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Who We Are


A hub for public scholarship

The Forum extends into communities around the world, thanks to the broad reach of our advisors, partners, collaborators, fellows, and participants.

About Us

Founded in 2013 by Laurent Dubois, professor of History and Romance Studies at Duke University until 2021, the Forum for Scholars and Publics continues its long-standing commitment to public scholarship, the arts, and community collaborations under the leadership of Lou Brown, the Forum’s Director of Programs and a Senior Research Scholar. In 2021, the Forum became an affiliate of the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University. Since June 2022, our office is based in Smith Warehouse. We continue to host and sponsor events in various locations at Duke and in the Durham region, as well as online.

Margaret L. (Lou) Brown, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scholar & Director of Programs

Margaret Lou Brown has worked for the last twenty 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.

Our Fellows


Our Advisory Board

2020-2021 Members
Former Members