“Write what you know” is the standard advice to aspiring writers. But Professor Deborah Pope, who has guided the literary efforts of many Duke students, longed to find a way to push those enrolled in her “Writing and Memory” course to move beyond what they know and away from their usual creative voices.
The backbone of South America, the magnificent Andes mountain range, dramatically separates Chile and Argentina. In March 2007, a group of Duke alumni and friends, ranging in age from 18 to 82, “sailed the Andes”, crossing the range by water as part of a trip sponsored by Duke Alumni Education and Travel, a division of the Alumni Association (DAA).
In his book What’s the Matter With College? author and historian Rick Perlstein argues that college, as a discrete experience, has begun to disappear. And this summer Silicon Valley entrepreneur and write Andrew Keen lamented in his book The Cult of the Amateur that web phenomena such as Wikipedia, the blogosphere, and YouTube are threatening the very future of our cultural institutions. Twenty years after Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind, we have cause to wonder if a culture with multiple seductions—real and virtual alike—can find an effective counterforce in the college experience.
During the Second World War, the Allies feared that German applications of science and technology were superior to their own and might be a determining factor in the outcome of the conflict. Consequently, as Allied troops secured German territory, British and American intelligence agents swept in behind them to gather information. The reports the agents prepared form an unusual collection of booklets that is part of the Duke University Libraries’ Special Collections Library.