Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University

Fostering collaborative, interdisciplinary humanities research

Operating as usual

04/02/2024

🌼🌱🌷Join us Thursday April 18 for a special evening with the award-winning poet and memoirist Camille Dungy! She will read and discuss her memoir SOIL: THE STORY OF A BLACK MOTHER'S GARDEN. Weather permitting (fingers crossed), this event will take place outdoors at the lovely Angle Amphitheater at the Duke Gardens. FREE TICKETS REQUIRED, get yours here: https://camille-dungy-duke-gardens.eventbrite.com

Sarah P. Duke Gardens Duke Arts Duke University English Department Department of African & African-American Studies

02/01/2024

Our own Saskia Cornes, Program Director of the Duke Campus Farm and Assistant Professor of the Practice, is published in the most recent issue of Agricultural History! Read an excerpt below.

"While we grow thousands of pounds of organic produce each year, our chief output is ultimately....not produce but students with a renewed sense of self-efficacy and an understanding of the vastness of the food system and the human histories at its roots. We are contravening the Anthropocene cycle described by Anna Tsing as 'promise and ruin,' of extraction and abandonment of land and communities, to return to the wreckage and offer it a muscular kind of love, the work of repair."

Read more about how Program Director Dr. Saskia Cornes considers soil as an archive in her recently published article in the Journal of the Agricultural History Society!

You can access the article here: https://read.dukeupress.edu/agricultural-history/article-abstract/97/4/643/383441/Soil-as-the-Archive?redirectedFrom=fulltext

12/05/2023

ON YOUTUBE: Black feminist theorist was honored at our recent Faculty Bookwatch for her new book, “Birthing Black Mothers,” published by . She examines how the figure of the “Black mother” has become a powerful political category. Cast as suffering and traumatized by their proximity to Black death, especially through medical racism and state-sanctioned police violence, Black mothers are often rendered as one-dimensional symbols of tragic heroism. In contrast, Dr. Nash examines Black mothers’ self-representation and public performance of motherhood, including Black doulas and breastfeeding advocates, that are not rooted in loss. WATCH on the YouTube channel!

Jennifer Nash: "Birthing Black Mothers" | Faculty Bookwatch 12/05/2023

Black feminist theorist Dr. Jennifer C. Nash examines how the figure of the “Black mother” has become a powerful political category in her new book, Birthing Black Mothers," published by Duke University Press. Dr. Nash and her work were honored at this year's Faculty Bookwatch, a jointly hosted event series by the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute and Duke University Libraries since 2004. Faculty Bookwatch promotes interdisciplinary conversations on notable recent books by Duke University faculty in the humanities and interpretive social sciences. Each program brings together a panel of distinguished colleagues from Duke and other universities, giving brief comments on the significance and impact of the featured book.
This event was sponsored by the Publishing Humanities Initiative (PHI), the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University (FHI), Duke University Libraries and is co-sponsored by the department of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University, Department of African & African-American Studies , and the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History in Medicine.

Jennifer Nash: "Birthing Black Mothers" | Faculty Bookwatch In "Birthing Black Mothers," published by Black feminist theorist Dr. Jennifer C. Nash examines how the figure of the “Black mother” has become a ...

Virtual Playtest: Encounter | John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute 12/04/2023

6pm ET TODAY! Please join ENTANGLEMENT: STRANGE LIFE for "Virtual Playtest: Encounter," a transmedia, improvisational, and live interactive strange performance with Patrick Jagoda (William Rainey Harper Professor of English, Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, Program Director of Media Arts and Design) and Heidi Coleman (Associate Senior Instructional Professor of the Committee for Theater and Performance Studies), both from the University of Chicago.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: https://forms.gle/DAeMkmd7g4FVRZhG6

Developed by The Fourcast Lab at the University of Chicago, this platform enables a live networked audience to interact, via chat, with a live actor to co-create a series of narrative performances. To construct this experience, we draw from art forms, including creative writing, theater, filmmaking, and game design. As humanistic research, this work is an intervention into fields that include performance studies, media studies, narrative theory, and game studies. Our iterative process includes design, development, playtesting, and data collection. Strange lives will be cocreated.

https://fhi.duke.edu/event/virtual-playtest-encounter/

Virtual Playtest: Encounter | John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Virtual Playtest: Encounter

11/13/2023

“It is very important to me that a humanities institute is fundamentally about animating and improving research in the humanities, whether we are having a teach-in or we are trying to make something more accessible to an audience outside the university. The fundament has to be about research or teaching.”
director, Dr. Ranjana Khanna, explored how the humanities helps make sense of the world in a candid interview with FHI’s Assistant Director of Communications, Michaela Dwyer. Find it on the new FHI website: https://fhi.duke.edu/blog-post/making-sense-world-we-live-conversation-fhi-director-ranjana-khanna/

11/06/2023

How do we educate for our climate future? What does embrace of the more-than-human require of us? And where do we find collaborators to undertake positive action to overcome climate grief? THIS EVENING, 6-7:30PM, join Dr. Saskia Cornes(), program director of and , founding director of in conversation moderated by alum .matheny. All three participants work as educators, creators, and community-builders towards a better climate future. Join us at 114 S. Buchanan Blvd. at the Smith Warehouse, Bay 4!

