Current Events Articles

American Sign Language interpreters helping during Hurricane Irma press conferences

American Sign Language

September 13, 2017 9:18 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Title image: Florida governor Rick Scott giving updates on Hurricane Irma. Note the sign language interpreter to the left. I’m sitting high and dry in Durham, North Carolina, living in a hotel, feeling a bit like Eloise all the while acknowledging that my hotel ain’t The Plaza. But that’s not... read more

Duke university professor reflects on Confederate monuments

Monument(al) Mistakes

September 5, 2017 10:36 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Title image: Baldwin Auditorium, East Campus, Duke University with statue of Benjamin N. Duke Upon my return to Duke last week for the start of classes, I was reminded how much I’ve always loved East Campus with its Georgian architecture. Maybe it’s because I lived there when I was a... read more


April 25, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The phrase rattling around my head right now is: “Reader, I married him.” This is a famous quote from Jane Eyre, and the ‘him’ is, of course, Mr. Rochester. My version today is: “Reader, I went to see her.”

Romance Novels and The Rubenstein Library

February 7, 2017 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Title Image: Main entrance to the Rubenstein-Perkins-Bostock Libraries, West Campus, Duke University On February 10 I am hosting the Gender, Sexuality, Feminism and the Romance Novel symposium at Duke University. It will be held in the East Campus parlors of the East Duke Building from 2:00 – 5:00.

The Benjamin Franklin Effect

December 2, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Benjamin Franklin is well known for his many famous quotes. He is less well known for knowing how to turn enemies into friends. Franklin served in Pennsylvania’s colonial legislature (1736– 1764) both as delegate and as elected clerk of the general assembly. When he ran for his second term as... read more

Journalism Holding Power Accountable

October 25, 2016 9:00 am Published by 1 Comment

Note: see my related blog The (Dis)Honesty Project. Last week Bill Adair gave a packed talk at Motorco in downtown Durham entitled “The Truth-o-Meter, Pants on Fire and fact-checking the 2016 election.” Adair is the Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy at Duke University and the... read more

The (Dis)Honesty Project

October 10, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

In the front lobby of the new West Union building at Duke University is this intriguing structure, the Truth Box (pictured above). To the right of the box is a table, above which you see a silhouette of a red Pinocchio. On the table there’s a bin with red-bordered Honesty... read more

Duke University: Under Construction

September 30, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Title Photo: Duke’s West Campus, seen from the dorm quads In April, when I left Durham, North Carolina for my around-the-world trip, I was not expecting to return to Duke University in September and find it one of the more surprising places I’ve been in the past few months. And... read more

Repost: Vocal Fry/Creaky Voices

September 22, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Note: This blog was first posted earlier this year. I am reposting it because when I was in Romania over the summer a friend described to me a new show one of her friends was watching. I said in some astonishment, “I think you’re talking about Flip or Flop.” Indeed,... read more