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Who doesn’t dream of owning a house that automatically closes the windows when it starts to rain, or a car that copes with traffic so you don’t have to? The science fiction of yesterday is today’s reality, and even better days are on the horizon. Such is the promise of “smartness.” It’s touted as the answer to all of humanity’s problems, a path not just to prosperity but to the very survival of our species. Is a smart future inevitable, though? What would a world constructed by smartness look like, and is it the best… read more about Does “Smart” Always Make Sense? Robert Mitchell’s The Smartness Mandate Tackles Our Global Obsession »

If you read any of the many stories written just last week about ChatGPT and generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, you likely noticed a lot of both hype and concerns: ChatGPT will help students to better express their ideas. ChatGPT will lead young people down dark rabbit holes, end take-home exams and lead to layoffs. On Friday, a multidisciplinary panel of scholars and industry professionals broke down where the hype is overstated and the dangers overblown, but also where the benefits are possible and the… read more about ChatGPT Is Here to Stay. What Do We Do With It? »

In December 2022, Cambridge University Press published Wittgenstein and Literary Studies, which contains chapters by Professors Sarah Beckwith, English and Toril Moi, Literature, Romance Studies, and English, Philosophy, and Theater Studies. Then in January, MIT Press published  The Smartness Mandate, co-authored by Professor Rob Mitchell. The book suggests that "smartness" is not just about technology but a theory of knowledge.  read more about Spring Books from Duke Authors from Wittgenstein to Capoeira »

After fifty years as an English professor and a decade and a half with the English department at Duke University, Professor Leonard Tennenhouse has announced his retirement. He began his career in academia at Wayne State University. Tennenhouse joined the Duke English faculty in 2008 following more than a decade at Brown University. Professors Leonard Tennenhouse and Rey Chow at a Duke Graduation CeremonyA year after joining the department, Professor Tennenhouse took on the role of… read more about Honoring Professor Leonard Tennenhouse Upon His Retirement »

Award-winning novelist and educator Marlon James recently visited the Duke English Department as the Reynolds Price Guest Author. During his time on campus, James conducted a writing workshop with more than a dozen of Duke's undergraduate creative writers. Then he gave a reading that evening, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A. Duke English's creative writing committee had invited Marlon James to campus for a reading in 2020; however, the event was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While waiting to… read more about Marlon James’ Visit with Duke English as Reynolds Price Guest Author »

One of the main goals for a creative writer is to keep the reader interested.  There are different ways to do this, and in Professor Amin Ahmad's Intro to the Writing of Fiction – "Writing the Unspeakable"-- class, his students learn different strategies by studying the work of contemporary authors. The course is designed for students who want to master the craft of creative writing. I don’t believe that writers are little geniuses who sit alone in rooms and wait for inspirations—I really think that writers need a… read more about The Uncertainty Found in Suspense Writing »

During the 2022 Fall semester, Professor Mesha Maren used a David L. Paletz Course Enhancement grant to invite three writers to her "Creative Writing: Autofiction & First-Person" class virtually. “By bringing Juliet Escoria, Scott McClanahan, and Julián Herbert into my classroom (via Zoom) to give lectures and answer questions, I hope to help students to understand how a text is crafted through drafting and revision and the ability for students to place their own writing in the context of the canon. I was able to… read more about Review: Fall 2022 David L. Paletz Creative Writing Guest Series »

We invite you to consider registering for a new English course, ENG 290S.02 American Environmental Poetry, meeting MW 1:45-3:00PM with visiting professor Sharon Kunde. The course comes with codes CCI, EI and ALP and counts for Area III for English majors.  American Environmental Poetry – Sharon Kunde For centuries, poets have been writing about the environment: celebrating its beauty, learning from it, projecting ideas onto it, and finding meaning in it. But recently, humans’ relationship with the environment has… read more about Spring 2023 English Course: American Environmental Poetry »

Before she was a poet, Tsitsi Jaji was a pianist. The Bacca Foundation Associate Professor of English grew up surrounded by song in her native Zimbabwe. Her father conducted choirs. Her mother introduced her to the piano at age 5, and Jaji went on to study piano performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She has accompanied a well-known tenor and composed music for an African modern dance troupe. She joined jazz bands and small combos and played at cocktail bars for tips during graduate school, and later wrote… read more about Fellowship Enables English Professor to ‘Bring Poetry and Music into Dialogue’ »

Duke English recently hosted its first "Fiction Open House," and more than two dozen students attended. Creative writing faculty members met with students to discuss courses offered by the department and future offerings. This event served as an opportunity for students to learn about writing fiction and the courses Professors Mesha Maren, JP Gritton, and Amin Ahmad will teach next semester. The idea for the "Fiction Open House" came from an experience Professor Maren had during her residency… read more about Students and Faculty Exchange Ideas  »

If you missed the Medicine, Humanities, and Business (MHB) Celebration featuring double-Duke alum (BA/MD) and Silicon Valley startup CEO of QuadrantEye, Dr. Quinn Wang, below is a recorded version of the event.  From Dr. Wang herself: “Remembering how lost and confused I felt as an undergrad, I took the opportunity to say the things that that version of Quinn really needed to hear. My talk, titled "The Big Leap," delved into the intersection of literature, medicine, race, and startups. As I chronicled my journey from… read more about Recording: Fall 2022 Medicine, Humanities, and Business Celebration Featuring Dr. Quinn Wang »

Healthcare startup founder and Dr. Quinn Wang will talk about her career path on Nov. 5 as part of a celebration of medicine, entrepreneurship and the humanities. Wang earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Duke in 2010 and an M.D. from the Duke School of Medicine in 2015.  read more about Duke Alumna to Explore Intersection of Health and Humanities at Student-Organized Event »

My name is Morgan Biele (Creative Writing Minor) and I am a Senior, Pre-Med, Health Humanities enthusiast, and an eager registered attendee and planner for the Medicine, Humanities, and Business celebration happening this fall. At this event, happening on the fifth of November, Dr. Quinn Wang M.D. will be speaking about her start-up, Quadrant Eye, and will delve into her experience practicing medicine in an interdisciplinary way. I am so excited to hear from Dr. Wang, and also to watch this… read more about Join Us Nov. 5 for the Medicine, Humanities, and Business Celebration »

Congratulations Professor Douglas Jones on earning tenure. Douglas Jones is associate professor of theater studies in the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences with secondary appointments in English and African & African American Studies. He joined Duke faculty in 2022 and is a 2022-23 Thomas Langford Lectureship awardee. read more about Duke Awards Tenure to Faculty in a Wide Range of Fields »

Dr. Quinn Wang will be the guest speaker at Duke’s Fall 2022 Medicine, Humanities and Business Celebration on November 5, 2022.  Dr. Quinn Wang graduated from Duke in 2010 with high distinction and received the English department's award for "Most Original Honors Thesis” for her thesis Through the Lens of Medicine: Landscapes of Violence in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian (1985), All the Pretty Horses (1992), and No Country for Old Men (2005). Following her undergraduate studies, Dr… read more about Q&A with English Alum Dr. Quinn Wang, Co-Founder & CEO of Quadrant Eye  »