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4 Doctoral Programs Receive Grants from VH@Duke to Enhance Ph.D. Training

Innovation Grant Winners

Versatile Humanists at Duke (VH@Duke) has presented four doctoral programs with Ph.D. Innovation Grants to help develop and implement curricular changes designed to enrich students’ academic experiences, and prepare them for transformative roles inside and outside of academia.

VH@Duke is a program supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Duke Graduate School, and the Duke Provost’s Office. It is designed to further assist and broaden the horizons of Ph.D. students, and the doctoral innovation grants are one way VH@Duke accomplishes its mission. The doctoral programs have up to two years to apply the funds.

The grant recipients are:

Computational Media, Arts & Cultures (CMAC)

Lead: Victoria Szabo
CMAC is a new interdisciplinary, interdepartmental Ph.D. program that draws upon both humanistic and scientific approaches to knowledge production, including media theories and histories, computational media practice, and human and machine language learning. CMAC’s VH@Duke award will support the development of a portfolio-based comprehensive exam for doctoral students, and a hybrid theory/practice Ph.D. dissertation.


Leads: Kristen Neuschel and Philip Stern
The Ph.D. program in history will apply its VH@Duke award to reimagine how it trains students to teach. The department’s goals are to integrate pedagogical training seamlessly into the curriculum; emphasize relationships among teaching, scholarly communication, and public engagement; connect pedagogical training with cross-disciplinary units and programs at Duke; and update pedagogical training to better prepare Ph.D. students for diverse career opportunities.    


Lead: Mark Hansen
The Ph.D. program in literature, with the input of a student advisory group, has proposed a yearlong structured program to support and refine student writing.  The VH@Duke award will support an off-campus, facilitated summer retreat and a subsequent monthly writing workshop. The project is intended to hone writing and research skills, develop individual writers’ strengths, and expand students’ ability to communicate with audiences outside the academy.


Leads: Andrew Janiak and Liz Milewicz
In collaboration with Duke Libraries Digital Scholarship Services Department, the philosophy Ph.D. program will offer a spring 2018 seminar on interdisciplinary, team-based, and hands-on instruction in scholarly digital publishing. The seminar, funded in part by the VH@Duke award, will be structured around Project Vox, a digital platform for transforming the teaching and scholarship of the history of modern philosophy in the English-speaking world.    

Next year’s application will be available in late 2017 or early 2018. For questions, please contact Maria LaMonaca Wisdom (