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When Egyptian writer Nawal el-Saadawi arrived at Duke University in January 1993, it was supposed to be a short-term residency. It ended up as a four-year visit that made for a series of memorable classes and lectures and lasting relationships between Saadawi and several Duke faculty and students. Her time at Duke may also have saved her life. Saadawi, who died March 21 and was praised in obituaries in the New York Times and elsewhere as one of the leading feminist voices in the Arab world in more than 50 books of fiction… read more about When Duke Gave Shelter to An Egyptian Intellectual »

Once coronavirus lockdown orders and social distancing rules went into effect, people began to consume more visual media than ever before. Streaming platforms saw their numbers surge as subscribers binged new shows and watched movies into the wee hours of dawn. Behind the scenes, however, million-dollar film and television productions were forced to come to a halt. In the interval, many independent filmmakers began to rise and release fresh media. Working with the resources and knowledge they had, new filmmakers seized the… read more about Student Filmmakers Seize the Moment as Industry Adapts »

As part of its event series tgiFHI, the Franklin Humanities Institute is conducting interviews with its faculty speakers in order to familiarize broader audiences with the diversity of research approaches in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences at Duke University. Roberto Dainotto is Professor of Literature, Italian, and International Comparative Studies. In this edited and condensed interview, he describes how the popularization of the novel occurred at the same moment as the politicization of the masses… read more about Meet Your Humanities Faculty: Roberto Dainotto »

This month, we present a collection of 12 Duke-authored books documenting women's contributions to history, culture and society. These books, along with many others, are available at Duke University Libraries, the Gothic Bookshop or the Regulator Bookshop.   Women and the War Story by Miriam Cooke In “Women and the War Story,” Professor Emerita miriam cooke charts the emerging tradition of women’s contributions to what she calls the “War Story,” a genre formerly reserved for men. Concentrating on… read more about 12 Duke-Authored Books on Women's History »

This month we offer a collection of Duke-authored works that reflect human experiences through fiction.  These books along with many others are available at the Duke University Libraries, the Gothic Bookshop or the Regulator Bookshop.   A Life of Adventure and Delight by Akhil Sharma WHAT IT'S ABOUT: In "A Life of Adventure and Delight," Professor Akhil Sharma delivers eight stories that focus on Indian protagonists at home and abroad. A young woman in an arranged marriage… read more about 10 Works of Fiction from Duke Authors »

Ariel Dorfman, the Walter Hines Page Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Literature, wrote an op-ed for CNN arguing that "Americans, awakened by the traumatic Trump experience to the more permanent frailties and limitations of their governing system, should not waste this unique opportunity to simultaneously tackle a festering crisis of democracy itself, which, if left unaddressed, will continue to endanger the republic." read more about What Trump Has Made Blindingly Clear to America »

When COVID hit last spring, many graduate students had to give up their summer plans for teaching, field research and internships. The Provost’s Office quickly pledged support, and Vice Provost Ed Balleisen spearheaded the effort to identify virtual opportunities. Experiential fellowships with eight host organizations and research assistantships with more than 20 Duke units provided summer funding and career development for all 59 Ph.D. students in need. Every student who responded to Duke’s end-of-summer evaluation would… read more about Duke Ph.D. Students Find Unexpected Benefits in an Unusual Summer »

As part of its event series tgiFHI, the Franklin Humanities Institute is conducting interviews with its faculty speakers in order to familiarize broader audiences with the diversity of research approaches in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences at Duke University. In this edited and condensed interview with Dr. Luciana Parisi, Professor of Literature, she describes how she become interested in cyberpunk, the role of bacteria in human evolution, and whether technology is good, bad - or both. Dr. Parisi will… read more about Meet Your Humanities Faculty: Luciana Parisi »

  A Message from the Program Officers Dear graduates of the Global Cultural Studies Major and the Program in Literature: Our heartiest congratulations on the successful completion of your studies during the COVID-19 global crisis. Watching each of you grow in intellect, imagination, and critical sophistication has been our absolute pride and joy, and we are confident that what you have achieved here is only the beginning of a lifelong process of learning, one that will take you to… read more about Literature Congratulates the Class of 2020! »

