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The course of Esther Kim Lee’s scholarship was set by a book that didn’t exist. When she accepted the 2023 Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) on November 11, Duke's Frances Hill Fox Professor of Theater Studies, International Comparative Studies and History recounted an experience from her days as a graduate student at The Ohio State University in the 1990s. While working on her dissertation, Lee searched the library for books about the history of Asian American theater. To her… read more about Esther Kim Lee Wins American Society for Theatre Research’s Distinguished Scholar Award »

Our November 8th colloquium discussion featured a presentation by Dr. Simon Miles on his article “We All Fall Down: The Dismantling of the Warsaw Pact and the End of the Cold War in Eastern Europe.” After explaining aspects of his research into the decisions of Eastern European anticommunist activists and politicians at the end of the Cold War, Dr. Miles answered questions on a variety of topics, including how to assess the agency of these decision makers given their marginal status within the Cold War geopolitics, whether… read more about "We All Fall Down" with Simon Miles »

On October 26, faculty and students gathered in the Thomas Room in Lilly Library for a lecture by Bill Chafe, Alice Mary Baldwin Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History. Professor Chafe reflected on his long career at Duke University (he has been a faculty member since 1971), and on his scholarship and activism in the Civil Rights Movement over a period of more than forty years. During that time, Professor Chafe and his colleagues trained almost thirty graduate students, who have gone on to become among the most… read more about History Hub presents Bill Chafe on "Lifting the Chains" »

On Friday, November 3, editor Brandon Proia from Basic Books came to give an informal talk about working with a trade publisher as an academic writer. After describing his background as a shepherd-turned-editor and his lengthy experience in the publishing industry at both academic and trade presses, Proia opened the floor for questions from an audience of mostly professors. The attendees inquired about a variety of topics, ranging from the strengths of trade presses, how to become a public-facing scholar, whether to include… read more about History Hub presents: Publishing Academic Research with a Trade Press »

On Monday, October 30th, History Hub was pleased to present the first in a series of Faculty/Graduate Student Workshops.  The event featured an informal talk by Dr. Dirk Philipsen, an Associate Research Professor of Economic History at the Sanford School of Public Policy, a Senior Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, and a Secondary Faculty member of Duke History, about his creative new project. In the context of the climate crisis, Dr. Philipsen gave an enthralling presentation about what he has dubbed "the tragedy of… read more about The Tragedy of the Private: Capitalism and the Climate »

On Monday, 10/23/23, Methods Labs welcomed Thomas Robisheaux and John Martin to discuss the historical methodology of Microhistory. Using the classic work The Cheese and the Worms by Carlo Ginzburg as a jumping off point, Drs. Robisheaux and Martin commented on their experiences--including, in the case of Dr. Martin, points where he came up short--in practicing microhistory. From there, discussion moved into other topics such as whether microhistory is a useful methodology, how to do global microhistory, advice for… read more about Cheese, Worms, and Microhistory »

Our October 11th colloquium featured Dr. Frances Hasso, who addressed the topic of "Researching Non-Archival and Rarely Asked Questions in Palestine" in relation to her book, Buried in the Red Dirt: Race, Reproduction, and Death in Modern Palestine. Given recent events, Dr. Hasso read an excerpt from the coda to her book by way of introduction. Discussion featured topics such as how to conduct oral history and the importance of engaging with knowledge passed down through generations, finding alternative archives as… read more about "Buried in the Red Dirt" with Dr. Frances Hasso »

On October 9th, a group of panelists gathered for an informal discussion of Adam Mestyan’s new book Modern Arab Kingship: Remaking the Ottoman Political Order in the Interwar Middle East (PUP, 2023). After some introductory notes by the author, including a recognition of the ongoing violence in Palestine-Israel, the discussion’s chair, Dina Khoury (GWU) and each of the panelists presented their impressions of the work and how it has contributed to thinking about their own research. Topics of discussion… read more about Book Talk! Panel discusses Adam Mestyan's Modern Arab Kingship »

In November 2020, Heather, a Black student enrolled at N.C. Central, was excited about the chance to cast her first vote in a presidential election. Instead, she spent the day in a nightmarish tour of polling sites across two counties. Heather had registered to vote as a student in Durham, but because of COVID housing restrictions, she had moved back home to Raleigh. Her first stop was her home polling site in Raleigh, but was told she had to go to Durham, where she was registered. At her registered Durham site, she was… read more about How a ‘Failsafe’ Protection for Voting Fails Students »

