Christina Chia has been Associate Director at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI) since 2014. She received her PhD in English from Duke in 2004, and worked at the Center for Multicultural Affairs prior to joining the Institute in 2006. At the FHI she has administered a range of research and education programs, including the Humanities Laboratories and the FHI-North Carolina Central University Digital Humanities Fellowships. A member of the Associate Directors and Administrators Network of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), she participates regularly in panels and workshops on non-faculty academic careers. From 2019 to 2022, she served on the Board of Trustees of the North Carolina Humanities Council. In Fall 2023 she will join the Board of Advisors of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens.
Outside of her work as an academic administrator, she maintains a strong intellectual interest in environmental humanities and in the social worlds human beings share with non-humans. Trained in American Studies and Ethnic Studies, she is particularly interested in how multispecies relations shape and are shaped by hierarchies among human beings. In 2013 she was part of an interdisciplinary group that curated Recording the Anthropocene, a public exhibit exploring scientific, cultural, and artistic visions of the planetary impact of the human species. More recently, she has been part of Unearthing Duke Forest, a collective of Duke students, faculty, and staff seeking to understand the human histories of plantation agriculture and indigenous displacement embedded in the Duke Forest’s ecological history. Her current (non- or perhaps quasi-academic) project is a Southeastern native plant garden.