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Forum Online

 

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.

There and Back Again: Haitian Children in Detention Camps

At the U.S.-Mexico border, 23,000 children have been torn from their parents. The imagery is jarring.

In a facility in McAllen, Texas, immigrants sit in cages like criminals, with one holding as many as 20 children.

Print Culture and Resistance Among Cuban Refugees at Guantánamo Bay

Duke undergraduate Alyssa Perez talks about her experiences conducting archival research for the first time in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University.

As a Cuban-America student, she is intrigued by the Caribbean Sea Migration Collection and what it reveals about the detention of Cubans and their tenacious fight for freedom.

Listening for Surrealist Ethnography

On November 15, 2017, Jay Hammond and the Forum for Scholars and Publics hosted a reading and performance by Eugene Chadbourne and friends.

Chadbourne kicked off the event by reading passages from his tome Dreamory and was joined on stage by David Menestres and members of his family band, The 13 Society. Hammond reflects on the evening.

The Black Atlantic Festival 2018

The music of the Black Atlantic is our global soundtrack.

Doctoral students from a range of disciplines in Laurent Dubois’ class on the Black Atlantic have produced a guide to the context of the Black Atlantic music festival.

The Borders Beyond the Border Experience

The class began with a question: how can we understand the voices we are exposed to at Duke, as well as the surrounding community in Durham?

More importantly, how can we better understand and respectfully represent the voices of Latinx individuals and groups we interact with?

How Jonathan Demme Walked the Walk in Haiti

Jonathan Demme, who died last week at age 73, was best known to American audiences as the Academy Award-winning director of The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia.

But to those who knew him in Haiti and the Haitian diaspora, Demme was an ardent and unwavering advocate of human rights and democracy in Haiti.

The Possibility of a Public

On March 3, 2017, the Forum for Scholars and Publics hosted a conversation between Corey Robin and Jed Purdy about the purpose and promise of public intellectuals in the United States today.

Scholar/activist Peter Pihos reflects on the discussion and its intersection with his own recent experiences.

Generous Listening

“You know how you’re not supposed to be thinking while the other person is talking, right? You’re supposed to be listening.” Julia Roxanne Wallace, a participant in our discussion about archiving LGBTQ+ lives, laughed as she acknowledged the challenge of being a good panelist.

By prefacing her remarks with this comment, she shared openly something most of us struggle with internally – how to be attentive listeners AND be prepared to contribute an insightful comment when our turn comes.

A Musical Passage Across Time and Place

In Musical Passage: Voyage to 1688 Jamaica, historian Laurent Dubois, composer David K. Garner, and literary scholar Mary Caton Lingold tell the story of a travel document and provide recordings that interpret the fascinating music unexpectedly found within its pages.

They highlight the role of “Mr. Baptiste,” the unknown musician tasked with the writing of the notation, arguing that he may have been a freed black performer native to the colonies, and a composer.