English major Caroline Petrow-Cohen, '22, is an Opinion intern for the Los Angeles Times (Times). Her article, "Opinion: Microplastics Are Getting Into Our Bodies," was recently published by the Times. We Need to Understand What That Means." Caroline was the English department's digital media intern in 2020. read more about Opinion: Microplastics Are Getting Into Our Bodies »
During the summer of 2021, several English Ph.D. students are gaining work experience through internships. Five of these students shared insight into their experiences:
Shirley Li, '23, is interning at RTI International (RTI). She began her internship working on the "East Africa Energy Program Impact" project in early June. Li is designing and conducting a “most significant change” (MSC) study of the influence the East Africa Energy Program had on the enabling environment around the grid-… read more about Summer 2021 English Ph.D. Internship Experiences »
Toward the end of a conversation between Jacques Derrida and Ornette Coleman in 1997, the philosopher and the musician compare their experiences of estrangement from a “language of origin.” Coleman introduces the term to explain that, as a Black man from Fort Worth, Tex., whose first ancestors in America were slaves, he never knew the language his people originally spoke. Derrida offers in response that, as a son of French-speaking Algerian Jews, he maintains no connection to the language of his own ancestors. Both men now… read more about The Melody of Time: Nathaniel Mackey’s Double Trio. »
The Modern Language Association awards $3,000 grants every year to support the development of courses and other educational programs in English, languages, and related disciplines that build enrollments and revitalize student interest in the humanities. The grants seek to recognize interdisciplinary and collaborative projects that engage with questions of global, regional, or local significance; that have the potential to offer transformative experiences for learners; that foster lasting connections between individuals and… read more about Humanities Innovation Grants »
English is capable of defining gushes that the human nervous system is entirely unqualified of experiencing. However, today, people are afraid of studying English. They think it’s all about being bookish, but that’s an absurd misconception. read more about Seven Reasons To Study English As A Major »
When he was an undergraduate political science student, Kerry Haynie was never taught about the 1921 Tulsa massacre. Nor was there much discussion about the role of race in the founding political documents of this country or much examination of how race influenced public services such as sewer lines and zoning.
In one sense, a lot has changed. In 2021, Duke’s faculty includes a strong lineup of leading scholars who examine how race is embedded in issues that cross all the schools of the university. This fall, many of… read more about University Course Raises Race as a Central Element of Undergraduate Education »
Working@Duke asked Duke staff and faculty to share books that send them to a new destination. Professor Tsitsi Ella Jaji shared two literary works that she will be reading this summer, “Cinéma” by the Guinean writer Tierno Monénembo and “Deluge” by Leila Chatt, a Tunisian-American poet. read more about Books That Will Take You Away This Summer »
Professor Priscilla Wald wrote an article for Public Books, an online magazine of ideas, arts, and scholarship, that examines how the humanities can reveal the truth of the world’s crises from contagions like the COVID-19 pandemic to the historical roots of social inequities. read more about What Happens When a Metaphor Becomes Real? »
I dream of dog death. Every night for weeks sometimes. It comes in spells, dog dreams and then nothing. Back when I was a kid, my uncle Chris bred bullies and boxers. He fed stray mutts too and kept a blind teacup poodle that was forever falling off the front porch. The one that bit me was a chow mix. Bit me square in the ass. read more about Prof. Maren's Short Story Published in "JoyLand" »
Theo Cai, ’21, recipient of the 2021 Anne Flexner Award for Poetry, shares their award-winning piece “Filaments.” The Anne Flexner Award is given annually as part of the creative writing contest sponsored by the Department of English at Duke University. Student submissions are judged by our Creative Writing Committee. This award was established in 1945 by family members and friends of former English student Anne Flexner to recognize undergraduates for their work in poetry. read more about Theo Cai Reads “Filaments,” the 2021 Anne Flexner Award Winning Poem »
Congratulations to Shirley Li, the 2021 Stephen Horne Award for Excellence in Teaching winner. The English Department at Duke University is excited to award Li with this well-deserved honor. Li was selected by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) advisory committee based on course evaluations and nominations from the students in her Spring 2021 English 90S course, "The Spooky and the Sacred." One student wrote in her nomination:
"Shirley is a wonderful, understanding, and knowledgeable professor. Not only did she… read more about Congratulations to Shirley Li, Ph.D. Candidate, 2021 Stephen Horne Excellence in Teaching Award »
Davide Carozza, English Ph.D. '20, will be the featured guest on The Alum Zoom series on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, from 11:00 am to 11:30 am. The Graduate School, the Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services, and the Duke Career Center are sponsoring this series of virtual career conversations with Duke Ph.D. alums and postdocs. Carozza is the Director of Federal Grants at the national nonprofit After-School All-Stars. During his presentation, he plans to share insight into conducting successful job searches in the Washington,… read more about Five Career Questions with Davide Carozza, English Ph.D. Alum and Director of Federal Grants »
The Duke English Department's business manager, Catherine Beaver, is one of four Trinity College of Arts & Sciences staff members to receive the Dean's Pillar of Excellence Award. The Pillar of Excellence Award was established in 2017 to encourage and acknowledge staff members dedicated to the Duke Community.
