Spring 2014 Humanities News

Finding My Sisters In Cinema: Yvonne Welbon's Archive of African American Women's Media Production
Tuesday, April 15, noon
Center for Documentary Studies

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Yvonne Welbon's Sisters in Cinema archive is one of the largest single collections of African American women's media production in the United States. At an event at CDS, Welbon, a 2013-14 Humanities Writ Large Visiting Faculty Fellow at Duke, will talk about the origins and contents of the archive and present one of the first public viewings of its holdings.

The archive includes over one hundred hours of videotaped interviews and transcripts; hundreds of films, videotapes, and DVDs directed by African American women; and related artifacts. During her year at Duke, Welbon is recording, cataloging, and documenting the archive. She is also working on a book related to the project.

Yvonne Welbon is an independent filmmaker and producer and associate professor of journalism and media studies at Bennett College for Women. She holds an MFA in Film and Video from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a doctorate in Radio/TV/Film from Northwestern University. Welbon's directing credits include the award-winning documentaries Sisters in Cinema and Living with Pride: Ruth Ellis @ 100.

From Harlem to Hamburg and Back Again
Friday, March 28, noon - 6pm
FHI Garage, Smith Warehouse

harlem to hamburg symposium

Harlem to Hamburg is hosting a one-day symposium called "From Harlem to Hamburg and Back Again." The keynote speaker, Professor Werner Sollors of Harvard University, who will be giving a talk entitled “Are You Occupied Territory? Black G.I.s in Fiction of the American Occupation of Germany after World War II.” There will also be talks from Michelle Wright of Northwestern University ("Off the Beaten Path: Theorizing Blackness outside the Middle Passage Epistemology") and Michelle Eley of North Carolina State University ("Bringing New Perspectives of the Black Diaspora to the Classroom").

In addition to the talks, the West German film Gottes Zweite Garnitur will get its first screening with English subtitles. The film tells the story of a romance between a German woman and an African American soldier that scandalizes a small town near the East German border.

Harlem to Hamburg, a Humanties Writ Large Emerging Network, is an interdisciplinary investigation of the cultural exchange between African American and German culture during the 20th century, from the Harlem Renaissance through the Civil Rights movement and beyond. It brings together faculty from Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central University, and North Carolina State University.

Bound Images: Maps in Books, 1500-1850
Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Rubenstein 318, Perkins Library

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When most people think of maps and books they immediately imagine maps, or atlases. Yet maps illustrate and contribute to a larger argument in books of all kinds, including histories, geographies, travel accounts, and novels.  Beyond atlases, maps are often studied or collected as individual items, or "sovereign" maps, in the words of French scholar Christian Jacob.  This discussion dethrones the sovereign map, asking what changes theoretically and curatorially when we think about maps as “bound images” and a graphic part of the story told by authors and printers in book form.

Panelists:
Carla Lois, CONICET, Universidad de Buenos Aires
Matthew Edney, University of Southern Maine, History of Cartography Project
Ricardo Padron, University of Virginia
Susan Danforth, John Carter Brown Library
Jordana DymHumanities Writ Large/BorderWork(s) Lab, Duke; Skidmore College

A Humanities Lab Moment:  Gallery Talk by Student Curators

BorderWork(s) Lab students Elizabeth Blackwood, Mary Kate Cash, Katie Contess, Rachel Fleder, Lauren Jackson, Jordan Noyes, and Jeremy Tripp led a gallery tour of Defining Lines: Cartography in the Age of Empire.

Defining Lines is on view at Duke's Nasher Museum from September 9 - December 15, 2013. This student-curated installation draws exclusively from the holdings of Duke University's David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and explores the mutual relationships between maps and empires.

As imperial colonial structures rose, consolidated, and ultimately collapsed, the legacy of how their maps delineated colonial holdings, visualized spaces, and reinforced control remains with us. As varied and conflicted as their purposes and perspectives may be, maps continue to function as a powerful and popular medium through which we understand the world and the man-made lines that define and ultimately control it.

Fall 2013 Humanities News

Rapping The Revolution

Friday, October 4
Islamic Media:  Sense and Sensation Workshop
Rapping the Revolution Coffeehouse

A day-long workshop on Friday, October 4 will explore how film, graffiti, rap, poetry, and street art have flourished at the intersection of religion (specifically Middle Eastern Islam) and revolution, transforming not only the social and political landscape, but also the human sensorium.  That evening that Duke Coffeehouse will host a dance party and music jam featuring music from the recent revolutions in the Arab World.

