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New Faculty Research to Explore Race in the South from Diverse Angles

Projects aim to deepen understanding of race and racism in the region and consider implications for pathways forward

The Office of the Provost has selected 17 projects for funding through The Duke Endowment to study “Reckoning with Race, Racism and the History of the American South.” All research projects will be led by Duke faculty members; some projects include staff, students and community members.

Provost Sally Kornbluth announced this new funding opportunity in November 2020, along with two others, as part of Duke’s anti-racism efforts. It invited proposals that engage any topic related to the history of the South with a focus on race, racism, anti-racism and struggles for freedom, liberation or abolition, as well as the implications of that history for our contemporary situation and the paths that we might take now.

Priority consideration was given to proposals that engage with the history of the American South. Each proposal was reviewed by three faculty members from different departments and schools. The selected proposals cover a wide range of topics that highlight the depth and diversity of faculty expertise at Duke.

Projects

AAA Lab: Art, Archive, Asylum; or Race and Mental Health in the Southern United States

Ranjana Khanna, Professor of English, Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies, and the Literature Program, with Lou BrownHannah Jacobs and Tift Merritt

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Assessing the Unintended Consequences of the Private Diagnostic Clinic at Duke University (1930-70)

Donald Taylor, Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy, with Jeff BakerValerie Gillispie and Virginia Wang

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Black Muslims and Racial Justice in the U.S. South

Ellen McLarney, Associate Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, with Mbaye Lo

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Blue Mud: Experiences of Race in Alamance County, North Carolina

Christopher Sims, Undergraduate Education Director at the Center for Documentary Studies, with Jaki Shelton Green

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Clean Energy for All? Creating a North Carolina Policy Roadmap to a Just and Clean Energy Transition

Lori Bennear, Juli Plant Grainger Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences and Policy, with Elizabeth AlbrightTimothy JohnsonBrian MurrayAmy PickleBilly PizerElizabeth Shapiro-Garza and Christopher Timmins

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Collecting Oral Histories of Environmental Racism and Injustice in the American South

Erika Weinthal, Professor of Environmental Sciences and Policy, with Elizabeth AlbrightCatherine FlowersEmily StewartLou BrownWesley Hogan and Miguel Rojas Sotelo

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The Community of Ar-Razzaq (“The Provider”) in Durham: Recalling the Transformational History of North Carolina’s First Mosque

Mona Hassan, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, with Naomi FeasteAisha JohnsonVictoria SzaboMargaret Brown and Brittany Forniotis

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How Politics, Poverty and Social Policy Implementation Shape Racial Inequality in the Rural South

Carolyn Barnes, Assistant Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy

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Making Bonds, Breaking Bonds: Chemical Industries, Environmental Justice and the Global History of Race in the American South

Evan Hepler-Smith, Assistant Professor of History, with Heather StapletonJoel Meyer and Christine Hendren

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Mapping North Carolina Human Rights History

Nancy MacLean, William H. Chafe Distinguished Professor of History and Public Policy, with Robin KirkJames ChappelMona Hassan and Erika Weinthal

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Plantation Afterlives, Plantation Futures

Jarvis McInnis, Cordelia and William Laverack Family Assistant Professor of English

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Race, Social Movements and Political Participation in the New South

John Aldrich, Pfizer, Inc./Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. University Distinguished Professor of Political Science, with Kerry HaynieAshley Jardina and Don Taylor

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Reckoning with the Dead: The Durham Black Burial Grounds Collaboratory

Adam Rosenblatt, Associate Professor of the Practice of the International Comparative Studies Program, with Alicia JimenezCharles Johnson and Khadija McNair

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Reckoning with Race, Gender and the Law of Slavery and Freedom: The Story and History of Ellen Craft

Doriane Coleman, Professor of Law, with Thavolia Glymph

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South African Social Medicine and the Great Society in North Carolina

Karin Shapiro, Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of African & African American Studies, with Naraya Price and Martin Brown

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Unearthing Duke Forest

Kathleen Donohue, Professor of Biology, with Kathleen BurnsChristina ChiaSara ChildsDeborah JensonRenata Poulton KamakuraDiane NelsonAnita SimhaDanielle Wiggins and Brittany Wofford

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Ya Estamos Aqui, We’re Still Here: Histories of Latinxs in the South

Cecilia Márquez, Assistant Professor of History

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Duke is committed to a comprehensive and sustainable effort to combat racism and foster an equitable, diverse, and inclusive academic community. More information, along with commitments and progress, are available on Duke’s anti-racism site.