Assistant Professor of African & African American Studies Khwezi Mkhize joins the Duke faculty this year. (John West/Trinity Communications)Khwezi Mkhize’s career as a scholar has followed a global flow of youth movements and Black intellectuals — both in his research and his life. After earning an undergraduate degree in African literature from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, the Johannesburg native began a Ph.D. in Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania just… read more about How British Empire Unwittingly Connected Black Intellectuals  »

How does the daughter of a Mexican mother and a Chinese-American father develop a love for African American literature? By visiting Russia. “There is no canon of me,” says Stephanie Li, Duke’s new research professor of African & African American Studies. “There is no Chinese-Mexican-American canon of literature to read.” Instead, she started with Dostoevsky. Li studied abroad in Moscow as an undergraduate Stanford comparative literature student. “I took the ‘comparative’ in ‘comparative literature’ a little more… read more about Professor Stephanie Li on Race, Love and Resistance In African American Literature »

Summer is a great time to catch up on reading. Books from more than a dozen Duke authors offer insight on a range of topics – from gratitude for everyday life to the antislavery writings of Henry David Thoreau. Below is a roundup of some of the most recently published and soon-to-be-out titles. Many of the books, including new editions of previous titles, can be found on the “Duke Authors” display shelves near the circulation desk in Perkins Library. Some are available as e-books for quick download. Most can also be… read more about Hot Off the Press: Summer Reading From Duke Authors »

For decades genetics and genomics researchers have used race, ethnicity, ancestry and other population descriptors in research that has opened powerful areas of study of human history and evolution, biology, diseases and heritable traits. But these descriptors are slippery words with hard to pin down meanings. They are also contested words, and the use of “race” as a surrogate for biology or genetics has in particular led to confusion, discrimination and increased race-based health inequities. Last week, a national… read more about Rethinking the Use of Race and Other Labels in Genetics Research »

Recounting the 40-something years he had with his father, Mark Anthony Neal cannot remember either man pointedly uttering the words, “I love you.” But that Neal was loved was not in question. His father provided, slogging through 10-hour days, six days a week as a short-order cook. He spent Sundays manning the griddle at home, where he taught Neal the essentials: the hard fried egg, the perfect pancake, the fried bologna sandwich. Love can look so many ways. For Black fathers in the 21st century, that means reckoning… read more about The Love Languages of Black Fatherhood »

Governor Ron DeSantis announced a statewide ban on the College Board’s new Advanced Placement course for high school students in African American Studies. Professor Kerry Haynie, a member of the College Board committee that developed the framework for the course, denounced DeSantis’s claims the content indoctrinates students or that political pressures have wielded any influence on the materials in the framework, which was published Feb. 1. “We’ve been concerned to see the work of more than 300 college professors… read more about News Tip: Professor, Developer of AP Course Calls Ban Dishonest Political Stunt »

“I've spent most of my life since I was 13 working very hard to learn other people's languages,” says J. Lorand Matory. He has just come from a midterm exam in his advanced undergraduate Chinese language and culture class, Chinese being the most recent of the numerous languages he has studied. “I find it liberating to think in the terms of others who grew up thousands of miles away and have a totally different cultural history, and to try on their ways of thinking,” he says. “How can you understand other people's point of… read more about J. Lorand Matory’s “The Fetish Revisited” Wins J. I. Staley Prize »