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What Everyone Needs to Know About Climate Change


Thursday, April 19, 2018
6:30 pm - 8 pm

Durham County Library
Southwest Regional Branch
Meeting Room
3605 Shannon Road | Durham, NC 27707

Please join us for a conversation with journalist Sara Peach about how climate change could affect you and your family — and what communities can do to prepare. Sara Peach's reporting has appeared in National Geographic, Scientific American, and the News & Observer, and she's now an editor for Yale Climate Connections, a nationally syndicated radio program. She will be joined for a Q&A by Lou Brown of the Forum for Scholars and Publics.

Find more information HERE on the Durham County Public Library website.

Co-sponsored by the Durham Library Foundation and the Forum for Scholars and Publics.

Bits of Borno


Banner photo: ©Fati Abubabakar. Instagram: bitsofborno. Photo caption: Women rush to a food distribution point.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Forum for Scholars and Publics
Duke's West Campus Quad
011 Old Chem

A light lunch will be served.

Photographer Fati Abubakar has embarked on a personal project to showcase her hometown of Borno State, Nigeria, in the time of Boko Haram. "Bits of Borno" on social media has gained critical acclaim and has been covered in media outlets including The New York Times, the BBC, Reuters, CNN, Voice of America, Newsweek Europe, Africa is a Country, and Nigerian newspapers such as ThisDay and The Blueprint. Abubakar will speak about documenting everyday life in Borno and share some of the photographs from this series. Her work can be viewed at

Sponsored by the Duke Africa Initiative, the Forum for Scholars and Publics, and the Department of African and African American Studies.

Learn more about her work:

Refinery29: "This Woman's Beautiful Instagram Account is Changing How the World Sees Her Home," by Kaelyn Forde, August 9, 2016 "Fati Abubakar: Touching portraits of life after Boko Haram," by Thomas Page, October 3, 2016

NPR Goats and Soda: "Who's the Woman with the Camera Chasing Smiles and Styles in Nigeria?" by Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, October 2, 2016:

Crisis of the 'Negro' Intellectual? 50 Years Later


FSP | Crisis of the 'Negro' Intellectual? 50 Years LaterThursday, October 12, 2017
Forum for Scholars and Publics
12:00 - 1:15 pm

011 Old Chem
Duke's West Campus Quad
Map & Directions


Light lunch served

Join us as Professors Wahneema Lubiano, Mark Anthony Neal, Lester Spence, and Joseph Winters engage in a roundtable discussion of the legacy of Harold Cruse's The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual. Described as a book that "electrified a generation of activists and intellectuals" when it was published in 1967, what has been its lasting impact on American intellectual history? In what ways are contemporary scholars, artists, and activists still influenced by the arguments put forth in Cruse's provocative critique of black intellectual leadership?

Co-sponsored by the Forum for Scholars and Publics; the Department of African & African American Studies; the Center for Arts, Digital Culture, and Entrepreneurship; and the Duke Council on Race and Ethnicity.

Memory and History in Haitian Art


FSP | Memory and History in Haitian ArtWednesday, October 4
Forum for Scholars and Publics
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

011 Old Chem
Duke's West Campus Quad
Map & Directions

Haitian artists have produced powerful representations of and reflections on history and memory. Join us for a conversational exploration, featuring scholars Anthony Bogues and Jerry Philogene and celebrated artist Edouard Duval-Carrié, of this rich artistic tradition and how it is situated at the crossroads of Haitian, Caribbean, and Global artistic currents.

Lunch will be served at the conclusion of the program.

Sponsored by the Forum for Scholars and Publics.

Taking Down the Monuments: The Future of the Past in Durham and Baltimore



FSP | Taking Down the Monuments: The Future of the Past in Durham and BaltimoreUPDATE: The Duke Chronicle published a story about this panel, written by Nathan Luzum, in the Sept. 9, 2017 issue.

And Duke Today also featured the panel discussion on their website.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Forum for Scholars and Publics
011 Old Chem
Duke's West Campus Quad

A light lunch will be served.

What is the history behind the Confederate monuments that have recently come down in Baltimore and Durham? How and why did they come down? And what should be done with the empty pedestals and the spaces around them in order to offer a different kind of historical memory?

Join us for a conversation with historians Martha Jones and Blair Kelley and journalist David Graham about history, memory, and politics in Baltimore, Durham, and beyond. Discussion moderated by Robin Kirk.

Sponsored by the Forum for Scholars and Publics.

Photo Credit: Allen Breed/AP.

'Critique of Black Reason': A Discussion With Achille Mbembe & Laurent Dubois


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Noon - 1:00 pm

Forum for Scholars and Publics (Old Chem 011)

Light lunch served beginning at 11:45


Join us for a discussion with Achille Mbembe about his Critique of Black Reason, recently translated by Laurent Dubois and published by Duke University Press. The discussion will explore the core themes of the book as well as the process of its translation into English. The conversation will be moderated by Professor Tsitsi Jaji.

Joseph Bathanti: 13th Sunday After Pentecost


Tuesday, March 7, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

The Regulator Bookshop (720 Ninth Street, Durham, NC 27705

Poet Joseph Bathanti comes to The Regulator Bookshop with his newest book of poetry, The 13th Sunday After Pentecost, for a reading and booksigning.

In The 13th Sunday after Pentecost, Joseph Bathanti offers poems that delve deep into a life reimagined through a mythologized past. Moving from his childhood to the present, weaving through the Italian immigrant streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to his parochial school, from the ballpark to church and home again, these contemplative poems present a situation unique to the poet but familiar to us all.