The workshop will explore:

  • How does this cultural production help breathe new life into older religious forms?
  • How is this new life lived, felt, and experienced in human perception?
  • How does material production give expression to the spirit?
  • How do representational practices give voice to the soul?
  • How do they help make the invisible visible?

This project is built around a set of public performances and conversations in which Duke students play critical roles as facilitators, interviewers, and interlocutors. Performing an interactive public sphere, they engage with distinguished speakers in fields critical to the disciplinary study of media and the senses.

Wired! Lab Undergraduate Research Fellows Program

The Wired! Lab is now accepting applications for undergraduate Research Fellows to work during the fall 2013 semester with a faculty member and a graduate assistant on a long-term research project. They seek independent and motivated students to work as part of a digital humanities research team. 

Applications will be accepted from students in Trinity College and Pratt who have taken or are currently enrolled in at least one course in Art History, Classical Studies, History, Medieval/Renaissance Studies, or Visual and Media Studies. Those students interested in eventually pursuing Graduation with Distinction are particularly encouraged to apply.

The research stipend for the fall semester is $750, with a possibility of renewal for the spring 2014 semester.  Learn more here.

Audiovisualities

Humanities Writ Large is pleased to announce the newest humanities lab:  Audiovisualities.

The inaugural courses in the Audiovisualities Lab include a first-year seminar in Audiovisualities, Introduction to Film Studies, and Sounds of the South.  Students enrolling in these courses will be presented with opportunities to work with faculty and other students on original research.

Learn more from this video as well as the Lab website.

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Audiovisualities is based in Bay 4 of Smith Warehouse. The Franklin Humanities Institute is also home to the BorderWork(s) Lab, another Humanities Writ Large Humanities Lab.

Spring 2013 Humanities News

Visiting Faculty Fellows Upcoming Events

On Wednesday, April 24, Visiting Faculty Fellow Adeline Koh will talk about her experiences designing the game Trading Races - an elaborate role-playing game set at the University of Michigan of Ann Arbor campus in April 2003.  Professor Koh will also be joined by Eileen Chow (AMES), who will discuss her use of the game in her classes at Duke in Spring 2013.  Join them from noon - 2 p.m. at the Garage, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse.

Visiting Faculty Fellow Ralph J. Savarese will host a panel discussion on The Difference that Disability Makes on Friday, April 26.  How might blindness and bipolar disorder be understood as acceptable forms of difference, not conditions to be pathologized and lamented? How might they contribute to the literary arts? Come listen to two celebrated authors read from their work and discuss these questions.  Join them from noon - 2 p.m. at the Mary D.B.T. Semans Center for Health Education.

Symposium on Relief Efforts in Haiti - April 11 & 12, 2013

The Haiti Lab will be hosting a conference during Reunions Weekend on international relief efforts in Haiti.  Visiting Faculty Fellow Joshua Nadel, along with students in his Duke-NCCU class "The Haiti Project," have planned a public event to explore what has worked, what hasn't, and why.  In this video he and Laurent Dubois, co-Director of the Haiti Lab, talk about the class and conference.

Symposium on "Neuroeconomics"

Duke's Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Science and Cultural Theory is sponsoring a symposium April 12th, 2013, from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm in the FHI Garage (Smith Warehouse). The goal of the symposium is to contextualize—both historically and in terms of science studies methodologies—the models of the “brain” and of “economics” that underwrite the recent emergence of “Neuroeconomics.”

This event is open to all members of the Duke community and the wider public.  Additional information is available here.

Writing and the Inscription of Power in South Asia:  Workshop, April 5-6

Visiting Faculty Fellow Matthew Cook and Duke Professor Rich Freeman are convening a workshop to explore questions of how writing literally under-wrote projects of cultural dominance and resistance in this key region of the world.  The workshop has the overall goal of advancing a more general and comparative understanding of the relationships among language, culture and power in South Asia.

The keynote speaker on Friday afternoon, Nile Green of UCLA, will follow the infancy of Muslim printing through responses to European industrialization on the distant frontiers of empire.

For more information, see the workshop site.

Peter Burian: Transforming Classics

Professor Peter Burian has served Duke for 45 year, as Professor of Classical & Comparative Literatures, and Theater Studies, teaching more than 50 different courses; as an active member in Academic Council; as chair of Classical Studies; as mentor; as colleague; and this year as Dean of Humanities. 

On March 22-23, 2013, he will host a conference to mark the end of his service at Duke and the beginning of his next set of intellectual and civic projects.  The conference is free and open to the public.  Contact Shawna Kaufman () for information.

