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Life in a pick-up truck

(03/29/21 7:15pm)

My earliest memories are of tagging along with my mom on her delivery trips from city to city. Riding in a white Grandia under the friendly glow of clip lamps, I learned my mom's elegant cursive script between stop signs, and acquired a taste for '80's music while shuffling through the playlists of an impudently snatched Nokia N90. I wore Spandau Ballet's suave bravado wherever I went, and prayed that whenever I belted a track, the fogged-up glass would be enough to shield the world's ears.

SoRelle’s ‘Democracy Declined’ confronts a government that fails to protect our finances

(02/19/21 10:51pm)

On Feb. 10, the Sanford School of Public Policy celebrated the official launch of Duke Assistant Professor Mallory SoRelle's book "Democracy Declined: The Failed Politics of Consumer Financial Protection." Dr. SoRelle is a public policy researcher whose work centers on consumer finance protection and her field's impact on socioeconomic inequality. Joining her in this discussion was fellow author and University of Minnesota professor Joe Soss, who loves to explore how various forms of governance give way to the exploitation of marginalized groups. 

‘Pearl Next Door’: Being queer and having fun doing it

(02/11/21 12:04am)

The YouTube series “Pearl Next Door” captures life for the queer Pinay in the time of Zoom hangouts and prolonged home quarantine. First released in October 2020, IdeaFirst's GL spin-off received generous praise from major media outlets Inquirer and CNN Philippines, the latter ranking it among the best Filipino queer shows of 2020. But the conversations we have had so far still leave out an important question: What does "Pearl Next Door'' mean to the LGBTQ+ community?

'Yes, God, Yes' gets comfortable with morality in a catholic teen’s coming-of-age story

(11/18/20 2:00am)

Katherine Maine’s debut comedic drama “Yes, God, Yes” garnered mixed reactions in its effort to bring the struggles and sexual repression of religious teens to the big screen. Opening in 2000, the storyline of Catholic high school student Alice takes jabs at the holier-than-thou attitude of priests and cautionary lines lifted from the bible, enough to win the hearts of students in repressive school environments, and to make the more devout Catholics roll their eyes. 

Searching for a way to fly with Haruichi Furudate's 'Haikyu!!"

(11/09/20 5:48pm)

My strong desire to succeed used to be a source of inner conflict. As a relentless, starry-eyed teen who nursed big dreams, I read the books of countless self-made individuals and noticed a jarring trend: many of them drifted away from their families and were miserable at the summit of success. While for the most part, the negativity of these accounts made it easy to tune them out, their more enduring message lingered in my mind, that if I were to pursue success, I would be lonely.

The catharsis we know today is a gift: Darren Gobert talks plays and purgation

(10/26/20 9:49pm)

The historical origins of catharsis come to light in Darren Gobert's virtual seminar “Purge," which kicked off on Oct. 9 as part of the tgiFHI series. Centering his rich excavation on Tennessee Williams' play "Suddenly, Last Summer," Gobert lays out why we are blessed with our present understanding of catharsis.

Snapshots in time: Public gardens, postcards and a late empire's unraveling

(09/30/20 2:39am)

Public gardens and open-air promenades gave the Ottoman Empire remarkable vistas of their cities. Yet only centuries later did these sites gain concession outside the impressive views they offered, their picturesque history carefully preserved as crown jewels in the archives of modern researchers. Berin Golonu, a pioneer in art history who teaches at the State University of New York at Buffalo, successfully extracted a wealth of information from the mix of postcards compiled in the Duke University Library as well as those she painstakingly gathered from her own travels. In her Sept 18. virtual seminar, she decodes the entangled mysteries that lay hidden in her collection. 

Soulful activism in the art of zine-making

(09/16/20 12:36am)

For each story released online, a thousand others are mindlessly forwarded to our newsfeed. Technology and self-publishing have come a long way in diminishing the power of publishing houses, as creatives no longer need mediated channels to broadcast their ideas; they simply open their phones and type away. Such convenience, however, comes at a price: although digitization has granted these writers and illustrators means to connect, the impersonal culture of the internet makes it difficult to form genuine connections. Thankfully, the re-emerging culture of zine-making is steadily rewriting this narrative.

A generation past hiding in the wake of #FreeBritney

(09/03/20 1:58pm)

Long before mental health initiatives made waves in mainstream media, Britney Spears was the voice that nourished the soul of a generation. With tracks like “Work Bitch” that empower us to persevere in our life hustles, the Princess of Pop resides in Gen Z minds and her hottest albums are squeezed into just about any early '00s playlist. While that side of the pop star keeps singing, it’s hard to imagine that a completely opposite life off-screen was molded for her 12 years ago.