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Duke Forum for Scholars and Publics

Our Team

Laurent Dubois, Ph.D.
Professor of Romance Studies and History
Faculty Director

Laurent Dubois is the Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History and is the founder and Faculty Director of the Forum for Scholars & Publics at Duke University. From 2010 to 2013, he was the co-director of the Haiti Laboratory of the Franklin Humanities Institute. He is the author of five books, including Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (2004) and A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 (2004), which won four book prizes including the Frederick Douglass Prize. He has also written about the politics of soccer, with Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France (2010) and is the founding editor of the Soccer Politics Blog. His most recent book is Haiti: The Aftershocks of History (2012). He is currently writing a history of the Banjo as an Afro-Atlantic instrument (under contract with Harvard University Press). He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Humanities Fellowship, and a Mellon New Directions Fellowship to support this work, some of which is showcased on the Banjology website. His writings have appeared in The Nation, The New Yorker website, Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. He is active on twitter as @Soccerpolitics



Margaret L. (Lou) Brown, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scholar
Director of Programs

Margaret Lou Brown has worked for the last fifteen years in interdisciplinary program development and community engagement. She holds a Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis, where she also taught and developed education and outreach programs in Anthropology, American Culture Studies, Social Thought and Analysis and the Center for New Institutional Social Sciences. At Duke, she has coordinated the academic programs for the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Certificate Program and the Ethics Certificate Program and managed education and outreach programming for the Kenan Institute for Ethics. She enjoys working with students and faculty to develop models for integrating student learning, research, and public outreach, and has collaborated on a variety of research projects in Madagascar, the United States, and Nepal. She tweets as @EthnoTopics.




Natalie Robles
Director of Media and Communications

Natalie Robles is the Director of Media and Communications at the Forum for Scholars and Publics. She is a recent Duke graduate who practices merging documentary filmmaking and cultural anthropology. As a Colombamericana, Natalie's interest in documentary film was ignited after a two-month DukeEngage trip to Medellín, Colombia. After documenting displaced families, Natalie learned that generating a relationship with a culture she’d been long estranged from was vital to understanding how nuanced and sensitive a process filmmaking can be. Natalie pursues freelance film production in the Triangle, collaborating previously with the Center for Documentary Studies, the Duke Office of Civic Engagement, Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Figure 8 Films, Break Thru Films, & Nightlight Films. She is driven to tell stories of those deemed "others" in our world, having produced films on NYC street buskers, impoverished blues musicians, feminist mantra in the practice of traditional Indian dance, Girl Starter, and on how a Southern ghost town was rocked by gentrification in both good ways and bad. To see more of her work, visit She tweets as @NatRoblez.

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