Cecilia Márquez, profesora auxiliar de Hunt Family en el Departamento de Historia. (John West/Trinity Communications)Click here to read this story in English “En muchos sentidos, esta es una historia extraña y, en cierto punto, inesperada”, afirma Cecilia Márquez, profesora auxiliar de Hunt Family en el Departamento de Historia, sobre su nuevo libro “Making the Latino South: A History of Racial Formation (Configuración del sur latino: una historia de la formación racial)”.… read more about De la Cálida Bienvenida al Deseo de Expulsión: La Historiadora Cecilia Márquez Analiza en su Nuevo Libro el Proceso de Racialización de Personas Latinas en el Sur de los Estados Unidos »

Cecilia Márquez, Hunt Family Assistant Professor of History. (John West/Trinity Communications)Para leer este artículo en español, haga clic aquí.   “In a lot of ways this is a weird story, and sort of unexpected,” says Cecilia Márquez, Hunt Family Assistant Professor of History, about her new book, “Making the Latino South: A History of Racial Formation.” The book's trajectory examines the racialization of non-Black Latinos in the U.S. South from the 1940s to the early 2000s.… read more about From Warm Welcome to the Desire to Expel: New Book from Historian Cecilia Márquez Examines the Racialization of Latinos in the U.S. South  »

On Monday, September 18, the first Fall 2023 Methods Lab featured a presentation from Dr. Mireya Loza, professor of History and American Studies at Georgetown University, about her work curating exhibits at the National Museum of American History. Discussing her contributions in curating two exhibits, “De Ultima Hora: Latinas Report Breaking News” and “Girlhood (it’s complicated),” Dr. Loza walked the audience through the methodological aims and challenges of presenting public history on sometimes controversial topics.… read more about Methods Lab: Curating Latinx History with Dr. Mireya Loza »

On September 13th, at the first installment of the Fall 2023 History Colloquium series, theater historian Dr. Esther Kim Lee discussed her book, Made-Up Asians: Yellowface During the Exclusion Era, the first comprehensive look at yellowface, or white actors portraying Asian characters, in American cinema. Dr. Lee presented a brief introductory slideshow, showing archival images she'd encountered, followed by a discussion of the work. Topics ranged from the globalized nature of racial performance, why there are no A… read more about Dr. Esther Kim Lee Discusses "Yellowface" at Fall Colloquium »

Assistant Professor of History Hannah Conway joins the Duke faculty this year. (John West/Trinity Communications)Many of us have complicated relationships with people. Hannah Conway has a complicated relationship with a place: the South. From growing up a self-described “woodland weirdo” in Appalachia to spending much of her graduate research in the lower Mississippi Delta region, Duke’s newest assistant professor of History has an affinity for the southeastern portions of the U.S. A scholar… read more about Repairing Our Social Erosion with Environmental Historian Hannah Conway »

Assistant Professor of History Matthew Shutzer joins the Duke faculty this year. (John West/Trinity Communications)In Matthew Shutzer’s class “Fossil Fuels and Climate History,” students are encouraged to think of climate not only as a contemporary scientific problem, but as a potent agent of historical transformation. Shutzer, who joined the faculty this Fall as assistant professor of History, asks students to examine the historical connection between climate change and the fossil fuel… read more about Matthew Shutzer Puts Climate Change in Context »

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) revealed its allocation of $41.3 million in grants, benefiting 280 humanities projects throughout the nation. Two Trinity College of Arts and Science Faculty are recipients of the grant. Jocelyn Olcott Jocelyn Olcott’s project focuses on the value of care. (John West/Trinity Communications) Jocelyn Olcott, Professor of History; International Comparative Studies; and Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, was awarded the grant… read more about Two Trinity Faculty Awarded Grants from National Endowment for Humanities »

On the occasion of the release of his latest book, Modern Arab Kingship: Remaking the Ottoman Political Order in the Interwar Middle East (Princeton University Press, 2023), Dr. Adam Mestyan has published an online article in Aeon digital magazine.  "The Arab Kingdom" details the proclamation of a new pan-Arab empire amid the chaos of the First World War, and the historical lessons to be learned from its eventual collapse. read more about Sharif Hussein and the Campaign for a Modern Arab Empire »

Summer is a great time to catch up on reading. Books from more than a dozen Duke authors offer insight on a range of topics – from gratitude for everyday life to the antislavery writings of Henry David Thoreau. Below is a roundup of some of the most recently published and soon-to-be-out titles. Many of the books, including new editions of previous titles, can be found on the “Duke Authors” display shelves near the circulation desk in Perkins Library. Some are available as e-books for quick download. Most can also be… read more about Hot Off the Press: Summer Reading From Duke Authors »