December 10, 2018

National Humanities Center

NHC 2019 Internship: Humanities in Class digital reboot

BACKGROUND:   The National Humanities Center has worked for over 40 years to support the research and scholarship of an annual class of humanities professors from the nation’s top universities.  Our education department then works to build bridges from this research to the classroom, and we have a series of face-to-face and digital initiatives designed to give educators of all levels an opportunity to explore compelling topics in the humanities.  I’ve found that often these initiatives provide both curricular and extracurricular support for teachers; that is, knowledge and content that helps them navigate complex topics their students are talking about every day even if they are not literally in their teaching curriculum.

America in Class is a free repository of lessons and instructional materials.  Designed as exemplars and vetted by leading scholars, these resources are currently accessed over 2.5 million times annually.  We are working in the coming year to transition these materials to an Open Education Resource platform.

The Humanities in Class webinar series is an opportunity for educators to converse directly with experts on complicated topics of our time.  These 90-minute webinars provide reading packets, curated collections of sources and documents, and an associated powerpoint that registrants can use after the live event.  We average our capacity of 200 registrants per session (approximately 6,000 per year).

Our work is strong in history and literature, so we have expanded our reach to other disciplines in the humanities. We have strong materials now in support of philosophy, geography, classics, art history, music, world history, political science, and environmental humanities to name a few.  Part of our effort is to make the practice in each of these disciplines visible – and we have published a new iBook that articulates the way to think and teach in each of these disciplines.

We have crowd-sourced projects that ask stakeholders of all backgrounds to consider the value of the humanities in their daily lives – and to share with us the ways in which the humanities give them connection to the world they live in. The Humanities Moments  project has as companion guide for use in high school classrooms, and we are always seeking partners to design and implement their own Humanities Moments program.

We also offer numerous on-site and co-hosted events.  For example, we recently hosted 36 teachers to the Center for a 10-day institute that explored the Contested Territory and America’s Role in Southeast Asia, 1945-1975


OPPORTUNITY: The National Humanities Center invites a Duke University predoctoral fellow to contribute to and participate in reviewing, evaluating, and updating the digital infrastructure that supports our education work.  Our goal in the next 12 months is to transfer existing and outdated archives into interactive, searchable Open Education Resources that can be accessed, remixed, and modified through a membership profile.  Unfortunately, the rapidly evolving digital landscape has left many of our collections inaccessible and poorly formatted. Our opportunity is to scrub our inventory with a trained content, pedagogical, and technical expertise to create this OER repository.

This position requires some basic knowledge and experience with database management, but many of the technical skills will be taught.  What we really need is a candidate who can lend a critical eye in the evaluation, tagging, and organization of existing and new instructional resources.

This position will work closely with NHC Education staff and NHC technology department.



  • Provide on-going curation and editorial oversight of contributions to education resources and materials. We need to map existing resources, identify broken or dead links, and evaluate the relevancy of individual resources for the classroom.  We will also publish existing and complete materials that have not been added to the online inventory to date.
  • Develop an inclusive taxonomy for published digital content for easy search and remix capability, ensuring access rights, and applying appropriate meta tags and documentation
  • Complete a tagged database of existing resources, which will likely include dissembling kits or packaged materials
  • “Publish” inventory into OER commons repository
  • Evaluate resources produced and published by other NHC departments for value and inclusion in education database (Humanities Moments, Fellowship Program, etc.)

Helpful technical skills include:

  • working background in WordPress, Moodle, Adobe spark, and Adobe photos
  • expertise in how to crop and manipulate images, how to work with Moodle plugins, themes, how to insert PDFs and links and the elements necessary to construct a course
  • graphic design “taste” that aligns with our missions and goals