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A Note on Our New Website

May 1, 2020

Welcome to version 3.0 of our website! The latest iteration of the Forum for Scholars and Publics online launched May 1, 2020.

By Forum staff

Friendly color, ease of use, and multimedia reflect our mission at the Forum.

Developed in close collaboration with the award-winning design agency Kompleks Creative, our new website updates our logo, streamlines our event calendar, and showcases our digital work and community projects.

Bold layouts and pops of Caribbean color reflect the vibrant energy that our guest speakers, partners, and participants bring into our spaces. Large photos and retrospectives help tell the story of the Forum for Scholars and Publics as well. Browse the site to learn how we got started, who we’ve had the pleasure of meeting along the way, what we’ve accomplished, and what's on the horizon.

Features at a Glance


Redesign 2020

A Brief Look Back

The Early Days

The Forum at Duke launched in 2013 in a prime West Campus spot that once housed a photography darkroom and nearly forgotten science storerooms. As we experimented with meeting formats and conversation styles in our newly renovated campus digs, building a robust online presence that reflected our broad interests and expanding reach into the communities of the Triangle became a priority.

The first iteration of our website, built at Sites@Duke around the graphic metaphor of a bike share, reflected the early experimental idea of the Forum as a transit or network hub offering those passing through a new set of resources for encountering and navigating the world. It was our hope that participants from all walks of university and community life could attend programming at the Forum, gain new perspectives, and return to their daily lives in some small way transformed. In this spirit, our first website served as an archive of sorts, capturing and storing event-related media and materials for later perusal.

We first hit the Internet in 2013 as a Duke WordPress site.


Jumping Platforms

Over the years, our seminar room and lounge in the basement of Old Chem played host to an increasing number of gatherings both large and small — packed public conversations, live musical performances, weekly Duke undergraduate and graduate classes, faculty workshops, artist residencies, and more. The Forum required a more flexible and graphical online presence to reflect the growing diversity and frequency of our programming.

Durham’s Verified Studios developed a photo-rich, modular concept that drew attention to the Forum’s events — upcoming, recent, and archived — and better integrated social media to promote conversations across platform.

website version 2

By 2019, our Drupal site featured nearly 300 events and 500 guest speakers.

Of Note in the Redesign

New Features

For the most part, our new website feels similar to our former website, with a few exceptions. Our Blog is now the Forum Online, a curated space showcasing new work and commentary by guest writers — scholars, poets, essayists, novelists, students, educators — commissioned to reflect on our programming or to engage with other timely topics and conversations.

Under Projects, we feature our local and global collaborations, which to date have focused on producing digital media, oral histories, exhibitions, and event series, and on fostering community activism.

You'll find our event calendar under Events. Note as well that you can click to view the calendar by day, week, month, or year, and as a list. You can also use the search feature in the header to help locate an event or one of our hundreds of guest Speakers.

Have an idea for a program? Read how we structure our public conversations under Our Model, and fill out our inquiry form under Get Involved.

And learn more about us! Check out our bios in the About section. Meet our Advisors and Fellows, current and former. Find detailed directions to our campus location by clicking Visit the Forum, and hit Contact to send us a message.

We have a new URL! You can still find us at, and will send you directly to our new homepage at for the foreseeable future.

Have thoughts on our redesign? We'd love to hear from you!