Category Archives: Readings and Talks

Global Women, Local Women

Date: Thursday, June 10, 2010
Time: 3:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Kelly Wooten, 919-660-5967 or kelly.wooten(at)duke.edu

Please join us for a program featuring Mary Lily Research Grant recipients Karen Garner and Lori Brown.

Karen Garner, Assistant Professor of Historical Studies at SUNY Empire State College, will discuss her research on U.S. global gender policy in the 1990s using the Sisterhood is Global Institute Records, Robin Morgan Papers, and Robin Chandler Duke Papers.

Lori Brown, Associate Professor of Architecture at Syracuse University, will also present her examination of relationships between space, abortion, and issues of access to reproductive health services based on research using our women’s health clinic records.

Light refreshments will be served.

Post contributed by Kelly Wooten, Research Services and Collection Development Librarian for the Sallie Bingham Center of Women’s History and Culture.

Black Petticoats and Bold Protests

Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Time: 3:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Kelly Wooten, 919-660-5967 or kelly.wooten(at)duke.edu

The first Staff & Scholars Tea of the summer, hosted by the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, will feature Mary Lily Research Grant recipients Rebecca Mitchell and Michelle Moravec.

Rebecca Mitchell will present her findings on the proto-feminist aspects and eroticism of Victorian mourning attire. Mitchell is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Texas-Pan American.

Michelle Moravec will speak about feminist art activism as a U.S. social movement. Moravec is Assistant Professor of History and Women’s Studies at Rosemont College.

These two diverse topics will be sure to spark a lively conversation! Light refreshments will be served.

For more about other happenings at the Bingham Center, check out the latest issue of the center’s newsletter!

Post contributed by Kelly Wooten, Research Services and Collection Development Librarian for the Sallie Bingham Center of Women’s History and Culture.

Sam Stephenson and The Jazz Loft Project

Date: Monday, 12 April 2010
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Jeremy Smith, 919-660-5839 or jas5(at)notes.duke.edu

Join us as the Jazz Archive hosts Sam Stephenson, director of the Jazz Loft Project.

Sam will discuss the history of his work on this fascinating audio and photographic archive and will highlight some of the recent project results, including a new book, radio series, and traveling photography exhibition. The Gothic Bookshop will provide copies of The Jazz Loft Project at a 20% discount and Sam will be available to sign copies.

Guests are invited to bring their own lunches, but dessert and drinks will be provided.

“The Library, The Archive, The Collection”: Research as Studio Practice in the Art of the Moving Image

Date: Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Time: 12:30 PM
Location: Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Kirston Johnson, 919-681-7963 or kirston.johnson(at)duke.edu

A still from “The Great Art of Knowing” showing Byrd’s bookplate.

Award-winning filmmaker and Guggenheim Fellow David Gatten will present his 2004 film, “The Great Art of Knowing.”

The film belongs to a series exploring the extensive library of William Byrd II, a prominent 17th-century Virginian landowner and author. Taking as a point of departure Athanasius Kircher‘s Ars Magna Sciendi (often translated as The Great Art of Knowing), the film attempts a reconstruction of the lives of William Byrd and his daughter Evelyn, and underlines the centuries-old desire to build systems of total knowledge and complete understanding.

Gatten is the 2010 Distinguished Visiting Filmmaker for Duke’s Program in the Arts of the Moving Image. His residency is funded by the Provost’s Council for the Arts Visiting Artist Residency grant.

In addition to his 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship, Gatten has shown his films at the Whitney Biennial, the Toronto International Film Festival, the London Film Festival, and several other international film festivals. His work belongs to the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as those of numerous university and private collections.

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)duke.edu

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.

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!

“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)duke.edu

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.

Tea with Trailblazers: MaryAnn Black

Date: Wednesday 3 February 2010
Time: 2:30 PM
Location: The History of Medicine Reading Room, Duke Medical Center Library (map and directions)
Contact Information: Jessica Roseberry, 919-383-2653 or jessica.roseberry(at)duke.edu

MaryAnn BlackIn celebration of Black History Month, the Duke Medical Center Library and Archives has partnered with the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture to present a special guest, MaryAnn Black, MSW, LCSW. In an informal talk, Ms. Black will share some of her “trailblazing” experiences at Duke and in the Durham community. Ms. Black, who has worked for Duke University since 1981, is the Associate Vice President for Community Relations for the Duke University Health System. Tea and light refreshments will be served.

Opening Reception for “Conscience of a Nation”

Date: Wednesday 20 January 2010
Time: 4:30 PM
Location: Perkins Library Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Karen Jean Hunt, 919-660-5922 or k.j.hunt(at)duke.edu

Join the exhibit curators and the staff of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture as they celebrate the legacy of Professor John Hope Franklin (1915-2009).

Speakers will include Judge Allyson Duncan, a 1975 Duke Law graduate, and Dr. Walter Brown, former dean of North Carolina Central University’s School of Education.

Zine Mania, Round One: Cristy Road

Date: Monday, 16 November, 2009
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: Duke Women’s Center Lower Lounge
Contact Information: Kelly Wooten, 919-660-5967 or kelly.wooten(at)duke.edu

Cristy RoadYou know those issues of Greenzine you have stacked on your bookshelf? Now you’ll finally have your chance to meet writer and illustrator Cristy Road as she visits Duke’s Women’s Center for a reading and discussion.

Road, a Cuban-American from Miami, Florida, has been illustrating ideas, people, and places ever since she learned how to hold a crayon. Blending the inevitable existence of social principles, cultural identity, sexual identity, mental inadequacies, and dirty thoughts, she testifies to the beauty of the imperfect. Today, Road has moved from zines to illustrated novels, although her visual diagram of lifestyles and beliefs remain in tune with the zine’s portrayal of living honestly and unconventionally.

Stop by the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture during reading room hours to see issue #14 of Greenzine, one of some 4000 zines (and counting!) preserved in the center’s zine collection.

(Artwork courtesy of Cristy Road: “Hope Beyond Despair” from Greenzine 14, 2004)