10/24/2023

Please join us for 2023 HAITIAN FILM SERIES
This year series include 4 films: Desounen: Dialogue with Death; Bridge the Gap: Haiti; Kafe Negro; Jean-Jacques Dessalines: The Man Who Defeated Napoleon
Bonaparte

Left of Black | Season 14 Premiere | Jasmine Nichole Cobb on the Art and Texture of Black Hair 10/20/2023

What is the cultural significance of Black hair and how does it impact the way African Americans show up across all arenas of social life? And what are some art practices that have been built around that? In this Season 14 premiere, host Dr. Mark Anthony Neal welcomes fellow Duke colleague Prof. Jasmine Nichole Cobb to discuss her latest book, "New Growth: The Art and Texture of Black Hair," published by Duke University Press. Duke University

Left of Black | Season 14 Premiere | Jasmine Nichole Cobb on the Art and Texture of Black Hair Watch more Left of Black: https://fhi.duke.edu/engagement/left-black/What is the cultural significance of Black hair and how does it impact the way African A...

10/18/2023

Join us for a reflection on indigeneity and anthropology by two scholars who represent a vibrant new generation of Amazonian researchers. (in Portuguese and Spanish with simultaneous English translation)

Wed. 10/25, 12pm-1pm EST - Hybrid: Registration required! Register for in-person or Zoom participation here: https://cutt.ly/indigenousanthro

Fran Baniwa is a PhD candidate in anthropology at Rio de Janeiro's Museu Nacional. She belongs to the Baniwa people of the Terra Indígena do Alto Rio Negro. She is the first Indigenous woman to publish an anthropological monograph in Brazil. Her book, Umbigo do mundo (The Navel of the World, Dantes Editora, 2023), is a journey through stories and myths that reveal the cosmology of the Baniwa people.

Roldán Tumi is the first anthropologist belonging to the Matsés people from the Loreto region of Peru. He received his degree from the Universidad Nacional de la Amazonía Peruana (UNAP) in Iquitos, Peru. Roldán is the author of Dayac Menequin (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, 2022), a book on the rituals, uses, and significance of the resin of Acate Frog among the Matsés people.

This event is part of our seminar series on "Translation, Media, and Cosmopolitics." Co-sponsored by Duke's Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Season 14 of ’Left of Black’ Launches Oct. 19 | Duke Today 10/16/2023

We are THRILLED to announce the start of Season 14 of our Webby-nominated series, Left of Black, with Dr. Mark Anthony Neal, Chair of Department of African & African-American Studies here at Duke. In this season of Left of Black, we will introduce you to a brilliant lineup of scholars whose work delves into various aspects of Black life, creativity, scholarship, activism, resilience, and Black excellence. The season is set to kick off this Thursday, October 19th, on the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University's YouTube channel. Make sure to tune in!!

Season 14 of ’Left of Black’ Launches Oct. 19 | Duke Today Season 14 of ’Left of Black’ Launches Oct. 19 Mark Anthony Neal’s web series opens with conversation with Jasmine Cobb on Black hair Image In an upcoming episode of "Left of Black," Mark Anthony Neal interviews Duke alumna Thema Bryant, a leading clinical psychologist. Caption Close Image In a...

Photos from Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University's post 10/09/2023

Friends, we are RE-STREAMING our feature documentary film, "The Education of Bruno Latour," on this day–– the one year anniversary of Dr. Latour's passing away. Please follow this link for the premiere, which will start at 4:45p with an opening discussion between our director, Ranjana Khanna, and Duke geologist, Dr. Daniel Richter. Also featuring Join us! https://youtu.be/YKaVraLeYZ8?feature=shared

09/20/2023

WE ARE GUARDIANS.

