Bass Connections Open

Interdisciplinary Themes

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

Bass Connections Open supports interdisciplinary, team-based research projects and courses that fall outside the scope of the existing themes. This experimental channel is designed to identify percolating areas of interest not addressed by the current themes.

As part of Bass Connections Open, we also issue occasional special calls for proposals related to emerging issues of societal importance (otherwise known as a “pop-up” theme). Past pop-up themes have included hurricane recovery and resilience, with a specific focus on the local impacts of Hurricane Florence, and immigration (projects to be announced in December 2019).


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, 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

Spring 2020
Instructor: Kevin M. Caves

In 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

CULANTH 290S-30: Ethnojournalism

Fall 2019
Instructor: Margaret L. Brown

In this seminar, students will conduct close reading of and listening to the work of research-based storytellers and also meet with accomplished professionals invited by the Forum for Scholars and Publics and collaborating departments at Duke. Read more about Ethnojournalism »

GSF 390S-01: Economies of Care

Spring 2020
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 »

I&E 290-02: Innovators Workshop

Spring 2020
Instructor: Megan Kelly Deyncourt

Through this exploratory course, students build an innovation mindset by expanding their self-awareness and enhancing their teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills. Read more about Innovators Workshop »

I&E 295S-01: Arts Entrepreneurship

Spring 2020
Instructor: Douglas Green, John Supko

In this course, small teams of students from different fields will work together on an arts-based entrepreneurial project. The goal of the course is to create a business plan and launch ventures in areas of the arts. Read more about Arts Entrepreneurship »

Undergraduate/Graduate Courses

ARTHIST 504SL: Building Duke: An Architectural History of Duke Campus from 1924 to Today

Spring 2020
Instructor: Kristin Huffman

In this research seminar and laboratory, students will learn and interact with the architectural history of Duke Campus based on original archival materials (photos, blueprints, contracts, letters and financial records) preserved in Duke Library collections. Read more about Building Duke: An Architectural History of Duke Campus from 1924 to Today »

I&E 510: Social Innovation Practicum

Spring 2020
Instructor: Matt Nash, Paul Bloom

In the Social Innovation Practicum, students learn about and support the design, development, assessment and scaling of innovative, sustainable approaches to addressing critical social and environmental problems in Durham and around the world. Read more about Social Innovation Practicum »

I&E 590-02: Mission Driven Startup

Spring 2020
Instructor: Steven McClelland, Thomas Sowers

This course takes an entrepreneurial, interdisciplinary approach to America’s hardest national security challenges. Read more about Mission Driven Startup »

I&E 590-02: New Ventures Clinic-Healthcare

Fall 2019
Instructor: Rob Hallford, Sharlini Sankaran

The New Ventures Clinic - Healthcare is an opportunity for students to work on commercialization plans for technologies developed at Duke University, in particular in the areas of therapeutics (pharmaceuticals), diagnostics, and medical devices. Read more about New Ventures Clinic-Healthcare »

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 »

Graduate Courses

PUBPOL 726-01: Innovation and Policy Entrepreneurship

Spring 2020
Instructor: Rosemary Fernholz

This course will focus on the analytical tools and skills needed by policy makers and analysts to build and sustain an enabling policy environment for innovations and entrepreneurship to occur at global, country and local levels. Read more about Innovation and Policy Entrepreneurship »