Bass Connections Open

Interdisciplinary Themes

Bass Connections projects, courses and summer programs are aligned with the following themes:

For faculty whose research falls outside the scope of the existing themes, Bass Connections Open provides a new way to participate. Faculty may now affiliate team-based, interdisciplinary courses with Bass Connections and propose year-long project teams that do not align with one of the five themes but that otherwise align with the Bass Connections model of interdisciplinary, collaborative inquiry around societal challenges.

Bass Connections Open is not a permanent feature of the program, but rather an experimental channel to identify percolating areas of interest not addressed by the current themes.

The deadline for proposing 2019-2020 projects through Bass Connections Open during the Fall 2018 proposal cycle was November 5, 2018.

Bass Connections Open Project Teams

Courtesy of Duke University Archives.

This project will create a timeline of Duke’s buildings, landscape and infrastructure as well as a series of historical narratives that detail patronage and financing, architectural and landscape design, materials and labor as well as issues around identity, gender, class and race. Read more about Building Duke: The Architectural History of Duke Campus from 1924 to the Present (2019-2020) »


Courtesy of Duke Heart Center Twitter account.

Small design teams will work together to collect unmet patient needs, develop new concepts and tools, research the business, regulatory, clinical and manufacturing landscape around medical innovation and create implementation plans for new products. Read more about Duke Design Health Fellows Program (2019-2020) »


Courtesy of Center for Global Women’s Health Technologies.

This project will bring together three innovations – the Callascope, a Duke-developed device that allows for self-exploration of female reproductive anatomy; live imagery of the cervix; and storytelling created by women for women – to empower women to be active agents of their sexual health. Read more about Integration of Technology and Storytelling to Create a Visual Art Exhibit on Women's Health (2019-2020) »


Open design cycle.

This project offers students a rare opportunity to help ideate and build design experiences at Duke. Students will gain content knowledge about design thinking and human-centered design, plan and execute a one-day design learning summit, build educational resources for use at Duke and beyond, and... Read more about Open Design at Duke and Beyond (2019-2020) »


Project Vox website.

This project will strengthen and extend the work of ProjectVox.org, a scholarly and pedagogical guide to early modern women philosophers. Read more about Project Vox (2019-2020) »


Image by Truthseeker08.

This project is designed to integrate REGAIN into the Duke community and wrestle with a series of difficult conceptual and strategic questions that will guide Duke Health’s efforts to improve communication for all patients. Read more about REGAIN: Roadmap for Evaluating Goals in Advanced Illness Navigation (2019-2020) »


Remembering the Middle Passage course listing shared by BlueDevilHumanities.

This project will use digital humanities tools to creatively visualize human migration and interact with migration data and stories in exciting ways to open new conversations about the people, places and politics that are central to the long histories of human movement across the planet. Read more about Representing Migration through Digital Humanities (2019-2020) »


Engineering students test concrete beams during a lab class at Hudson Hall on March 26, 2009.

This project will develop a framework that can be used by first-year engineering design teams to address ethical considerations. Read more about Scaffolding Ethics: How to Integrate Ethics into Engineering Curricula (2019-2020) »


Katie Sellgren and colleagues.

This project will focus on the engineering development, quality control, refinement, and business and regulatory strategy of the Duke Smart Toilet. Read more about Smart Toilet: A Disruptive Technology to Improve Health and Wellness (2019-2020) »


Image by Sabinevanerp.

This project will reconsider the question of the value of care labor from the perspective of the global South. Read more about The Value of Love: Global Perspectives on the Economy of Care (2019-2020) »


Bass Connections Open Courses

Gateway Courses

EGR 101L: Engineering Design and Communication

Fall 2019
Instructor: Ann Saterbak, Sophia Santillan

Un this course, students work in a team to learn and apply the engineering design process to solve an open-ended, client-based problem drawn from a community partner. Read more about Engineering Design and Communication »


Other Undergraduate Courses

GSF 390S: Economies of Care

Fall 2019
Instructor: Jocelyn Olcott

This course will reconsider the question of the value of care labor from the perspective of the global South. By bringing together a diverse group of scholars working from different disciplines and locations, this course will explore ways that knowledge produced from the global South – where... Read more about Economies of Care »


SOCIOL 347: Managing Networks

Spring 2019
Instructor: Brian Southwell

Networks are pervasive in the social, economic, political and natural worlds. Network data and methods – and concurrently our ability to conceptualize and analyze networks – have expanded dramatically in recent years, and Duke is a central location in which this research is being conducted. This... Read more about Managing Networks »


Undergraduate/Graduate Courses

PUBPOL 590-02: Well-being Economics

Spring 2019
Instructor: Dirk Philipsen

How do we build an economy that prioritizes human welfare over economic growth? How do we serve ecological, economic and social goals within corresponding constraints? How do we understand and evaluate progress? Read more about Well-being Economics »


PUBPOL 590S-01: The Challenge for Business and Society: From Risk to Reward

Fall 2019
Instructor: Stanley Litow

This class will focus on the role of business in addressing some of the most critical societal problems such as labor practices, environmental performance, community engagement, supply chain practices and diversity and inclusion. Read more about The Challenge for Business and Society: From Risk to Reward »