Category Archives: Events

Talking Toward Common Ground

Date: Thursday-Friday, March 25-26, 2010
Time: please see schedule
Location: Friedl Building, East Campus
Contact Information:

This timely conference will bring together the worlds of social sciences and humanities research for a conversation about how the two can mutually benefit in improving our knowledge of race, inequality, and social difference. Speakers include Duke professors Mark Anthony Neal, Wahneema Lubiano, Dante James, Michael Hardt, and Lee Baker.

The conference is free and open to the public, but attendees are asked to register in advance. Public parking information and directions are also available here.

Sponsored by the Center of African American Research in the Department of African and African American Studies. Co-sponsored by the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality, Sanford School of Public Policy, Mary Lou Williams Center, Department of Sociology, John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture, John Hope Franklin Institute for the Humanities, and the Department of Cultural Anthropology.

Solidarity with Incarcerated Women

Date: Monday, March 29, 2010
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Duke Women’s Center (map and directions)
Contact Information: Kelly Wooten, 919-660-5967 or kelly.wooten(at)

When we think of prisoners, we generally think of men. Yet according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 114,000 women are currently incarcerated in the United States.

In Monday’s discussion, Victoria Law, author of the newly-released Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women and publisher of Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison, will examine the particular challenges facing incarcerated women and discuss their past and present strategies of resistance.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Duke graduate student and member of the organizing committee for Durham’s Harm Free Zone, will talk about the Harm Free Zone process and facilitate interactive writing exercises based on some of the writings in Tenacious.

This event is co-sponsored by Duke’s Women’s Center, the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, and the Archive for Human Rights.

Women’s Education Symposium Redux: Scholarship Panel

Date: Friday, March 26, 2010
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Perkins Library Room 118
Contact Information: Kelly Wooten, 919-660-5967 or kelly.wooten(at)

Bring your bag lunch to the library and join the staff of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture to watch videos from their 30 October 2009 symposium, “What Does It Mean to Be an Educated Woman?”

This month, the “Scholarship and Education” panel will be shown. The full list of speakers, which include University Librarian Deborah Jakubs, is available at the online symposium schedule. Desserts will be provided!

A viewing of the third panel has been scheduled for 23 April. Stop by The Devil’s Tale in the coming weeks for reminders and more information.

We’ll miss you if you can’t attend, but—just in case—the videos are also available online.

Q & A with Andrew Kahrl

Tomorrow, the Franklin Research Center will host Dr. Andrew Kahrl, who will present”Losing the Land: African American Ownership of Coastal Property.” We asked him a few questions in anticipation of his talk, which is based on his research in our Behind the Veil oral histories collection.

Q: Could you give us a preview of your talk?

Andrew: I’m going to trace the history of African American coastal land ownership from the late 19th century to the present in order to better understand the relationship between race and real estate development in the making of the modern Sunbelt South and the long civil rights movement.

I plan to discuss the rise of coastal black landownership in the post-emancipation era; African Americans’ economic and emotional investment in coastal property and leisure space under Jim Crow; and the impact of changes to the region’s political economy on black landownership and notions of land-based empowerment. I’ll highlight some of the more revealing interviews in the Behind the Veil collection that speak to the struggle of African Americans to acquire and defend coastal property under Jim Crow and the role of black-owned leisure spaces in shaping class and culture behind and along the color line, as well as the various strategies of expropriation black coastal landowners faced—and continue to face—at the hands of real estate developers, the courts, and public officials from the 1970s to the present.

Overall, I hope to use the story of African American beachfront property to offer new insights into the intertwined stories of Jim Crow, civil rights, and the making of the Sunbelt, and to stimulate discussions on the spatiality of race, wealth, and privilege in modern America.

Q: Tell us more about your research in the Behind the Veil oral histories. Have you made any surprising discoveries?

Andrew: I have made some fascinating discoveries in the Behind the Veil collection. Two years ago, I listened to a small sampling of interviews conducted with residents of coastal cities. Interviewees recounted stories of the places that are the subject of my research that I simply could not have found elsewhere, and offered clues to the hidden history of places and cases of land acquisition and expropriation that led me to pursue other records and, in the end, make fascinating discoveries. In particular, their personal stories of the different strategies real estate developers and their allies in public office employed to seize valuable, black-owned coastal property have helped me piece together a broader set of land-use practices and legal strategies that transformed America’s coastlines in the second half of the 20th century.

The Behind the Veil Collection offers rich and moving stories of African Americans’ struggles to carve out spaces for pleasure and relief under Jim Crow, and reinforces, in my mind, the importance of land ownership in the black freedom struggle and the impact of African Americans’ steady loss of land in recent decades on relations of political and economic power in the South and the nation.

