Duke's global centers & initiatives

John Hope Franklin Center

Mission Statement

The John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies (JHFC) is a unique consortium of programs committed to revitalizing notions of how knowledge is gained and exchanged.

Participants from a broad range of disciplines converge to explore intellectual issues, including some of the most pressing social and political themes of our time: race and race relations, the legacy of the African American experience, equality and opportunity among diverse populations, and the implications of accelerated globalization. At its core, the Center claims an intrepid mission: to bring together humanists and those involved in the social sciences in a setting that inspires vigorous scholarship and imaginative alliances. In this way, historians, artists, literary scholars, and philosophers contribute to a rich understanding of moral and ethical issues.

Summary of 2021-2022 Programs 

Wednesdays at the Center is the JHFC’s signature series, a weekly gathering in which scholars, artists, journalists, and others speak informally about their work in conversation with Duke students, staff, faculty, and community members. The series, which began in March 2006, typically welcomes around 50 audience members every week throughout the academic semesters over the lunch hour. In the 2021-2022 series—held entirely virtually due to COVID-19—DUCIGS hosted 19 lectures. Topics ranged from histories of civil rights activism, race, Asian-American identity, and Islam, to locally focused talks affecting housing equality and mental health care during COVID. The series also tackled globalization issues, like the environmental implications of international infrastructure projects.

The Wednesdays at the Center Series is hosted by the John Hope Franklin Center and the Duke University Center for International and Global Studies. Recordings from the events are made available on the Franklin Center’s YouTube channel.

Additionally, in Spring 2022, JHFC inaugurated the first exhibit open to the public since the beginning of the pandemic. Promoted by the Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), the exhibit, ‘Raices, Rutas, y Ritmos: The Influence of Latin American Music in North Carolina‘ was launched in April and will remain open throughout the Summer 2022.

2021-2022 Notable Programs

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