Click here to see Duke Today's profile of his remarkable career.

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Reacting to the Past Conference,
January 19 & 20

During her 2012-13 Visiting Faculty Fellowship at Duke, Adeline Koh is developing a historical role-playing game called Trading Races. The game is set at the University of Michigan in 2003. Players contest the fate of affirmative action there, taking on the roles of specific historical figures and a student assembly.

In this video, Koh talks about her game, about the "Reacting to the Past" pedagogy that it's based on, and about the RTTP conference she has organized for Jan. 19 & 20, 2013 at Duke's Franklin Humanities Institute.

Fall 2012 Humanities News

First New Faculty Member Hired Through HWL

One component of the Humanities Writ Large initiative is funding for "bridge hires."  That is, hiring a faculty member before the department has the budget line available to support her/him.  The Department of Romance Studies had the opportunity to hire two Brazilianists at the same time -- Professors Gustavo Furtado and Lamonte Aidoo -- allowing a significant multiplier effect that would not have been available to Duke without Mellon support.  Brazilian Studies is a rich area within comparative area studies as Brazil is both quite similar to (for instance in areas of slavery and race relations) and rather dissimilar from (in terms of language and emerging perspectives on race and sexuality) the United States.

Read more about these and other new hires on DukeToday.

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Of Shakespeare and Financial Decisions

Duke alum John Forlines III is using Shakespeare's works to teach undergraduate economics students about life lessons that can help illuminate financial decision-making and serve them beyond the classroom. 

Forlines, chairman and chief investment officer of JAForlines Global in New York, is a past member of the Sanford School of Public Policy's Board of Visitors. He serves on the Duke Law & Entrepreneurship LLM Alumni Advisory Board and is a member of the Athletics Leadership Council. Two of his three children are Duke alumni.

Now that he's experienced life as a businessman, husband and parent, Forlines welcomes the opportunity to teach Duke undergraduates about the importance of making good decisions.  (Read the full article here.)

Deadline Extended for Emerging Humanities Networks Proposals

The Humanities Writ Large steering committee is seeking proposals for innovative projects to begin in Spring 2013.  The deadline has been extended to November 12.

Click here to see the CFP, or go to the Emerging Humanities Networks page to read about the current projects.

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Like Computer Games?  Interested in Finance Capital?  Fascinated by Codes, Puzzles and Stories?  Wondering What the Future Will Bring?

Sign up for an independent study with us!  The objective is to test, analyze, and evaluate the extensive Alternate Reality Game “Speculation,” designed here at Duke last year.  Featuring eight modules with multiple levels in each module, “Speculation” combines game play with narratives of a near-future world, codes and ciphers with deep information about the origins of money, credit, and finance.  Learn about game construction and provide input on how to improve our design. Check out the trailer at http://vimeo.com/39947942 and the url at www.speculat1on.net.  For more information, contact Prof. Hayles at .

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What exactly is a "Humanities Lab"? What does it mean to have a Lab that focuses on a country (Haiti), a concept (BorderWork(s))... and games (GreaterThanGames)??  

Come to the Franklin Humanities Institute's "research fair" to see and hear presentations of lab projects in progress! There will also be time to meet the faculty directors from each of the labs and talk with students about their experience in the labs. Find out how you can get involved!

Directions here.

THAT Camp

Saturday, September 15, 9-5

Duke faculty, graduate students, and administrators are invited to attend THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on September 15, 2012, from 9-5.  Sponsored by the Institute for the Arts and Humanities (IAH), THATCamp will be held at IAH’s home, Hyde Hall (175 Franklin Street), UNC-Chapel Hill.  THATCamp is a dynamic, open, inexpensive un-conference where humanists and technologists of all skill levels learn and build together in sessions that are proposed on the spot. 

Registration is now OPEN at http://rtp2012.thatcamp.org/apply

The registration process is very quick and easy.

PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge Information Session

Monday, August 27, noon, The Garage, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse.

To participate as a PhD Lab Scholar, you must:

  • be a Duke doctoral student in a humanities or social science department OR in a program with a "digital knowledge" component that will benefit from a humanistic perspective;
  • have an interest in enhancing one's skills, ideas, and research using digital tools and new ideas of online collaboration, community, and networks;
  • have a set of skills and interests that can actively contribute to the community of the PhD Lab.

