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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.

Hip-Hop as a Diplomatic Mission: Blitz the Ambassador Shares Music of the African Diaspora

Ghanaian-American Hip-Hop artist, visual artist, and filmmaker Blitz the Ambassador spent three days in residence at Duke in February 2016.

Blitz’s residency included public conversations at Beyù Caffè in downtown Durham and the Forum for Scholars and Publics.

Marco Werman and Alex Harris in Conversation

It had been more than 30 years since they last sat together.

Then, it had also been in a seminar room at Duke, Marco Werman in his last semester of college, Alex Harris a young professor teaching the unexpected combination of public policy and documentary photography.

PRACTICE: Listening to Nathaniel Mackey and Abdullah Ibrahim

A few weeks ago I started writing a series of commentaries on contemporary African poetry for the online poetry journal, Jacket2.

I am always terrified of the blank page, and so I scrolled through my iPod for some sonic courage. When Abdullah Ibrahim’s 1974 album, Good News from Africa, appeared I knew I’d found what I needed.

Ana Tijoux’s Passion and Creativity: An Educator Reflects on Music and Empowerment

The Forum for Scholars and Publics and Duke Performances welcomed French-Chilean musician/activist Ana Tijoux and UNC-Chapel Hill professor David Garcia to campus for a conversation about music, politics, and family.

Barbie Garayúa Tudryn remembers in this interview with Forum staff.

How Do We Make Sense of a Place?

How do we make sense of place, and particularly old/abandoned places?

Five artists explored this question through photography and documentary film. Their very different projects found common ground in representations of trauma and redemption, absence and companionship, solitude and engagement, fragility and resilience.