The Forum for Scholars & Publics at Duke University is a place where scholars and various publics – local, national, and global – can interact and intersect to generate greater exchange between the university and the broader world.
By organizing programs at Duke and in Durham, curating a dynamic digital space for sharing research and commentary, and hosting working groups and residencies, we hope to serve as advocates for the role of knowledge in society. The Forum is based on Duke’s West Campus and includes programming space seating up to sixty people, a smaller meeting space, staff offices, and a fully equipped studio for video and audio recording. Our events – organized at Duke as well as in various venues in Durham and beyond – engage the public through live-streaming and questions and comments via social media. Our staff will also produce and disseminate short videos and podcasts based on these events, and work to share and broadcast them as widely as possible to interested publics. The participants in all our programs are invited to explore new methods of sharing their work and new models of research projects that engage local and global communities more directly. We fund and host short-term residency programs for visual and performing artists, journalists, filmmakers, scholars, activists, organizers, entrepreneurs, curators, and others who can contribute to our programs. We host a network of working groups and classes in which students, faculty and guests debate, practice, and critique various forms of public scholarship and engagement, learn about others doing parallel work, and develop innovative ways for communication and exchange. Our model might be compared to a Bike Share program: we hope to offer a set of flexible resources that can help to transform the ways people travel within, through, and beyond the university. Ultimately, our goal is to create a generative space on Duke’s campus that can provide a leading example of new ways to connect scholars and publics locally and globally.