Cycles in Foreign Service

The Honorable Brian Nichols answers a question about the current trends in the foreign service.

Nichols was the 2018 Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr. Lecturer on International Studies. He gave his lecture, “For Reasons Which Are Not Immediately Clear: Foreign Policy in a Time of Uncertainty” on March 27, 2018.

Ambassador Nichols is former US Ambassador to Peru. In addition, he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Law (INL) Enforcement Affairs, directing INL programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Europe, and Asia. Other international posts have included US embassies in El Salvador, Mexico, Colombia, and Indonesia, as well as oversight of programs in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

Alsarah visits with Duke students

Alsarah of Alsarah and the Nubatones visited with Duke students during her artist residency with Duke Performances. She met with students from Refugee Lives (AMES 320S, DOCST 321S) and Strategic Storytelling (PUBPOL 646S) to discuss her influences and her personal migration story.

 

 

Drivers of Global Change with Thomas A. Shannon Jr.

 

Thomas A. Shannon Jr., undersecretary of state for political affairs, spoke at Duke University on Thursday, Feb. 1 on the current state of the foreign policy. This video clip outlines the four factors driving global change.

Shannon’s talk, “Buckle Up: Global Foreign Policy Trends and American Diplomacy,” was hosted by the Duke University Center for International and Global Studies, the Duke University Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Duke University Program in American Grand Strategy.

Arturo Schomburg and the Jim Crow South

This story was featured on Duke’s Council on Race and Ethnicity, https://sites.duke.edu/dcore/tag/vanessa-k-valdes/.

Written by Camille Jackson

On Wednesday, Vanessa K. Valdés of The City College of New York, presented her research on Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, whose personal collection became the foundation for the Harlem-based and world-renowned Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Valdés is the author of “Diasporic Blackness: The Life and Times of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg,” only the second full-length biography.

During her talk, “Building an International Archive in the Jim Crow South: Arturo Schomberg at Fisk University,” Valdés highlighted the collector’s global vision for his collection as well as the importance of access to the material.

The lunchtime talk was the latest installment of “Wednesdays at the Center,” held at the John Hope Franklin Center, which features a different speaker each week throughout the semester.

Valdés, a professor of Spanish and Portuguese, said that Schomburg, a Black Puerto Rican, helped establish Fisk University’s Africana collection in Nashville, now named the John Hope and Aurelia Franklin Library.

“Most have no idea about the man himself,” said Valdés, who pursued her graduate degree in Nashville. There is only one biography of Schomburg and it was published in 1989, she said.

Valdés and Neal

The Carnegie Foundation bought Schomburg’s personal collection for $10k which he used to travel across Europe and further develop his collection. However, he donated much of his work without compensation.

In Nashville, Thomas E. Jones was president of Fisk when Schomburg began assembling the library in 1929. He worked alongside his good friend, sociologist Charles S. Johnson, to replicate what he had accomplished in New York, building a black archive in Fisk University’s Cravath Hall, complete with a reading room.

“At the time, black people were steered toward vocational schools and not necessarily reading for pleasure,” Valdés said. Under Schomburg, Fisk established a reading room to “inculcate a desire” in students to read for pleasure.

“Being an active member of society meant being knowledgeable. He was creating spaces of liberation,” Valdés said. Schomburg spoke through his collection, highlighting moments of black independence and responding to U.S. hegemony in the Caribbean.

The Fisk collection concentrated on presence of people of African descent internationally, taking on a global character, telling the story of blacks in Europe and the Caribbean. There were 140 books when Schomburg arrived and more than 4,000 by the time he left Fisk. His efforts were not replicated at other schools until decades after his death, she said.

Johnson, the first black president of Fisk, acknowledged Schomburg’s “generosity and foresight” in curating books for the university’s then-named Race Relations Institute.

“Johnson was trying to get Schomburg to write his book but he wasn’t interested in that. He only wanted to disseminate his work,” Valdés said. “It’s important to consider different modes of scholarship and knowledge production. Establishing the collection, made it unequivocal that black folks were worthy of study and international analysis.”

The event was sponsored by the Center for Arts, Digital Culture and Entrepreneurship at Duke.

Video – Virtual Reality in the Arabic Classroom at Duke

Highlights from a panel’s conversation as part of the John Hope Franklin Center’s weekly Wednesdays at the Center series.

 

Panelists: Elizabeth Evans, Chip Bobbert, Leah Rothfeld, Thatcher Owen, and Maha Houssami

This panel will describe what 360 video is and how it’s recorded, including some of the cameras you can use to capture an immersive experience to share a vacation memory or a family event. You will also learn about a project funded by the Duke Digital Initiative (DDI) and executed with the support of AMES, CIT and OIT and Duke Engage in Lebanon and Jordan exploring the use of 360 video in teaching and learning Arabic at Duke. 360 video captures scenery and action from all sides and, in some cases, from above and below, too!

Elizabeth A. (Libby) Evans manages the Duke Digital Initiative (DDI) at Duke University. The DDI is a collaboration between the central IT group and Duke’s Learning Innovation. DDI is charged with exploring new and emerging technologies as they might be used in teaching and learning including drones, motion tracking,virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D video, 360 degree video, lightboards, and more.

Chip Bobbert, Digital Media & Emerging Technologies Engineer, manages Duke’s two specialty labs—the Multimedia Project Studio and Innovation Studio—within the university’s Software and Lab Services group.

Leah Rothfeld is a senior from Florida majoring in International Comparatives Studies, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies on the Arabic language track and minoring in Economics.

Thatcher Owen is a senior Mechanical Engineering and Arabic double major from Yorktown, Virginia. He studied ten semesters of Arabic at Duke University and with Boston University abroad in Rabat, Morocco.

Maha Houssami is an Arabic language lecturer at the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies department since October 2011. Maha is also the Faculty Fellow for Duke Engage in Jordan and the faculty advisor of INJAZ, a student-run volunteer organization in which students meet weekly with local refugees from Arabic speaking countries for language and cultural exchange.

Blood Letters Highlight Video

Highlights from Professor Xi Lian’s talk as part of the Wednesdays at the Center series at the John Hope Franklin Center.

“Blood Letters” is the first authoritative biography of Lin Zhao, a poet and journalist executed in 1968 at the height of the Cultural Revolution. The only Chinese citizen known to have openly and steadfastly opposed communism under Mao, she rooted her dissent in her Christian faith and expressed it in long prophetic writings done in her own blood, at times on her clothes and on cloth torn from her bed sheets. Miraculously, Lin Zhao’s prison writings survived, though they have only recently come to light. Drawing on these works and others from the years before her arrest, as well as interviews with her friends, her classmates, and other former political prisoners, Xi Lian tells the story of a young woman whom the late Noel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo called “the only voice of freedom left for contemporary China”.

Xi Lian is a Professor of World Christianity at Duke University’s Divinity School. Professor Lian’s research is focused on China’s modern encounter with Christianity. His first book, The Conversion of Missionaries (1997), is a critical study of American Protestant missions against the backdrop of rising Chinese nationalism in the early twentieth century. His second book, Redeemed by Fire: The Rise of Popular Christianity in Modern China (2010), winner of the 2011 Christianity Today Book Award, examines the development of missionary Christianity into a vibrant, indigenous faith of the Chinese masses. One of his current research projects looks beyond grassroots Christianity and examines the emergence of Protestant elites and their prominent, if also precarious, role in the search for civil society in today’s China.

This event is presented by the John Hope Franklin Center and the Asian Pacific Studies Institute.