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 that we anticipate opening approximately every five years as a means of identifying 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.

Begun in 2018, Building Duke is a three-year initiative designed to explore the history of the conception, design and construction of Duke campus as well as its changes and expansions through time. 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.

The Duke University Design Health Fellows Program is an interdisciplinary, patient-focused program that discovers pressing needs in healthcare and assembles teams from across engineering, business, medicine and other disciplines to create solutions. The program provides an immersive learning... Read more about Duke Design Health Fellows Program (2019-2020) »


Courtesy of Center for Global Women’s Health Technologies.

Background The cervix is the portal for human life, yet it is a site of invisibility. The embarrassment and lack of awareness surrounding reproductive anatomy is often rooted in deep-seated stigma and shame. This has significant healthcare ramifications, resulting in women avoiding self-care. Read more about Integration of Technology and Storytelling to Create a Visual Art Exhibit on Women's Health (2019-2020) »


Image by Geralt.

Background Sexual misconduct is an ethical challenge in society in general, and in universities in particular. While many efforts have been made to confront this issue, including through educational programs and support for survivors, efforts to alleviate the problem do not seem to lead to desired... Read more about Prevention of Sexual Misconduct on University Campuses: Intervention, Implementation and Evaluation (2019-2020) »


Project Vox website.

The all-male canon in early modern philosophy has remained essentially fixed in teaching and research for 50 years. While this reflects women’s exclusion from early modern intellectual life, historical research reveals that many women still managed to influence philosophical debates, including... Read more about Project Vox (2019-2020) »


Image by Truthseeker08.

Patients facing a serious illness must make numerous complex healthcare decisions that determine what treatment they receive, what their quality of life will be and how long they will survive. Too often, patients and their families must make these decisions without adequate communication about... Read more about REGAIN: Roadmap for Evaluating Goals in Advanced Illness Navigation (2019-2020) »


Remembering the Middle Passage course listing shared by BlueDevilHumanities.

Human migration is, by definition, hard to represent. Its inherent transience often renders its memory ephemeral. Unsanctioned mobility is by nature secretive, self-protectively erasing its traces. Perpetrators of coerced mobility find it in their own self-interest to obscure the evidence of their... 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.

Many engineering challenges contain thorny ethical considerations. Despite a strong emphasis by ABET (the organization that accredits engineering curricula) on ethics, ethical considerations are often secondary to the technical aspects of engineering curricula. In fact, ethics is rarely addressed... Read more about Scaffolding Ethics: How to Integrate Ethics into Engineering Curricula (2019-2020) »


Katie Sellgren and colleagues.

Precision health is an emerging area of research aimed at transforming medicine and healthcare by leveraging digital connectivity and new technologies such as phone apps, wearables and smart textiles. Achieving the goals of precision health using digital connectivity will require novel approaches... Read more about Smart Toilet: A Disruptive Technology to Improve Health and Wellness (2019-2020) »


Image by Sabinevanerp.

Care labor, or the work of providing care for others, is ascribed value in many ways, whether in uncommodified forms such as motherhood and community service, semicommodified forms such as informal labor and servitude or hypercommodified forms such as the emergent platform of gig economies. Amid... 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 2018
Instructor: Ann Saterbak, Sophia Santillan

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

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 2018
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 »