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 yielded research teams related to hurricane recovery and resilience (with a specific focus on the local impacts of Hurricane Florence); immigration; and the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

Bass Connections Open Project Teams

Graphic of mathematical symbols with light bulb in center.

This project team will work to improve girls’ and women’s math identity by both directly addressing STEM-relevant skills in free math workshops for middle school girls in Durham and incorporating “preparation for bias” research and training into workshop planning and implementation. Read more about Assessing and Improving Girls' and Women's Math Identity (2023-2024) »


Graphic showing arrows in a circular cycle over green background.

This project team will create a new educational framework for equity-focused, innovative learning environments at Duke. Read more about Building Next Generation Learning at Duke (2023-2024) »


Students sit in a circle with easels, sketching an abstract sculpture as a teacher looks on.

This project team will implement seminars for students and faculty on trauma-engaged teaching and learning, and will analyze data that will be used to inform future efforts to better support trauma survivors in the classroom.  Read more about Developing Best Practices for Trauma-Informed Teaching and Learning (2023-2024) »


Young students wearing masks and working on making science constructions.

This project team will develop a research framework for engineering education to govern future Ignite implementations in Durham and inform the larger engineering education field.  Read more about Ignite: Improving Students' STEM-Identity Through Human-Centered Design (2023-2024) »


Fungus garden with queen, shown under clear plastic or glass dome.

This project team will work with the Museum of Life and Science in Durham to design and implement a pilot study centered on creating a structured and encouraging experience for young children visiting the museum. Read more about Increasing Children's Sense of Belonging in STEM Fields (2023-2024) »


3D-printed hearts on display.

This project team will establish the framework for an interdisciplinary laboratory space for artists at Duke and expand the repertoire of practiced-based research methods in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies to include the media and techniques from the biological and natural... Read more about Laboratory Art in Practice (2023-2024) »


Exterior view of a modernist concrete building.

This project team will examine design materials through a historical and cultural lens. In the fall, the team will focus on research, analysis and interpretation of material culture. Read more about Material Culture: Performance in Design (2023-2024) »


Painted portrait of Tullia d’Aragona with text:Tullia d’Aragona (1501/1505-1556), by Project Vox

This project team will expand Project Vox by researching and writing new philosopher entries, publishing monthly blog posts, designing a new webspace and expanding the network of scholars committed to supporting this work. Read more about Project Vox: Evolving Curricula for Digital Humanities Publishing (2023-2024) »


Woman seated indoors, with an artwork over her head, black and white photo.

This project will use Reitz’s papers housed in Duke’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to inform and construct a new model of creative and scholarly practice for the 21st century.  Read more about Rosetta Reitz's Musical Archive of Care (2023-2024) »


Duke North Carolina Leadership Forum logo

This project team will contribute to North Carolina Leadership Forum’s goal of bringing together diverse state and local leaders from the government, business and nonprofit sectors to engage constructively on timely and controversial public policy topics. Read more about Strengthening Cross-Partisan Collaboration in North Carolina Policymaking (2023-2024) »


Bass Connections Open Courses

Gateway Courses

EGR 101L: Engineering Design and Communication

Fall 2022
Instructor: Ann Saterbak

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 »


EGR 101L: Engineering Design and Communication

Spring 2023
Instructor: Michael Rizk

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 »


EGR 102L: Design to Deliver

Spring 2023
Instructor: Ann Saterbak

Students work in a team to apply the engineering design process to complete an open-ended, client-based problem drawn from a community partner. Prerequisite: Engineering 101L Read more about Design to Deliver »


Other Undergraduate Courses

CHILDPOL 490S-01: Applied Collaborative Research on Early Childhood

Fall 2022
Instructor: Katie Rosanbalm

This course provides research consultation experience for advanced undergraduate students with past coursework in research methodology and/or early childhood development or policy. As part of an interdisciplinary consulting team, students will partner with an early childhood community organization... Read more about Applied Collaborative Research on Early Childhood »


CULANTH 470S: Capstone: Research in Human Rights

Spring 2023
Instructor: James Chappel

This course is designed to help students connect the intellectual themes and scholarly knowledge they have developed in the Gateway, Introduction to Human Rights, and the electives they have taken toward the Human Rights Certificate. The course integrates co-curricular rights-related experiences (... Read more about Capstone: Research in Human Rights »


DANCE 371SL: Artists in Healthcare: Collaborations and Complexities

Fall 2022
Instructor: Sarah Wilbur

This course will centralize creative practice as the axis of inquiry while students explore the rapidly expanding field of integrative art and health. Read more about Artists in Healthcare: Collaborations and Complexities »


ECE 383: Introduction to Robotics and Automation

Fall 2022
Instructor: Genevieve Lipp, Siobhan Oca

This introductory course is a challenging introduction to basic concepts used broadly in robotics and is valuable for students who wish to work in the area.  Read more about Introduction to Robotics and Automation »


EDUC 262: Designing Transformative Learning

Spring 2023
Instructor: Aria Chernik

The term “open source” is frequently used to denote software source code that is freely available, modifiable and shareable. However, the term has much wider applicability and relevance. Read more about Designing Transformative Learning »