April is National Poetry Month. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we wondered if Duke’s writers and literature scholars are turning to particular poems right now, perhaps for their beauty, wisdom, or potential to inspire, or as a mirror for this moment. Duke Today reached out to three professors in Duke’s English department and literature program with the question, “What poem are you reading now?”   Faulkner Fox, a writer and lecturing fellow in the English department, is the guiding force behind the “Poem of the… read more about Poems for this moment »

The exploration the public lives of the “first ladies” of America’s Christian evangelical megachurches and an intimate portrait of the joys and hardships of rural life in Appalachia are among the new noteworthy books by Duke authors this fall. Many of the books, including new editions of previous titles, can be found on the "Duke Authors" display shelves near the circulation desk in Perkins Library. Some are available as e-books for quick download. Most can also be purchased through the Gothic Bookshop. [Duke Today will… read more about Fall Books: Clean Hands, Aging Brains, Evangelical Women and Other Great Reads »

Michael Hardt, professor of literature and a pre-eminent Marxist scholar, has directed the Marxism and Society certificate program at Duke for several years. At the same time, his career has generated controversy from some who consider him a radical academic—he was named on a recent Professor Watchlist, which seeks to document college professors who "promote leftist propaganda" and is produced by the conservative nonprofit organization Turning Point USA. The Chronicle spoke with Hardt about his work on Marxist thought and… read more about 'A center of Marxist thought': Head of Marxism certificate explains program's role at Duke »

Durham, NC - Duke University faculty members Jack Knight and Rey Chow have been elected members of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Knight is the Frederic Cleaveland Professor of Law and Political Science and chair of the political science department, and Chow is the Anne Firor Scott Professor and director of the Program in Literature. They join 213 new members, including scholars, scientists, writers, artists and civic, business and philanthropic leaders.  The new class will be inducted at a… read more about Rey Chow Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences »

Durham, NC - Srinivas Aravamudan, professor of English and former dean of the humanities at Duke, died on Wednesday. He was 54. Aravamudan, a scholar of 18th-century British and French literature and postcolonial literature, was also a champion of the humanities, committed to nurturing and promoting their role in contemporary society. At Duke, his leadership included serving as director of the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, as dean of the humanities and as director of the Humanities Writ Large initiative.… read more about Duke Flags Lowered: Humanities Advocate Srinivas Aravamudan Dies »

Now that recent Senate votes have guaranteed that the agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program will go into effect, what more can America do, beyond the strictest vigilance, to build on this historic breakthrough for peace? Perhaps it is time for the citizens of the United States to experience a breakthrough of their own, to go beyond past prejudices against their enemy and use the occasion to gently plunge into the deepest wells of Persian identity that originate in a civilization preceding ours by many centuries. We can… read more about A Time for Literary Diplomacy »

It is probably not immediately obvious what interest a new theoretical study of science fiction holds for the mainstream adepts of literary theory; and no doubt it is just as perplexing to SF scholars, for whom this particular subgenre of the subgenre, the time-travel narrative, is as exceptional among and uncharacteristic of their major texts as SF itself is with regard to official Literature. To be sure, so-called alternative or counterfactual histories have gained popularity and a certain respectability; my personal… read more about Book Review: Time Travel - The Popular Philosophy of Narrative »

Salon talks to philosopher Michael Hardt about how new forms of social movements can make a difference Historians may end up describing this as a revolutionary moment. It seems that in recent years no government, dictatorship or monarchy is safe. A protest movement in a small Mediterranean nation, Greece, threatens the whole European project, and a whole wave of leaderless protest movements throughout Europe in recent years still challenges the order. Middle Eastern and North African states remain in varying degrees of… read more about The American empire is fading out: #BlackLivesMatter, Bernie Sanders & the secrets to a better tomorrow  »

Duke’s literature program will hold a one-day symposium Oct. 24 to promote its new Global Cultural Studies major. The new major will allow undergraduates to examine film, literature, art, science, critical theory and other texts from a broad range of disciplines and cultures. Program leaders say the major aims to equip students with knowledge and critical thinking skills both necessary for a broad, liberal learning experience and relevant to the contemporary world. One of the symposium’s plenary lectures will be drawn… read more about Literature Symposium to Highlight New Global Cultural Studies Major  »