Duke University's international reputation for excellence rests upon the research, teaching, leadership, and service of gifted, dedicated scholars and educators. A seasoned complement of graduate faculty members and scholars from throughout the university teach for the GLS program, advise and supervise our students' master's projects, help develop its curriculum, and influence its pedagogy. Since the inception of the program, approximately one hundred faculty members from thirty departments have developed and taught GLS graduate courses or directed the scholarship of individual students. Graduate faculty members also serve on the GLS Advisory Committee, participating in the academic governance of the program.

Duke faculty members maintain a tradition of personal attention to students and a commitment to research. As a result, GLS students receive the benefits of small, personalized seminars taught by leading scholars.

The faculty members whose biographies appear below represent a small fraction of the faculty who have worked with GLS over the years. 

See a full list of current participating faculty here

Cultural Anthropology

Robin Kirk is the Faculty Co-Chair of the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute and is a founding member of the Pauli Murray Project, an initiative of the center that seeks to use the legacy of this Durham daughter to examine the region’s past of slavery, segregation and continuing economic inequality. An author and human rights advocate, Kirk is a lecturer in the Department of Cultural Anthropology and directs the Human Rights Certificate. Kirk has written three books, including More Terrible Than Death: Massacres, Drugs and America’s War in Colombia (Public Affairs) and The Monkey’s Paw: New Chronicles from Peru (University of Massachusetts Press). She is a co-editor of The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Duke University) and co edits Duke University Press’s “World Readers” series. An essayist and award-winning poet, she has published widely on issues as diverse as the Andes, torture, the politics of memory, family life and pop culture. Her essay on Belfast, “City of Walls,” is included in the Best American Travel Writing anthology of 2012 (Mariner Books). Kirk authored, co-authored and edited over twelve reports for Human Rights Watch, all available on-line. In the 1980s, Kirk reported for U.S. media from Peru, where she covered the war between the government and the Shining Path. She continues to write for US media, and has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, Sojourners, The American Scholar, the Raleigh News and Observer, the Boston Globe, the Durham Herald Sun and other media.


Frank Lentricchia, a novelist and literary critic, is the Katharine Everett Gilbert Professor Emeritus of Literature.  He received his Ph.D. from Duke in 1966 and has taught at UCLA, UC-Irvine and Rice University.  He has taught poetry, film, literature, and fiction courses. He also spent many years as a literary critic and theorist before shifting into a new career as a novelist, and he'll continue that writing in retirement.  His chief interests lie in American literature, history of poetry, modernism, the aesthetics of reading, and the history and theory of criticism.


Melissa Malouf is Professor of the Practice of English. She teaches courses in creative writing and (mainly) contemporary literature. She is the author of two novels, More Than You Know and It Had to Be You (Avisson Press, 1997) and a collection of stories, sNo Guarantees (William Morrow, 1990). One of the stories in this collection, "The Golden Robe," was awarded a prestigious Pushcart Prize (1989). Several of her stories have been cited for excellence by both Pushcart and Best American Short Stories; two of them appear in North Carolina anthologies of contemporary literature. She has written three one-act plays, which premiered at Duke, as well as two opera libretti, one of them commissioned by The Durham Arts Council. Dr. Malouf is the recipient of The Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award (1997). She earned her Ph.D. in English and American Literature at the University of California, Irvine. In addition to her roles as a member of Duke's English Department, she works on Selection and Recruitment for the Office of Undergraduate Scholars and Fellows.


Paul Manos is a Professor in the Department of Biology.  He received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Cornell University.  Dr. Manos’s research is on the systematics and biogeography of the flowering plants.  His main research interest is the evolution of the oaks and their relatives, the hickories and walnuts.  He has published some 40 scientific papers spanning many different families of flowering plants, often with an emphasis on geography.  Dr. Manos has taught several plant biodiversity courses since coming to Duke in 1996.


Dan McShea (Ph.D. 1990, University of Chicago) arrived at Duke in 1996 with a primary appointment in Biology, and now holds a secondary appointment in Philosophy.  His major papers are in the field of paleobiology, with a focus on large-scale trends in the history of life, especially documenting and investigating the causes of the (putative) trend in the complexity of organisms. A significant part of this work involves operationalizing certain concepts, such as complexity and hierarchy, as well as clarifying conceptual issues related to trends at larger scales. He publishes regularly in the journals EvolutionPaleobiology, and Biology and Philosophy.


Ylana Miller (Ph.D. Berkeley) is visiting Associate Professor in the Department of History and a graduate of the Duke-UNC Psychoanalytic Institute.  She teaches a range of courses on the history of the modern Middle East, including “Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict” as well as “History of Zionism and the State of Israel.”  Dr. Miller has published Government and Society in Rural Palestine – 1920-1948 (University of Texas Press), and her current research project is Constructing a Framework:  How US-Israeli Relations Defined the Meaning Given to Victory in 1967.


Martin Miller received his Ph.D. in Russian history at the University of Chicago and has taught at Stanford University and the New School for Social Research. He has been a member of the History Department at Duke for many years. Dr. Miller has conducted archival research in Russia and Western Europe, and has received numerous grants, among which are the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, the National Council on Russian and Eastern European Studies, and the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX).

Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Rachael Murphey is Director of Program II and Dean for Trinity Transfer Students. She manages the Trinity Arts & Sciences Graduation with Distinction Program. Dr. Murphey earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where her research centered on the nature of the relationship between racial identity and academic culture and the extent to which such a relationship explains the critical political engagement (CPE) of African American intellectuals. At UNC she taught political science and African American studies courses in addition to working as an academic advisor for undergraduate students.

Art History & Visual Studies

GLS Advisory Committee Term: 2020-2023

Mark Olson is Assistant Professor of the Practice of Visual & Media Studies at Duke University. He teaches courses on media (new & old - theory, practice, & history) and medicine & visual culture. As a extension of his past work with the MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media & Learning Initiative, he collaborates on the development of a new interdisciplinary project that connects the study of the material culture of art history, architecture and archaeology with new media modes of representation and visualization. Olson is the former Director of New Media & Information Technologies for HASTAC (Humanties, Arts, Sciences & Technology Advanced Collaboratory) and the John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary & International Studies.

Preferred pronouns:  he, him, his


Thomas Robisheaux, Fred W. Shaffer Professor of History, is an historian of early modern Europe. Dr. Robisheaux has particular interests in social and cultural history, German-speaking Central Europe, Renaissance culture, religious reform, popular religion and culture, and microhistory. Author of The Last Witch of Langenburg and Rural Society and the Search for Order in Early Modern Germany, Lost Worlds, and many articles, he teaches courses on European history; Reformation Europe; Magic, Religion and Science; social and economic history; and religion and society in early modern Europe.