Spring 2012 Humanities News

Durham Herald-Sun features "Humanities on Demand"

It “encourages students to be active participants in their education,” he said. “Rather than simply consuming the content of a course, they are encouraged to help produce the course. When students can connect what is being taught in the classroom with their own personal interests, they invariably learn more.”  (read full article here)

Myth No. 4: Liberal arts won’t serve entrepreneurs well.

In a Durham News & Observer article, Kimberly Jenkins, Duke's senior adviser to the president and provost for innovation and entrepreneurship, said she sees people interested in innovation and entrepreneurship make a faulty assumption -- that engineering, business and the hard sciences are the surest path to success. Certainly, they have an important role to play. Jenkins herself earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Duke.

But it’s the historians, graphic artists, sociologists and economists who are often highly effective at grasping the big picture and making the unexpected connections that spark innovation. (read more)

The Role of the Humanities in Higher Education and Society

Professor Chad Gaffield, President of Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, addressing the German Center for Research and Innovation on April 3, 2012 at the German House, New York City. 

Starting at  29 minutes, he articulates seven reasons to be optimistic about the future of the humanities.  Number 7 (at 38 minutes) is Humanities Writ Large at Duke.

Defending the Humanities

Dean of Humanities Peter Burian has written an essay for "Inside Higher Ed" where he explains that academic humanists "will not prosper in the long run by saying we offer better job training, though indeed many of the skills one can learn in the humanities classroom (clear writing, careful analysis, cogent argumentation) are crucial to success in the world outside. Nor can we claim to offer solutions to the world’s problems, though we can say they will hardly be solved without the help of the sort of critical, open-minded and open-hearted thought that the humanities uniquely promotes.

"What we must do is insist — loudly and repeatedly — that liberal education aspires to make people not merely successful but also fulfilled, not merely autonomous thinkers but also contributing citizens, engaged and creative participants in the community. We must show how grounding in the humanities can put political and social issues into perspective and provide new perspectives on our values and beliefs."  (read more)

How Video Games Can Change the World

Victoria Szabo, co-director of the GreaterThanGames Lab, recently talked with DukeToday staff about the economic and social influences of video games. (read more)

Nex is Coming

In a hard-to-reach corner of the Internet, a resistance force is rising up to challenge a ruthless cabal of bankers bent on ruling the world.  And a group of Duke faculty and students are watching it unfold with glee. (read more)

Visiting Faculty Fellow Sharon Raynor on NC Now

News & Observer Spotlight on Peter Burian and the Humanities

"We want to be with it, we want to be modern, we want not to seem tedious and old-fashioned and frumpy,” Burian said in his office, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling shelves crammed with books. “But really, a lot of what the traditional humanities have been good for is not speeding up and creating all the information that you can, but in slowing down, reflecting, developing the imagination, taking the long view and thinking about how to think. And if we don’t have that role, I’m not sure where it’s going to come from.”  (read more)

Technology Brings History to Life

DukeToday has featured BorderWork(s) student Emma Ross, who said working on original research with history professor Philip Stern and other members of the Humanities Lab was the highlight of her Duke experience, helping her "find my intellectual passion." (read more)

"A Powerful Tool for Living"

Tom Ferraro, Frances Hill Fox professor of English and director of undergraduate studies, was recently interviewed for Towerview: The Chronicle's News & Culture Magazine.

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“To Ferraro, a liberal arts education is a powerful tool for living precisely because it involves asking difficult and essential questions. ... Doing the kind of critical engagements with literature that we do produces a form of what an older generation used to call “critical thinking.” English students are among the two highest scorers on LSATs—along with econ majors—and GMATs, and on any of the ones designed to test your ability to think analytically. An astonishing number of the Nobel Prize winners in the sciences have undergraduate liberal arts educations. They can teach you to think better within the box because they can teach you to think outside the box." (Read more)

The Big Bad Wolf and Other Viral Tales

DukeToday has featured "Humanities of Demand" - a new humanities course that challenges traditional teaching methods by encouraging students to build the curriculum. (read more)

Humanities Writ Larger

Duke's Chronicle editorial board wrote on April 4, 2012 that "... the humanities possess a powerful and distinct rigor all their own. More importantly, these fields of study have, and will always be, essential to the education of citizens who are able to interrogate the values and structures that make up our crazy world."  (read more)

Professor Peter Burian spoke about the role of the humanities in developing empathy and understanding - attributes that contribute to a successful life. (read more)

General Martin E. Dempsey G'84, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke of the value his Masters Degree in English has brought to his career and his life in a speech in Page Auditorium on January 12, 2012.

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