and Integrating New Visual and Sonic Experiences in the Duke University Musical Instrument Collections

Exhibiting the Blunt Family Papers: The Great Migration at the Rubenstein

Experiential Archive

If a Tree Falls: Hearing Data from Duke Forest

Joining the Electric Circus: Rural Electrification and Gender in the Papers of Louisan Mamer

Manipulated Materials: Documentary Sculpture

Unearthing Root Causes of Migration through Our Stories

How Story+ Works

Story+ is a six-week summer research experience for undergraduate and graduate students interested in bringing academic research to life through dynamic storytelling. It is offered through the Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI) and Bass Connections, with support from Versatile Humanists at Duke and Duke Libraries. It is open to all undergraduates, except graduating seniors, and all graduate students, with preference given to doctoral students in the humanities and interpretive social sciences.

Undergraduates work in small teams with graduate student mentors, in a collaborative and creative research environment. Each project has a sponsor. Students learn to conduct qualitative, humanities-based research (e.g., archival research, narrative analysis, visual analysis, ethnography) and to communicate their research through effective storytelling techniques. Final projects may take the form of writing, websites, exhibits, short films or other media, depending on the project’s goals.

Story+ takes place during Summer Session 1 (May 13 to June 26, 2020). Undergraduates receive up to $3,000 to defray housing and living expenses. Please note that amounts may be lower for projects with off-campus components, as special arrangements for housing, meals, etc. will be made for students at the field sites. For participating students receiving need-based financial aid, Duke will assume responsibility for half of the summer earnings requirement. Graduate students can receive a stipend or travel support up to $2,500.

How to Apply

Story+ applications open on January 24. When applying, students will be able to select and rank up to three Story+ projects. Applicants will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Resume
  • Unofficial transcript
  • One-paragraph statement of interest per project chosen
  • One-paragraph contribution statement per project chosen detailing the experiences, strengths, skills, interests and abilities in humanities research they bring to the project
  • Up to two references (no actual letters, just names and email addresses).

For any questions about the program or application, please contact

The priority deadline for all student applications is February 14 at 11:59 p.m., but FHI will evaluate applications on a rolling basis, so please get your application in as soon as you can. Full details about each project can be found on the Story+ page.

Talk with Story+ representatives at the Bass Connections Fair on January 24.

Duke Human Rights Center at Franklin Humanities Institute Offers Summer Research Funding

 Human Rights Summer Research Grants.

Deadline: March 1, 2020

Currently enrolled Duke undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply for summer research funding from the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI). The goals of the grants are to strengthen research opportunities for students interested in developing, implementing and working in human rights. Special consideration is given to students whose research projects contribute to a senior thesis or project. Grants are available of up to $2,000.

Eligibility and Criteria

Students from all backgrounds and academic disciplines are encouraged to apply. Graduating seniors or graduate students in their final year at Duke are not eligible.

Students must be directed by a member of the Duke University faculty and conducted over a period no less than 2 weeks during the summer. Students are expected to be in frequent contact with their advisors and the DHRC@FHI throughout the duration of the project.

The grant will support domestic or international travel and living expenses, but not equipment.

Projects involving interactions with human subjects, either in-person or online, may need approval from the Duke Institutional Review Board. Read more.

Projects conducted internationally are subject to restrictions and guidelines for the safe conduct of research abroad. Read more.


Download the application here. Send your completed application to as a Word document. In addition to the application, you will need to request a letter of support from your Duke faculty mentor. This should be sent directly to All applications and letters of support are due by March 1, 2020.

Previous Grant Recipients

Read about previous grant recipients and their projects.

Faculty Can Propose New Humanities Labs to Begin in 2020-2021

Humanities Labs.

Deadline: January 27, 2020

The Franklin Humanities Institute is soliciting proposals for a new Humanities Lab to begin in the 2020-21 academic year. The new Lab will receive funding for 2-3 years (contingent on successful annual reviews). Jointly funded by the FHI and the Office of Global Affairs, the Lab should have global reach, broadly defined: for example, it can be focused on an area outside the US (like previous labs – Haiti, Global Brazil), on a topic with international or comparative dimensions (Social Movements), or on historical and cultural phenomena that cut across national and other geopolitical formations (From Slavery to Freedom). If it were a US-based project, we would expect some understanding of the US in the world, whether transoceanic, pluriversal, internationalist, or part of a system of globalization. Projects that address earlier historical periods (in which terms like global and nation may be anachronistic) and diverse modes of world-making are encouraged.