Thanks, Andrew!

Rights! Camera! Action!: The Self-Made Man

Date: Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Patrick Stawski, 919-660-5823 or patrick.stawski(at), or Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963 or kirston.johnson(at)

The Self-Made Man, the fifth film in the Rights! Camera! Action! series, Bob Stern decides to end his life after being diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness.

Susan Stern, the film’s director (and Bob’s daughter), will lead discussion following the film.

The Rights! Camera! Action! film series, which is sponsored by the Archive for Human Rights, the Archive of Documentary Arts, the Duke Human Rights Center, the Franklin Humanities Institute, and Screen/Society at Duke’s Arts of the Moving Image Program, features documentaries on human rights themes that were award winners at the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The films are archived at the RBMSCL, where they form part of a rich and expanding collection of human rights materials. Additional support for this screening is provided by the Kenan Institute for Ethics and the Divinity School Institute on Care at the End of Life.

“Losing the Land” with Andrew Kahrl

Date: Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Time: 3:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Janie Morris, 919-660-5819 or janie.morris(at)

From the Davis Family Papers.

Dr. Andrew Kahrl will discuss the rise and demise of black beaches and coastal property ownership from the early 20th century to the present. Kahrl’s talk, titled “Losing the Land: African American Ownership of Coastal Property,” is based in part on his findings in the Behind the Veil oral history collection at the RBMSCL.

This event is part of the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the RBMSCL’s John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Kahrl is assistant professor of history at Marquette University and a former fellow at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies.

“Abusing Power: Satirical Journals from the Special Collections Library”

Date: 22 February-11 April 2010
Location and Time: Perkins Library Gallery during library hours
Contact Information: Meg Brown, meg.brown(at)

"Pobre España" by Anonymous. From La Flaca, 12 September 1872.

The RBMSCL’s outstanding collection of over 60 satirical magazines from Europe and North and South America offers a panoramic view of international journalistic caricature from its origins in the 1830s to the present day. This exhibit, which gathers vivid examples from these periodicals and places them in their historical context, surveys the spectrum of comic journalism, examining the visual languages of graphic satire, and investigating its rhetorical power.

Curated by Neil McWilliam, Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies with the assistance of students in his “From Caricature to Comic Strip” course, the exhibit coincides with “Lines of Attack: Conflicts in Caricature,” an exhibition of contemporary and historical graphic satire at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

To see images from the exhibit, and to learn more about the RBMSCL’s collection of satirical journals, visit the exhibit’s online guide.

Women’s Education Symposium Redux: Activism Panel

Date: Friday, 26 February 2010
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Perkins Library Room 118
Contact Information: Kelly Wooten, 919-660-5967 or kelly.wooten(at)

Beginning this month, the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture invites you to grab your lunch and watch videos from their 30 October 2009 symposium, “What Does It Mean to Be an Educated Woman?”

This month, the “Activism and Education” panel will be shown. Visit the symposium schedule to see the list of speakers. Desserts will be provided!

Viewings of the second and third panels have been scheduled for 26 March and 23 April, respectively. Stop by The Devil’s Tale in the coming weeks for reminders and more information.

If you won’t be able to attend the viewings, the videos are also available online.

Behind the Scenes: Intern Angela DiVeglia

Most people associate Victorian women with high tea and corsets, not with struggles for justice and equality. However, Angela DiVeglia, graduate intern at the Sallie Bingham Center and co-curator of “I Take Up My Pen: 19th Century British Women Writers,” spends much of her days examining the relationships between current feminist thought and the work done by early feminists in the United States and Great Britain.

Angela DiVeglia gives this Frances Power Cobbe pamphlet a thumbs-up.

Several of the items in the library’s current exhibit, such as the pamphlet above (Our Policy: An Address to Women Concerning the Suffrage by Frances Power Cobbe), were produced by strong and outspoken feminists who wrote and lectured widely during a time when women were still expected to remain within the domestic sphere.

DiVeglia writes, “It’s really inspiring and grounding to work with these kinds of materials; it’s easy to think of our own struggles outside of their historical contexts, to feel like we’re the only people fighting these particular fights. Seeing pamphlets and books produced by people like Frances Cobbe and Annie Wood Besant—women who were often ostracized for their work, and who occupy marginal places in history—reminds us that we’re actually part of a huge, rich legacy of people who want to create a better world.”

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the exhibit yet, it will be on display in the Perkins Library Gallery until February 21!