Bathanti's readings will be interspersed with the sublime music of Sus Long and Michael Conner. Two working pastors, Long and Conner are often in conversation about faith and grace, love and grief, and the threads that hold all things together. Formed by novels and poems, morning news, late-night theology, and the stories of the people around them, their music has taken them from festival stages to prison chapels as they explore the work of the modern psalmist.

Come join us at The Regulator for a much-needed evening of poetry and music!


Across the strike zone swoops a dove,
maybe an angel. You’re in Pittsburgh,
March; it’s snowing. All week
you’ve seen angels; everyone’s tired,
proclaiming even horrid things angels,
intimating miracles. Johnson’s pitch
obliterates the bird—
a hail of feathers and dander,
as if inside a tiny bomb detonated.
Like a cartoon. Thoroughly unbelievable.
Around you, people are dying.
But you ignore it.
You laugh at the massacred dove.
It’s not funny, but you laugh.
You could cry, rip your hair out, your clothes off,
crash through the seventhfloor window
into the slushy black streets of the city.
It’s funny because it’s not.

            —from “Angels” by Joseph Bathanti


Listen to "Born Homesick" by Sus Long and Michael Conner. 








Poetry, Writing, Trauma, & Healing


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Noon - 1:00 pm

Forum for Scholars and Publics (Old Chemistry Building Room 011)

Lunch provided beginning at 11:45

Free and open to the public

Join us for a discussion with novelist, memoirist  and former poet laureate of North Carolina, Professor Joseph Bathanti in a conversation led by Duke University Professor Raymond Barfield. They'll explore the intertwining of writing with human experiences of suffering, joy, trauma, and healing. In addition to his award-winning writing, Professor Bathanti has followed a call to service by teaching writing and literature to correctional facility inmates and, more recently, conducting writing workshops with military veterans. In September 2016, he was awarded the North Carolina Award for Literature.

Learn more about Joseph Bathanti:

"Interview with Featured Poet: Joseph Bathanti". Town Creek Poetry (Spring 2011).

"Joseph Bathanti: Writing as a Sacred Office". Faith & Leadership (October 22, 2012).

"They Are Everywhere". Our State (November 3, 2013).

"Writings From Wartime Help Healing". Citizen-Times (February 26, 2016).

Read selections of his wriing in The Sun Magazine.

Also - on Monday, March 7, Joseph Bathanti will be at The Regulator Bookshop, 720 Ninth Street, Durham, reading from his most recent book of poems, The 13th Sunday After Pentecost. The reading begins at 7 pm.


Talking Music: Cuban-American Cultural Exchange


Friday, February 24, 2017

Forum for Scholars and Publics (Old Chemistry Building 011)

12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Light lunch served

Arturo O’Farrill, GRAMMY-winning pianist, composer, and bandleader, will discuss his collaboration with founding members of the Havana-based Malpaso Dance Company, Osnel Delgado, Dailedys Carrazana, and Fernando Sáez. Duke Performances Associate Director and GRAMMY-winning producer Eric Oberstein will moderate this conversation, touching on, among other topics, the evolving relationship between Cuba and the United States following the restoration of diplomatic relations.

Based in Havana, Cuba, Malpaso Dance Company is committed to bringing Cuban contemporary dance into the 21st Century by collaborating with top international choreographers and nurturing new voices in Cuban choreography. The company's core artistic vision is led by resident repertory choreographer Osnel Delgado. The company was founded in 2012 by Delgado, Dailedys Carrazana and Fernando Saéz, and consists of 10 dancers, including former members of Danza Contemporanea de Cuba. Their repertory includes 24 hours and a dog, a work by Delgado, set to music by Arturo O’Farrill (who wrote an original overture for the piece, of the same name), Porque Sigues (Why You Follow) by the American choreographer Ronald K. Brown, among other notable works.

On the evenings of February 24 and 25, Malpaso and O’Farrill’s ten-piece Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble will bring to Duke the U.S. premiere of Dreaming of Lions, an evocation of Ernest Hemingway’s classic 1952 novella The Old Man and the Sea. Info and tickets available HERE

Made possible, in part, with a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts & the North Carolina Arts Council, & support from the Dance Program at Duke University.

Public Intellectuals: Bringing a Public into Being


Banner image: © Copyright Albert Bridge and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Friday, March 3, 2017

Noon - 1:00 pm

Forum for Scholars and Publics (Old Chemistry Building 011)

Light lunch served beginning at 11:45

Free and open to the public

Join us for a discussion with professors Jedediah Purdy and Corey Robin, two scholars who write frequently for non-academic publications. What does it mean to write to "bring a public into being"? Why do this sort of writing? How does the practice of writing for a public affect other, more academic-focused forms of scholarly writing?

Read some of Corey Robin's public writing:

How Intellectuals Create a Public.” The Chronicle Review (January 22, 2016), B10-14.

"Judith Butler as a Public Intellectual." (June 29, 2016),

"From the Talmud to Judith Butler: Audiences as Co-Creators with -- and of -- the Public Intellectual." (July 2, 2016),

Read some of Jed Purdy's public writing:

"Environmentalism Was Once a Social-Justice Movement." The Atlantic (December 7, 2016).

"What I Had Lost Was a Country". n+1 Magazine (December 20, 2016).

"America's New Opposition". The New Republic (February 1, 2017).


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