Between the Lines: September-October 2003

Our cover story looks at affirmative action not as a legal or policy concern but as something that students think about and live with. Many of the students who assembled for a magazine-sponsored conversation expressed ambivalence about race-sensitive admissions. Others said they have been hurt by racial stereotyping. And most questioned whether the object of affirmative action--a campus that goes beyond simply recognizing differences and fully embraces them--is within easy reach.

There are many dimensions to diversity. Duke for some time has worked to "internationalize" its outlook and identity. The lead story in the "Gazette" roundup reveals that the newest freshman class has a record-breaking number of international students. "Campus Observer" centers on the early-semester adjustments of those students, coping as they are with the peculiarities of life on an American campus (and in the South). A feature, "Through the Eyes of Children," celebrates the efforts of two recent graduates whose project encourages young refugees in places like Colombia and Thailand to document their war-ravaged lives. Another feature focuses on a Fuqua spin-off that has established a joint venture with the London School of Economics.

What's more international than the World Wide Web? The third annual Duke Magazine Campus Forum, appearing in this issue in edited form, put Duke Law's James Boyle center-stage. Boyle's remarks go beyond the issue of rampant file-sharing; he warns that thoughtless limits on intellectual-property rights can stymie and strangle, rather than protect and promote, creative expression.

Perhaps few cultural expressions have the international resonance of the superhero. So the gift of 55,000 comic books to Perkins Library has symbolic and scholarly significance. As a librarian explains, "Consumer-related and popular culture is one subject in which there is an increasing interest at Duke and all over the place." All over the world, presumably.

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