FRENCH 302S: Fake News: Multicultural Perspectives

Spring 2023
Instructor: Germain Choffart

This course is designed to give students the reading and writing skills necessary to enter mid-300 level courses in French studies. Students will examine the (re-)negotiation of French identity through a series of texts and films that introduce students to contemporary Francophone thought. Topics... Read more about Fake News: Multicultural Perspectives »


HISTORY 235: Drugs, Chemicals and Health

Fall 2022
Instructor: Evan Hepler-Smith

This course asks how we might think historically about synthetic chemicals, natural alternatives and the benefits and hazards they pose to human health, society and environments. Read more about Drugs, Chemicals and Health »


I&E 252: Learning to Fail

Fall 2022
Instructor: Aaron Dinin

Most people spend their lives afraid of failing. Yet, many of the world’s most successful people failed numerous times on their paths toward success. The underlying question of this class is if failing is as antithetical to learning as we’re taught to believe. To explore this question, we will test... Read more about Learning to Fail »


I&E 295S-01: Arts Entrepreneurship

Spring 2023
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 »


ITALIAN 302S: Fake News: Multicultural Perspectives

Spring 2023
Instructor: Mattia Begali

This course is designed for students who wish to learn about contemporary Italy and improve their conversation skills, including their listening and speaking competencies and pragmatic sensibilities. The aim of this course is to develop students' ability to participate in culturally nuanced... Read more about Fake News: Multicultural Perspectives »


PUBPOL 213S: Arts Policy, Leadership and Engagement

Spring 2023
Instructor: Andrew Nurkin

This community-engaged course provides an introduction to contemporary issues in U.S. arts policy and cultural sector leadership across four broad themes: creative institutions; cultural equity and accessibility; creative placemaking/community development; and the creative economy. Read more about Arts Policy, Leadership and Engagement »


PUBPOL 301: Political Analysis for Public Policy-making

Spring 2023
Instructor: Deondra Rose

This course aims to provide students with knowledge and skills to engage in powerful policy analysis that takes politics seriously. Read more about Political Analysis for Public Policy-making »


SPANISH 303: Radio and Resistance: LatinX AM

Spring 2023
Instructor: Silvia Serrano

This course offers an introduction to ideologies and political debates that shape the cultural configuration of Hispanic communities both within and outside the U.S. borders. The main goal is to explore and examine critically how particular discourses (within different genres and media) relate to... Read more about Radio and Resistance: LatinX AM »


SPANISH 303: Fake News: Multicultural Perspectives

Spring 2023
Instructor: Eileen Anderson

This course provides an introduction to ideologies and political debates that shape the cultural configuration of Hispanic communities both within and outside the U.S. Borders. The main goal is to explore and examine critically how particular discourses (within different genres and media) relate to... Read more about Fake News: Multicultural Perspectives »


Undergraduate/Graduate Courses

PUBPOL 590S-03: The Challenge for Business and Society: From Risk to Reward

Fall 2022
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 »


PUBPOL 590S-04: The Politics of Education

Fall 2022
Instructor: Stanley Litow

This class will focus on the state of public education in America and the potential ways of addressing the challenges of improving student achievement. Read more about The Politics of Education »


Graduate Courses

PUBPOL 816: Ethics and Policy-Making

Spring 2023
Instructor: Catherine Admay

This course explores normative concepts in politics, liberty, justice and the public interest, including their historical and philosophical roots, relationship to one another and to American political tradition, and implications for domestic and international problems. Read more about Ethics and Policy-Making »


PUBPOL 830-08: The Role of the Federal Reserve in Community Development

Spring 2023
Instructor: Pope McCorkle

This seminar will explore how the nation’s central bank works to solve critical community development challenges facing the country, including expanding the supply of affordable housing, increasing small business lending and reducing inequality, while introducing master’s students to potential... Read more about The Role of the Federal Reserve in Community Development »


PUBPOL 850: Using Human-Centered Design

Spring 2023
Instructor: Tom Allin, Blythe Meyer

The course will give students a set of hard skills associated with design-thinking and also allow students to create and deliver measurable improvements for an organization in the Durham community. Read more about Using Human-Centered Design »


PUBPOL 890: Evaluation Design and Practice

Fall 2022
Instructor: Jessica Sperling

Over the course of the semester, this course will address central conceptual, pragmatic and empirical processes in evaluation, treating evaluation as a mechanism for informing program design. Students will apply learning through partnership with real-world organization/program. Read more about Evaluation Design and Practice »


PUBPOL 890: Evaluation Design and Practice

Spring 2023
Instructor: Jessica Sperling

Evaluation is an essential mechanism for informing program design, identifying evidence of impact and developing strategy for effectiveness. Over the course of the semester, students will examine central conceptual, pragmatic and empirical processes in evaluation in preparation to utilize... Read more about Evaluation Design and Practice »


PUBPOL 890: Ethics and Equity in Media, Documentary and Technology

Spring 2023
Instructor: Chris Sims

Students will engage with media, journalism and technology industry case studies examining contemporary and historical ethical questions around race, gender, sexuality, class and similar dynamics. Read more about Ethics and Equity in Media, Documentary and Technology »