We invite proposals centered on collaborative, interdisciplinary faculty research in the humanities around a theme, a geographical area, a historical period, a genre, a concept, a paradigm, or another well-defined object of your choosing. Along with possible connections to scholars and thinkers outside the US,   including those working in languages other than English, we welcome collaborations with journalists, artists, curators, designers, translators, architects, writers, activists, musicians, and other intellectuals who bring humanistic expertise to engagements with a variety of publics. We strongly suggest careful thought on how graduate students may be included in Lab activities. Though the FHI Labs do not require curricular “output,” new courses that may be taught or co-taught in the Lab are encouraged, as are co-curricular projects such as Story+. Working in complimentary relationship with the Humanities Unbounded Department-based Labs, we are seeking projects that range across departments and, if appropriate, schools.

Support for the Labs

The Lab will be provided with $50,000 in funding annually. The Lab’s budget should cover the cost of both core operations and programming. A Lab’s operations budget may include faculty course releases (limited to a maximum of two courses per lab per year and no more than one course per person, contingent on Department Chair and Divisional Dean approval), graduate assistantships, undergraduate salaries, student staff assistance with programming, etc. Programming budget could be used for short-term residencies, visiting speakers, public events, Lab research projects, and related expenditures. The Lab is provided with a space designed to foster collaboration and to multiply learning opportunities through exposure to a diversity of approaches to a coherent field of engagement: Lab faculty and students use this as a home base for activity connected to the Lab mandate.

The FHI will support the Lab in budget and financial management, HR/payroll, facilities, and computer/AV maintenance. The new Lab will receive programming and logistical assistance from a Lab Manager, a member of the FHI staff who will be shared among our Labs, and graduate assistant(s) hired by the FHI. Other members of the FHI staff may also be available for more specialized services, for example consultation on scholarly publishing and digital projects, as well as occasional videography.


Each Humanities Lab proposal should identify two to three regular-rank (tenured/tenure track, PoP, and Research) faculty members who will serve as the Lab’s co-directors, and two to three additional core faculty affiliates. The co-directors can be comprised of faculty from the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences, or humanities/arts/interpretive social sciences faculty along with faculty from other Schools. Affiliated faculty may be drawn from Arts and Sciences as well as Duke’s professional schools, other University Institutes, the Library, or the Nasher Museum. To avoid over-commitment of junior faculty time and effort, no more than one Lab co-director should be at the Assistant rank.

Proposal Guidelines

Proposals should include the following components:

  • A 2-page intellectual rationale, describing the Lab’s central research objectives and their cross-national, cross-regional dimensions
  • Brief descriptions (1/2 page each) of 2-3 potential projects that the Lab might undertake in pursuit of these research objectives, e.g. publications, exhibitions, digital or multimedia projects, collaborations with individual or institutional partners, curricular and co-curricular projects, etc. We encourage you to conceptualize at least 1 major project that would span the life of the Lab. Feel free to discuss preliminary ideas with FHI Associate Director Christina Chia (
  • A list of faculty participants (co-directors and core affiliates). Co-directors must sign the proposal.
  • An outline of the budget categories in which the lab plans to use its $50,000 annual funding. Please indicate any additional funds that the Lab will be able to draw upon (e.g. through existing projects and grants) or plans to raise funds from external or other Duke sources.
  • Additional materials:
    • Approval letters from the appropriate Department Chair and Divisional Dean for any Lab faculty member intending to request a course release
    • Letters of support from the Department Chair and Divisional Dean for Lab co-director at the Assistant rank

Complete proposal should be submitted electronically to by Monday, January 27, 2020. Approval/support letters from Chairs and Deans may be submitted separately to the same email address.


Please email FHI Associate Director Christina Chia at

Dissertation Writing Groups Offer Structure and Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Dissertation working groups.

Deadline: October 28, 2019

The Franklin Humanities Institute seeks proposals from dissertation-stage students in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences who share similar research interests – defined historically, geographically, conceptually, or in some other manner – and wish to engage regularly, intensively with peers across the disciplines. We recommend groups of 4 to 5 members, all of whom should be post-proposal and actively engaged in the writing process. Each group should include students from two or more departments.

Each selected group will receive up to $500 for meeting expenses (e.g. meals) and, if it would be helpful for the group, a public colloquium focused on the members’ works-in-progress. Award funds may not be used for research or conference travel by individual group members. We expect the groups to be self-organized, but would be happy to connect students with resources on how to get the most out of writing groups.

To apply, please complete the online application by October 28, 2019, 11:59 p.m. Required proposal materials include: a brief collective statement on the shared focus of the group members’ dissertation projects; 1-page dissertation project description and CV for each member.

Questions? Email FHI Associate Director Christina Chia.