- film screening and interactive lecture - 9/29

About the film:

Thousands of people are illegally setting up camp on protected land in the Brazilian Amazon, killing centuries-old trees for export and mining rare resources. Directed by Indigenous activist Edivan Guajajara and environmental filmmakers Chelsea Greene and Rob Grobman, We Are Guardians artfully shares the stories of the people impacted by this issue. We meet Indigenous Brazilian forest guardian Marçal Guajajara and activist Puyr Tembé who are fighting to protect their home from deforestation; an illegal logger struggling to make ends meet who feels he has no other financial choice to survive; and a landowner who is dedicated to preserving the rich ecosystem within his land by relentlessly seeking action from local authorities, with no answers. Folding insight into the economic drivers behind the continued deforestation, this films’ beauty lies in its intimate, character-focused storytelling, providing a human entry-point into a critical situation that ultimately impacts us all. (More info: https://www.weareguardiansfilm.com/ )

Interactive lecture with WE ARE GUARDIANS directors (Edivan Guajajara, Chelsea Greene, Rob Grobman) and activist Puyr Tembé on Friday, September 29 at 12:00pm-1:30pm, at the Amazon Lab (Smith Warehouse). Lunch will be provided. RSVP for lunch at cutt.ly/weareguardians

Film screening on Friday, September 29. 7:00pm – Location: Ruby Screen Theater. With participation of the directors (Edivan Guajajara, Chelsea Greene, Rob Grobman) and activist Puyr Tembé.

(A film directed by Edivan Guajajara / Mídia Índia, Chelsea Greene / One Forest, Rob Grobman, 2023, 82 min. In Portuguese, Tupi, and English, with English subtitles)

This event is part of the North Carolina Latin American Film Festival.

Co-organized by the Amazon Lab at FHI, Screen Society, and Narrating Nature.

Special support for this event comes from the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Human Rights Center at FHI.

Co-sponsored by the Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

09/20/2023

A conversation with Roberto Romero – the first event in the Amazon Lab’s seminar series on the Amazon, “Translation, Media, and Cosmopolitics.”

Wed., 9/27/23, 12pm-1:00pm EST (1-2pm Brasilia; 5-6pm London)

Hybrid (In-person and Zoom). Registration required! Register for in-person event (at Amazon Lab, lunch provided) or register for Zoom event here: https://cutt.ly/indigenouscinema

Roberto Romero is an anthropologist, translator and filmmaker. He is currently a postdoc fellow in the “Singing and healing the land” project (CNPq/UFSB/UFMG) and a member of the Hãmhi – Terra Viva (Living Land) project. He is co-director of the film “Nũhũ yãgmũ yõg hãm: this land is our land” (2020).

Roberto Romero’s presentation will be followed with a discussion facilitated by Jamille Pinheiro Dias (Univ. of London) and Gustavo Procopio Furtado (Duke).

Co-sponsored by the Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Celebrating the Work of Professor Diane Nelson, 1963-2022 09/13/2023

ON YOUTUBE: We celebrated the life and work of Prof. Diane Nelson, cultural anthropologist at Duke who passed away last year. One of her students summed up the sentiments so many have felt in her passing: “Thank you so much for teaching us that kindness is political, that self-care is a method, and that we all matter.” The video of the event will stream Thursday, 9/14, at 11:45a.

Celebrating the Work of Professor Diane Nelson, 1963-2022 Diane Michele was born in Oxford, Ohio in 1963 to Donald N. and Lois E. (Genn) Nelson. In 1980, Diane began her lifelong relationship with Latin America as a...

The Otolith Group with Denise Ferreira da Silva: Screening and Conversation - Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University 09/13/2023

Tomorrow/Thursday, 9/14! We have The Otolith Group in from London to screen two video works at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University as part of our Entanglement Project's Climate Change, Decolonization, and Global Blackness Lab. 6PM, free! Co-sponsored by Cinematic Arts at Duke.

The Otolith Group with Denise Ferreira da Silva: Screening and Conversation - Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University The Franklin Humanities Institute’s Climate Change, Decolonization, and Global Blackness Lab presents a screening of two video works, Infinity Minus…

Brown is the New Green: “Natural” Disasters, Marginalization and Planetary Health with Brian McAdoo 07/26/2023

ON YOUTUBE: Nature does not cause disasters. A natural hazard can rapidly turn into a disaster when it encounters a community made vulnerable by unjust economic systems, environmental degradation and centuries of systemic racism. This talk explores the nature of natural disasters by providing a framework in which we can understand the intersections of hazard and vulnerability in order to create more sustainable and just solutions. This talk explores case studies in Nepal, Haiti and Madagascar. Brian McAdoo is a disaster researcher and head of the PlanetLab in the Earth and Climate Science Division at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke. Watch on FHI's YouTube channel!

Brown is the New Green: “Natural” Disasters, Marginalization and Planetary Health with Brian McAdoo Learn more at https://fhi.duke.edu/programs/entanglement-projectAbout the Talk: Nature does not cause disasters. A natural hazard can rapidly turn into a dis...