Honorees display a commitment to service, initiative, leadership, increased efficiency, enthusiasm, collaboration, mentoring, or diversity. Dean Valerie S. Ashby, Trinity College of Arts and Sciences,… read more about Congratulations to Catherine Beaver, Dean's Pillar of Excellence Award Winner »
On Tuesday, March 29, Professor Derrick Spires of Cornell University visited the English Department as a guest of the Ad Hoc Committee on Anti-Racism. Professor Spires visited virtually with a group of English Ph.D. candidates to discuss their work and offer advice. Following his meeting with the graduate students, Professor Spires and Professor Jarvis McInnis, Cordelia and William Laverack Family Assistant Professor of English at Duke University, had a virtual conversation via Zoom centered around Spires’ book The…read more about Professor Derrick Spires’ Visit with Duke English »
Oftentimes, in my classes, you can hardly distinguish a current syllabus from one of years past. My teachers usually follow a fixed curriculum, a tried-and-true set of lesson plans, course readings, and homework assignments.
But for Professor of English Thomas Pfau, PhD, that’s not the case at all. Even after thirty years at Duke, Pfau still searches for novel subjects to teach. “There are not many classes I repeat,” says Pfau. “I tend to always be prowling out for new materials and configuring new books.”
This semester… read more about Designed for Digital: English 101, 2021 Edition »
In spring 2020, Duke’s campus cleared out and the classrooms were left empty. Students returned home and finished out the semester over Zoom. Like so many others, Nima Babajani-Feremi struggled to learn online. As the strangest semester most of us have ever experienced drew to a close, Babajani-Feremi, a sophomore at the time, decided that another semester of “Zoom University” was not realistic for him.
Babajani-Feremi is no traditionalist — the bright yellow and blue floral print shirt he is wearing will tell you that… read more about Learning, Away From Duke »
When I was younger, I always fantasized about heading up North. I wanted to leave my hometown in Mississippi behind, and say farewell to the magnolia trees, to the humid summers and SEC football. The North was where culture was, and in my mind, it was wherewriters went.
I had a particular fascination with New York. I associated the city with writing workshops, like Sackett Street or Gotham Writers. I was drawn to the intimacy of those spaces, and their dynamism, too—places where my prose and ideas… read more about English 322: An Exercise in Writing and Self-Kindness »
17-year-old Amin Ahmad might’ve been surprised by the trajectory of his life, three decades later.
“It’s very strange where my life has taken me,” Ahmad says. “I didn’t expect to be in North Carolina—and I certainly didn’t expect to be teaching writing!”
Last fall, Ahmad joined Duke’s faculty as a professor of English. While he’s new to Duke, Ahmad is no stranger to crafting an engaging story. In addition to his critically acclaimed novels, Ahmad’s work has appeared in a litany of… read more about Writing Across Borders and Genres: Amin Ahmad Brings Scaffolding to Creative Writing Faculty »
Cliff Haley’s “Stuck on the Spectrum” is a queer analysis of male heterosexuality within mid-20th-century American literature. Haley’s thesis begins with Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin, then moves to Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises before returning to Baldwin’s Another Country. Within these texts, Haley explores the dilemmas of sexuality—and he argues that while we as modern readers better understand the sexual spectrum, we embrace… read more about What's in a Thesis? We Ask Undergrads What It Takes »
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Kathy Psomiades works on Victorian literature and culture. She is the author of Beauty's Body: Femininity and Representation in British Aestheticism (Stanford, 1997), and co-editor, with Talia Schaffer of Women and British Aestheticism (Virginia, 1999). She has been the recipient of an NEH fellowship, and a Kaneb award for undergraduate teaching at the University of Notre Dame. Her current book project, …read more about Victorian Lit, Dinner Parties, and Nuns: Q&A With Kathy Psomiades, PhD »