Project Vox (2018-2019)


Philosophy is a surprisingly static enterprise: the canonical figures in early modern philosophy, from Descartes and Locke to Hume and Kant, have remained essentially fixed in teaching and research for the past 50 years. The all-male canon reflects the fact that women were often excluded from early modern intellectual life, which centered on universities like Oxford and institutions like the Académie Royales des Sciences in Paris. New historical research demonstrates that many women managed nonetheless to publish philosophical works in French, German and English. Until very recently, however, college courses throughout the English-speaking world have neglected them.

Project Description

Founded in 2014, Project Vox is a web-based scholarly guide to the lost voices of women in early modern philosophy. Developed through robust collaborations with scholars in the U.S. and abroad, the Project Vox website has become an invaluable resource for undergraduates, graduate students, instructors and scholars eager to learn more about the contributions of women to the modern philosophy.

This Bass Connections project will extend and strengthen the work of Project Vox in order to give students the chance to engage in the creation, curation, and maintenance of an internationally prominent digital humanities project. By undertaking original research projects, the team will work to expand the Project Vox website to include a wider range of figures and historical eras. The team will also work to build and maintain website infrastructure to ensure smooth operation across multiple platforms. Additionally, team members will assess the website’s use through surveys and Google Analytics and engage in communications and outreach projects that will introduce Project Vox to new users.

Anticipated Outcomes

Expansion of Project Vox website to cover a wider range of early modern women; analysis of web infrastructure and analytics to address website functionality, usability and reach; original archival research and translation projects


Fall 2018 – Spring 2019 

  • Fall 2018: Extensive training and discussion related to issues in digital publishing; original and continued research on women in early modern philosophy
  • Spring 2019: Continued research; expansion of Project Vox website to include new figures

Team Outcomes

Project Vox (poster by Andrew Janiak, Liz Milewicz, Liz Crisenbery, Meredith Graham, Mattia Begali, Chris Kennedy, Cheryl Thomas, Will Shaw, Bryce Gessell, Roy Auh, Jen Semler, Sandra Luksic-Fast, Heather Baker, Stacy Torian, presented at EHDx, Duke University, April 9, 2019 and at Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 17, 2019)

Project Vox (talk by Roy Auh and Jen Semler, EHDx, Duke University, April 9, 2019)


Jen Semler

Roy Auh

Image courtesy of Project Vox

Team Leaders

  • Andrew Janiak, Arts & Sciences-Philosophy
  • Elizabeth Milewicz, Duke Libraries-Digital Scholarship Services

/graduate Team Members

  • Elizabeth Crisenbery, Music-AM, Music-PHD
  • Bryce Gessell, Philosophy-PHD
  • Meredith Graham, Music-AM, Music-PHD
  • Christopher Kennedy, Political Science-AM, Political Science-PHD
  • Qiu Lin, Philosophy-PHD

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Roy Auh, Philosophy (AB)
  • Sandra Luksic, Philosophy (AB)
  • Katherine Owensby, Classical Languages (AB), Linguistics (AB2)
  • Jennifer Semler, Philosophy (AB), Public Policy Studies (AB2)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Mattia Begali, Arts & Sciences-Romance Studies
  • Katherine Brading, Arts & Sciences-Philosophy
  • William Shaw, Duke Libraries-Digital Scholarship Services
  • Cheryl Thomas, Duke Libraries-Research & Instructional Services

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Heather Baker, Graduate Student, North Carolina Central University
  • Stacy Torian, Graduate Student, University of North Carolina at Greensboro