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Lunch, Listen, or Look: Engaging the Programs and Resources of the Franklin Center

December 2, 2008

It’s noon on a Wednesday…do you know where your friends are? If you fraternize with Francophiles or swap case studies with social psychologists, have you checked room 240 in that red brick building on the northwest corner of Erwin and Trent?

The John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies is a unique consortium of programs committed to revitalizing notions of how knowledge is gained and exchanged. Inspired by the example of John Hope Franklin—Duke professor emeritus, historian, intellectual leader, and lifelong civil rights activist—the Center embraces a creative cross-pollination of ideas, perspectives, and methodologies. An undergraduate might find herself engaged in an impromptu lunch conversation with a respected academician about immigration and ethnicity. A graduate student may join a real-time virtual conference on medical ethics taking place simultaneously in three different time zones. A faculty member might learn from one of Durham’s leaders about the rich history of a city once renowned as the “Black Wall Street.” In this way, historians, artists, literary scholars, and philosophers contribute to a rich understanding of moral and ethical issues.

During Wednesdays at the Center (WATC), a staple of the Franklin Center’s programming, distinguished scholars, artists, journalists, and others speak informally about their work with those who attend. Presented by the John Hope Franklin Center and the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, all events in the series are free and open to the public. A light lunch is served. No reservations are necessary, and vouchers to cover parking costs in the Duke Medical Center parking decks are provided. WATC is held most Wednesdays during the academic year, from noon to 1:00 p.m. in Room 240 of the John Hope Franklin Center. Miss a WATC event after taking a wrong turn in the Bostock stacks or agonizing over the wording of your dissertation proposal? Not all is lost. The Franklin Center maintains video and audio archives of these stimulating conversations on Duke’s iTunes U site, as well as on the Franklin Center and Franklin Humanities Institute sites.

Whether you prefer to lunch, listen, or look (the Franklin Center also hosts an ever changing menagerie of art exhibits and photo essays), a trip to the Center is guaranteed to enhance your graduate experience. So visit soon and join Duke faculty members, staff, and students in melding past knowledge with present questions, international perspectives with local concerns, and timeless scholarship with timely issues.