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  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  »