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Has your class discussed "Like a Prayer" by Madonna this semester? If not, you have missed out and are not enrolled in Professor Tom Ferraro's "Madonna Trouble.” Last year, during one of his graduate-level lectures, Ferraro mentioned that he taught a "Madonna unit" in his Italian-American arts and multimedia courses, and his students responded with, "You gotta teach a course on Madonna!" "Truth is, I can't imagine education in the 20th Century transnational U.S. expressive culture without Madonna (as I can't imagine… read more about “Madonna Trouble” Taught by Professor Tom Ferraro »

Congratulations to Duke English majors Macey Davis, "Crown Ascent," and Heidi Smith, "First World Problems," who, along with their projects, were selected to be a part of the 2023-24 Duke Arts Studio Student Cohort. The seventh year of Duke’s signature arts mentorship program pairs thirteen students with professional mentors to develop their creative projects, including literature, theater, film, visual arts and more. read more about Announcing the 2023-24 Duke Arts Studio Student Cohort »

In January 2023, Ranjana Khanna was reappointed as FHI Director for a second 5-year term. In this wide-ranging interview with FHI's Assistant Director of Communications Michaela Dwyer, Khanna discusses the return of in-person programming and modes of collaboration in the humanities. Highlighting the launch of the Entanglement Project, she considers how the humanities might help us make sense of the world in the shadow of the pandemic. read more about Making Sense of the World We Live In: A Conversation with FHI Director Ranjana Khanna »

Brown University Professor Tim Bewes presented "Lukács and Baldwin: A Conversation Between Novel Theory and Black Studies" for the inaugural Len Tennenhouse Lecture. A capacity crowd joined Bewes for his lecture focused on the first of a projected three essay study of "Race and the Novel." Students, faculty, Duke community members, and literary arts supporters were eager to hear Bewes discuss his work. Bewes began his lecture by thanking the department for the honor of being selected for the inaugural Len Tennenhouse… read more about Inaugural Tennenhouse Lecture »

A group of students recently joined the Duke English Creative Writing faculty for an Open House. The Open House allowed students to chat with faculty informally about creative writing from all facets, ranging from course offerings to advice on how creative writing can continue beyond the classroom. Among the students in attendance was a local high school senior who has applied to Duke and is interested in majoring in English and minoring in Creative Writing. “I thought it was a super great opportunity to meet creative… read more about Fall ’23 Creative Writing Open House »

A packed crowd joined Duke English for a reading and an opportunity to meet and chat with poet Toby Martinez de las Rivas, the 2023-24 Blackburn Distinguished Artist in Residence. Martinez de las Rivas joined the department for the 2023-24 academic year and is teaching two sections of an “Introduction to Creative Writing” this semester, a multi-genre course designed to allow students to experience imaginative literary texts. The "Read & Greet" allowed the Duke community to hear Professor Martinez de las Rivas… read more about "Read & Greet" With Poet Toby Martinez de las Rivas, Blackburn Distinguished Artist in Residence »

Catherine Ward, '18, Judicial Law Clerk, United States Court of Appeals, has not slowed down since her undergraduate days when she was a very active and involved member of the Duke Community. Ward was part of the first cohort of Duke English Ambassadors. She participated in Duke Engage Dublin and Bass Connections Citizenship Lab, and she was accepted into the Kenan Purpose Program during her junior year at Duke. She was the winner of the English Department’s Critical Essay award in 2018. "… read more about Catherine Ward, ’18, Judicial Law Clerk, United States Court of Appeals »

American playwright, actor, and philanthropist Jeremy O. Harris met with a group of English creative writing students in conjunction with his visit to Duke University, sponsored by Duke Arts, to screen Zola his co-writing film debut. Due to travel delays, Harris' workshop had to be rescheduled from Friday to Saturday morning, yet 20 students eagerly participated. The opportunity to have Harris visit Duke came about as part of Duke Arts' efforts to host more literary arts events. Duke English Professor Mesha Maren… read more about Playwright Jeremy O. Harris’ Visited with Duke English Creative Writing Students »

The psychological impact of discrimination, the economics of marrying your cousin, fossil fuel economies in South Asia and the Mississippi Delta, quantum algorithms, how Black intellectuals shared ideas through the British empire, the organization of political parties and more. "Our new faculty are not only among the world's brightest minds, but they are individuals driven by a passion for enriching the lives of our students," says Dean Gary G. Bennett. Meet Trinity's newest scholars and educators. Christopher Ouma For… read more about Meet the Newest Trinity College of Arts & Sciences Faculty »