Climate Change, Decolonization, & Global Blackness | Danielle Purifoy: "Plantations Are Not Forests" 07/25/2023

ON YOUTUBE: This presentation examines the contemporary timber industry as a reproduction of plantation power via remote control which occurs through absentee landowners, Black family land grabs, new markets for energy, and legal regimes designed to "devalue" common property in favor of individual ownership and profit-seeking productivity. Black rural histories can teach us about alternative modes of forest relations and interdependence that counter the economic interests driven by capitalism. Danielle Purifoy is an assistant professor of Geography at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on the racial politics and law of development in Black towns and communities.

Climate Change, Decolonization, & Global Blackness | Danielle Purifoy: "Plantations Are Not Forests" Learn more at https://fhi.duke.edu/programs/entanglement-projectAbout the Talk: This presentation examines the contemporary timber industry as a reproduction...

Between Reparations and Freedom: A Masterclass with Rinaldo Walcott 07/24/2023

ON YOUTUBE: What does it mean to still be in the age of the long emancipation? Have African Americans, and the African diaspora in the New World more broadly, attained true freedom or merely emancipation? Are reparations the first step to graduating out of emancipation where a more equitable society can finally be constructed? Dr. Rinaldo Walcott, Chair of the Department of Africana and American Studies at the University of Buffalo, visits the From Slavery to Freedom Lab at the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University to teach this masterclass derived heavily from his recent book, "The Long Emancipation: Moving toward Black Freedom," published by Duke University Press.

Between Reparations and Freedom: A Masterclass with Rinaldo Walcott What does it mean to still be in the age of the long emancipation? Have African Americans, and the African diaspora in the New World more broadly, attained t...

07/21/2023

ON YOUTUBE: This presentation outlines a new narrative of life emerging at the interface of Latin American anti-extractivist territorial struggles and critical social theory. Such narrative might ground a praxis or pluriversal transitions beyond modernity’s liberal, secular monohumanism necessary to face the climate catastrophe caused by global colonial capitalist worldmaking practices. This lecture is part of ’s Entanglement Project. Now available on FHI’s YouTube channel!

Photos from Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University's post 07/20/2023

Our numbers are climbing 🧗‍♂️ Along with humanistic inquiry, research, and writing come the essential component of communication. We have grown a robust library of humanities media content on our YouTube channel. Now up to nearly 750 video! Subscribe today to get notified of our latest event videos, dynamic interviews, and compelling short documentaries, all from the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University.

The Reinvented Life of Belle da Costa Greene: A Masterclass with Tracy Denean Sharpley-Whiting 07/20/2023

ON YOUTUBE: Passing as white was a common practice of many African Americans with mixed heritage and lighter complexions who were navigating a segregated social order that left Black communities with far fewer resources than their Caucasian counterparts in the early 20th century. Belle da Costa Greene was no exception to this phenomenon, which ultimately led her to holding the highest position in one of the most influential institutions to emerge from that era: The Morgan Library & Museum located in the heart of New York City. In this masterclass from our From Slavery to Freedom Lab, Dr. Tracy Denean Sharpley-Whiting, the Vice Provost for Arts and Libraries at Vanderbilt University, discusses the vibrant and undisclosed life of Belle da Costa Greene based on the research she has done towards an upcoming book she is soon to publish.

The Reinvented Life of Belle da Costa Greene: A Masterclass with Tracy Denean Sharpley-Whiting Passing as white was a common practice of many African Americans with mixed heritage and lighter complexions who were navigating a segregated social order th...

No Empires, No Wastelands: Ecological Solidarity for the 21st Century with Hannah Holleman 07/19/2023

ON YOUTUBE: In this lecture, Prof. Hannah Holleman discusses the vital lessons we can learn from one of the first global environmental problems of modern capitalism, which reached its apogee in the "dust-bowlification" of agricultural lands in the 1920's and 1930's. Based on award-winning research, Prof. Holleman explains that the regional crises of soil erosion in this period as dramatic and foreseeable manifestations of a global social and ecological emergency generated by the racialized political economy and ecology of white settler colonialism and the new imperialism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the end, Prof. Holleman argues, we are confronted with the necessity of breaking with the white man's burden version of environmentalism and building a deeper ecological solidarity in order to heal the life-threatening, interrelated social and ecological rifts of our day. Watch on the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University YouTube channel!

No Empires, No Wastelands: Ecological Solidarity for the 21st Century with Hannah Holleman Learn more at https://fhi.duke.edu/programs/entanglement-projectAbout the Talk: In this lecture, Prof. Hannah Holleman discusses the vital lessons we can lea...

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