Events – Spring 2009

April 18

Wearing the Talk about Ethical Fashion

Rachel WeeksAfter graduating from Duke in 2007, Rachel Weeks went to Sri Lanka on a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her interest in ethical fashion, a subject she explored in her Women’s Studies senior honors thesis, “The Wonder Bra: Theorizing Globalization, Women’s Labor, and Consumption for Twenty-First Century Feminism,” a study of the intersections between fashion and academic feminism. But her interest in the topic wasn’t just academic.

While researching socially responsible apparel manufacturing in Sri Lanka, Rachel founded School House, LLC, a “people friendly” fashion collegiate apparel brand. The Fulbrighter joined forces with fashion designer Colleen McCann over the Internet, and together they are now launching a 54-product collection at a number of U.S. universities—beginning with Duke. School House’s factory partner, JK Apparel, is the first living wage factory initiative in Sri Lanka and is supported directly through the sale of School House products.

Rachel felt the first stirrings of what became School House when she and classmate Haley Hoffman were planning DukePlays: the Party, which the Duke Libraries hosted in February 2007. Rachel said, “…absolutely, the idea definitely came to me as a result of the DukePlays party.”

Working with the theme “tradition never looked so good,” Rachel and Haley mounted an exhibit for the party of iconic Duke images drawn from University Archives and created an array of party favors that also paid tribute to campus life through the decades. Even Rachel’s party dress was inspired by the “tradition” theme. She said,

The reaction to my vintage Duke t-shirt dress from both current students and alumni made me start thinking about the collegiate market and the opportunities there were to improve design, product range, etc. Our “Green House” collection dresses are inspired by that first dress—each one is crafted from “recycled” Duke t-shirts…

Models wearing School House clothesPhotos by C. Stephen Hurst

The School House line will be introduced at Duke in a trunk show on Reunions Weekend. The trunk show will give fashionistas—and anyone loyal to Duke—an opportunity to learn more about the factory in Sri Lanka and the women who work there and see and buy School House clothes. For more information about School House, contact Rachel at

Saturday, 18 April, 10:00 am, Perkins Library, von der Heyden Pavilion. Co-sponsored by Alumni Affairs, Women’s Studies, and the Duke University Libraries

April 23

Meet Michael Malone

Hillsborough author Michael Malone will read and sign copies of his newly published novel, The Four Corners of the Sky, at an event that will also be a celebration of the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library’s acquisition of his papers.

Michael Malone

Photo by Marion Ettlinger

The Four Corners of the Sky, described as “a novel of love, sacrifice, and the inexplicable bonds that hold families together,” is Malone’s ninth. Earlier titles, in genres ranging from satire to mystery, include Handling Sin and Time’s Witness. Malone is also the author of short stories, an academic study of male sexuality in the movies, and plays and screenplays. In addition, he has written for the popular soap operas Another World and One Life to Live. For his work as head writer of One Life to Live, he won an Emmy. His other awards include the Edgar, the O. Henry Prize, and the Writers Guild Award. Malone has taught at Yale, the University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore; he is currently visiting professor of the practice in English and theater studies at Duke.

The Malone Papers chiefly comprise drafts and galleys of his novels and other writings, personal and professional correspondence, and teaching materials. Also included are book tour and other promotional materials, videocassettes, audiocassettes, and digital files. For more information, see the Preliminary Inventory of the Michael Malone Papers, circa 1970-2008.

Thursday, 23 April, 4-6pm, Perkins Library, Biddle Rare Book Room

Save the Date: October 30-31, 2009

What Does It Mean to be an Educated Woman? 4th Biennial Symposium of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture

symposiumConversations on pedagogy, scholarship and activism in women’s education and a tribute to the career of Jean O’Barr.

  • Keynote address by Lisa Lee, director, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, at 4:00pm on Friday, October 30, Duke University, Durham, NC/Location TBA
  • Also on Friday, a benefit dinner in honor of Jean O’Barr
  • For more information and to pre-register, call 919.660.5967 or see the symposium website.