Associate Professor of English Christopher Ouma joins the Duke faculty this year. (John West/Trinity Communications)For Christopher Ouma, Pan-African thinking is second nature. Newly arrived at Duke from a professorship at the University of Cape Town, Ouma grew up in Kenya, leaving his home country in East Africa after earning his bachelor’s degree to pursue graduate studies in South Africa. His Ph.D. thesis, “Childhood in Contemporary Nigerian Fiction,” led him into the world of West African… read more about Christopher Ouma Explores Pan-African Imagination »

As part of the United States Military Academy at West Point’s (USMA) annual Civil Rights Staff Ride program, cadets from West Point and the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) embarked on a transformative journey through Durham, which played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement. The cadets, accompanied by faculty members, immersed themselves in an interdisciplinary exploration of American history, social activism, and leadership during their visit to Durham and Duke University, respectively. At the heart of their… read more about Ph.D. Candidate, Lieutenant Colonel Trivius Caldwell’s Lecture to Military Service Academy Cadets »

Julianne Werlin, Duke English, Bacca Foundation Associate Professor, has been named one of this academic year's five Landford Lectureship Award Recipients. The Office of the Provost established the Langford Lecture series in 2000 as a tribute to Thomas Langford, former Divinity School faculty member, Dean, and Provost. read more about Prof. Werlin, Thomas Langford Lectureship Award Recipient »

Abstract: Toni Morrison represents the improvisations of life in the 1920s and posits her novel Jazz as a work that negotiates sound as a distinguishing characteristic of her writing genre. Many critics have described Morrison’s approach as a Jazzthetic strategy and as such, her rhetorical move enables a renovation of traditional aspects of the novel to render life as complex as a jazz composition itself. This article analyzes Morison’s methods and posits the use of jazz strategies to mimic the displacement… read more about Jazzthetic Technique: Oralizing Fiction and Jazz Strategies in Toni Morrison’s Jazz »

The Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics hosts a bi-weekly conversation “On Humane Tech,” highlighting relevant news in a conversational format with our team. Each week the topic changes, but one thing stays the same — we want to hear from you. Respond to our conversation below. read more about On Humane Tech: The Written Word in a Digital World with Dr. Aarthi Vadde »

Poet Toby Martinez de las Rivas will join the Duke English Department this Fall as the 2023-24 Blackburn Artist in Residence. He recently joined sophomore English major Trisha Santanam via Zoom to discuss the course he is teaching this Fall, English 290S.4.01: "Word & Image." English major Trisha Santanam interviews Poet Toby Martinez de las Riva, 2023-24 Blackburn Artist in Residence read more about Meet Poet Toby Martinez de las Rivas, Blackburn Artist in Residence »

In the Fall of 2023, Professor Chris Ouma will join the Duke English faculty. Recently Prof. Ouma sat down, via Zoom, with sophomore English major Trisha Santanam to discuss the course he will be teaching this Fall, "Small Magazines & African Literary Modernity." His course is one of English's 101S - "Art of Reading" gateway courses taught this Fall. English major Trisha Santanam interviews Professor Chris Ouma read more about Meet Professor Chris Ouma »

Summer is a great time to catch up on reading. Books from more than a dozen Duke authors offer insight on a range of topics – from gratitude for everyday life to the antislavery writings of Henry David Thoreau. Below is a roundup of some of the most recently published and soon-to-be-out titles. 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… read more about Hot Off the Press: Summer Reading From Duke Authors »

While fall registration has passed, there is still a need for an honored Recess tradition: the Arts, Literature and Performance (ALP) Class List which includes ENGLISH 286/GERMAN 275/MEDREN 315: The Legend of King Arthur in Literature and Film (CCI, ALP) and ENGLISH 386/ARTHIST 238: Science Fiction Film (CCI, EI, STS, ALP). read more about Six ALP Classes To Help Fill Your Fall 2023 Schedule »

Award encourages students to pursue careers in public service Five members of the Class of 2024 have been named to the third class of Nakayama Scholars.  The Nakayama Public Service Scholars for the Class of 2024: Nhu Bui is from Houston, Texas, and double majoring in environmental science and policy and English. She is also a Rachel Carson Scholar and loves spending her time at Duke researching a diversity of topics from shrimp biomechanics to sustainability practices to… read more about Duke Names Third Class of Nakayama Scholars »

The first day of the inaugural Duke Climate and Sustainability Teaching Fellows’ weeklong workshop series is wrapping up when Alex Glass assigns homework to the assembled faculty participants: “Before tomorrow, I challenge you to come up with a topic from your course that you think doesn’t relate to climate change at all. Tomorrow we’ll discuss ways it does.” The Climate and Sustainability Teaching Fellows Program may be new, but for its three faculty co-leads — Charlotte Clark, Associate Professor of the Practice of… read more about For the Climate and Sustainability Teaching Fellows, the Connections are Myriad »