New work & commentary
Our guest writers — scholars, poets, essayists, novelists, students, educators — engage with the programming at the Forum and contribute to timely topics and conversations.
By Sylvia Miller, Senior Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing and Special Projects, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute
Poetry Twitter. Academic writing about traditional and contemporary literature. Translations. Popular articles. All of these genres flow from the fertile mind of Eileen Chow, Associate Professor of the Practice in Chinese and Japanese Cultural Studies at Duke.
Throughout my academic journey, my focus has remained very rooted in the relationships between people and our natural world, with care given towards protecting both ecological and social systems and a growing recognition that these systems are intertwined with each other.
By Margaret "Lou" Brown
August 2020 saw the passing of writer, professor, and Southbound guest organizer Randall Kenan. Celebrated as a Southern writer and as a writer of the South, Kenan was also an extraordinary mentor and teacher to a generation of students, most recently at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Forum’s Lou Brown remembers.
By Scarlett Guy
For research, Scarlett Guy recreates her first ever loom piece, made in the Evening Star or Noonday Sun Cherokee basket pattern. Through beading, she attempts to understand the relationship between her cultural identity and craft practices as a Tsalagi, and how that relationship relates to broader Native American/Indigenous crafter experience.
By Sophia Ramirez
In this audio story, Sophia Ramirez traces the history behind a piece of buried treasure unearthed in her grandparents’ attic: a 70-year-old tube of metallic green Maybelline eye shadow that once belonged to her great-aunt Isabelle. Listen as three generations of women remember the life of a fashionable, whisky-drinking divorcée living out loud in 1950s Miami.
By Charlie Keziah
This piece tells a story of Appalachian musical culture through the medium of the bluegrass guitar. As Charlie Keziah explores his own musical heritage, he also validates the action of making — in this case, music — as an essential knowledge-building technique. Follow along as he journeys through the history of bluegrass not with a pen or keyboard, but with his guitar and a pick.
By Anna Fink
A cash register as old as this one usually comes with a good story. Not surprisingly, this particular object, now a family heirloom, tells a story of possibility and nostalgia. But it also pushes the boundaries of what it means to be a business owner in America, and what we understand the value of a cash register to be.
By Hannah Jacobs
How can we remember, reclaim, and transform sites of historical violence and trauma? Hannah Jacobs remembers a morning workshop with artists Tift Merritt, Nina Angela Mercer, Anna Schuleit Haber, and Deborah Luster.
By Jenny Levine
Jenny Levine remembers an FSP@PPG coffee-shop talk on criminal justice held in conjunction with the exhibit, Visionary Aponte: Art & Black Freedom.
The conversation featured Omisade Burney-Scott, Lynden Harris, Theresa Newman, Tarish Pipkins, and Sherrill Roland.