January 5, 2017

National Humanities Center: Intern, Humanities Moments Campaign


Since 1978 the National Humanities Center has supported, stimulated, and disseminated the best scholarship in the humanities. One of the most prestigious independent research institutes in the world, the Center is the only one dedicated exclusively to the humanities.

Our primary initiative is a fellowship program, which each year brings up to 40 scholars to the Center, in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, to pursue research in an atmosphere of freedom, collegiality, and scholarly support. Books written by Center Fellows have won many prizes, and the Fellows themselves have gone on to hold leadership positions in their colleges and universities and virtually every major scholarly organization in the humanities. Notably, 98 past fellows have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition to supporting humanistic scholarship, the Center pursues public engagement through lectures, seminars, conferences, and various other programs.

The Education Department aims to leverage this scholarship to develop inquiry-based, classroom-ready instructional materials that encourage the best practices in the humanities. With an emphasis on research, field work, and technology integration, the NHC is a national leader in the creation of teaching resources and materials that support a deeper understanding of the role of the humanities in education.


The National Humanities Center invites a Duke University predoctoral fellow to contribute to and participate in associated activities in a national campaign called Humanities Moments.

Within the national scope of this project, moments can be drawn from the everyday and intensely personal to the historically significant. Provided in writing or recorded, “moments” are uploaded on the newly launched Humanities Moments digital archive portal (humanitiesmoments.org), curated by humanities scholars to ensure quality, context and accessibility (inclusive of extensive meta-tagging, etc.) and then made public in an effort toward community building, used to fuel local and national humanities advocacy efforts, and archived as a collective oral/personal history project.

The archive has developed at the core of what is now a wide-reaching and multi-faceted project, with national engagement at the state level coordinated through the Federation for State Humanities Councils, and other humanities academic partners. Outcomes will range from a national awareness campaign to local community recording projects, scholarly lectures and podcast conversations, “scholars in libraries,” book clubs, K-12 educator training and certification, and development of Humanities Moments classroom tools, intended to help teachers better teach humanities content across all disciplines in the curriculum.

In partnership with Weaver Academy for Performing Arts, an arts-based magnet high school in Greensboro, North Carolina, NHC has developed a guide for creating and implementing a school-based Humanities Moments campaign in the fall 2016. The goal of the project is to help students see the humanities not as a distinct and separate discipline, but instead as a thread that illuminates the humanistic role in all disciplines. With 45 faculty and 300 students, Weaver Academy offered an ideal pilot setting to provide a teacher-created model that is equal parts aspirational and practical. Deeply representative of Guilford County, Weaver demographics also provide an inclusive snapshot of an urban high school that will be accessible to partner high schools across the country.

Once completed, this guide will provide instructional approaches to creating opportunities for younger students to identify Humanities Moments across the curriculum. High school students need facilitation in the reflective action of making sense of the circumstances of their lives, and this guide will curate a series of exemplar prompts that help them experiment with the notion of the humanities as a disciplinary tool. This process will intentionally broaden the ways that the humanities is seen as a valuable lens to view all academic work—including non-humanities disciplines like mathematics, sciences, career technology. As importantly, this guide will include practical, school-based strategies for full-scale implementation of a Humanities Moments campaign that invites the entire school community (teachers, students, services staff, parents) to participate, thereby providing a vehicle for conversation and shared experiences that strengthens the community itself. This pilot will then serve as a model intended for replication in participating schools across the country via partnerships between the Center, the local humanities council, and relevant schools and/or school districts.


Primary Responsibilities

Primary responsibilities and essential functions of the internship may focus on one of these key project components (one each: spring, summer, fall 2018):

  • Provide ongoing curation and editorial oversight of contributions to Humanities Moments digital portal. This process will require close collaboration with IT and graphic design staff to ensure portal functionality and visual engagement, as well as reviewing each submission for completeness and intellectual content.
  • Develop an inclusive taxonomy for published digital content for easy search and remix capability, ensuring access rights, and applying appropriate meta tags and documentation.
  • Support and follow up with individual contributors who submit a “moment” to further flesh out a submission, or possibly to re-frame a submitted moment to more clearly identify the transformational intersection that makes the submission truly a Humanities Moment.
  • Produce multimedia outreach materials to support the national campaign, including project-specific support of State Council partners who are implementing programs to contribute to Humanities Moments portal.

To Apply

Follow the application instructions on the VH@Duke Internship Program page.