ARTICLES BY Elizabeth Van Brocklin

  • On a September afternoon, the sprawling warehouse of Durham’s Fullsteam tavern and brewery is warm with a rich, smoky aroma. Presently, Fullsteam’s Chief Executive Optimist Sean Lilly Wilson M.B.A., M.P.P. ’00 emerges from a back room with a charming smile and a strong handshake. He reveals the source of the mysterious autumnal scent: hickory-smoked North Carolina-grown barley for Fullsteam’s Hogwash porter. The beer offers a taste of Wilson’s mission to capture the flavor of the South.
  • March 14, 2016
    Chad Dickerson ’93 discovered the Duke Coffeehouse as a freshman, and for the next three years he hardly left. A Southern-born kid with an unconventional streak, he found the DIY café and music venue at the edge of East Campus a welcome alternative to mainstream campus culture.
  • May 4, 2015
    FEATURED BOOKMy Generation: Collected Nonfiction features thirty-three pieces by William Styron ’47, some previously unpublished and several taken from Styron’s papers in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke. Here is why the editor James L.W. West III thinks the author’s work still resonates.
  • May 1, 2015
    America’s history is written into its music. These sheets of feel-good summertime music for voice and piano are artifacts of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They’re part of the American Sheet Music Project, a historic collection of more than 3,000 pieces stored in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library.The assortment includes waltzes, operas, musicals, polkas, spirituals, war tunes, and songs of the Tin Pan Alley variety.
  • May 1, 2015
    THE VIEW FROM CAMERON In the future, we’ll see a merging between the virtual and the actual. Are we players in the real world? Or are we players who just act as if we’re in the real world? In Cameron Indoor Stadium for the Duke-Wisconsin game, the future arrived. The game was up there, on the giant scoreboard. But the game might as well have been down there, on the floor of Cameron, just below the concession stands with their (real-world) $8 box pizzas.
  • April 29, 2015
    The eleven witness statements, written in black ink on white paper, all told different stories of the night Jeremy Rankin was killed in the fall of 1995 in Rockingham, North Carolina. They differed in the exact time and place of the murder, the identity of the shooter, and the motive behind the crime. Mismatched as the statements appeared to be, together they anchored the case against Derrick McRae, who was sentenced to life in prison for the crime in 1998.
  • April 29, 2015
    From the time he performed in an abridged version of Cinderella when he was eight years old, Andrew Jacobs has been a theater kid. He acted in plays all through elementary, middle, and high schools, and joined Hoof ‘n’ Horn once he got to Duke. When he started to wonder about the management side of theater, his adviser steered him toward Duke in Chicago.
  • March 3, 2015
    Walltown natives keep their creation story handy like a lucky old coin, proof of their hard-won fortune and untarnished pride. “Old man Wall’s house,” they say knowingly, gesturing toward Onslow Street, formerly Third Street, and before that Wall Street, to the spot where the first house in these parts was built more than a century ago.
  • February 24, 2015
    What makes a flower grow? And why does it grow to begin with? These kinds of questions intrigued Paul Henne when he was a kid growing up in Waterbury, Connecticut. He later discovered that philosophy could help him critically explore his endless queries.
  • February 24, 2015
    After nearly thirty years in the field, cultural anthropologist Rich Freeman has observed more than a hundred rites of spirit possession, especially in his field study area in southwest India. Now students can catch a glimpse of these elaborate initiations in this course, an interdisciplinary brew of religion, cultural anthropology, and history.
  • February 24, 2015
    Brittany Wenger Sophomore, Double-major in computer science and biology In middle school, Brittany Wenger became fascinated by artificial intelligence. Using textbooks and online tutorials, she taught herself to code a program that could play soccer. On a gray screen, x’s and y’s symbolizing players scrabbled for an “o” representing the ball. After dozens of games, one of the teams started to win. The program was learning.
  • February 24, 2015
    Here is the campus. Washington B. Duke, cast in bronze, seated and gazing into the distance. The green lawn, prim and peaceful, surrounded by stately brick dormitories, a pillared library, and a domed auditorium. There is the neighborhood. Modest bungalows and squat duplexes line the sloping streets, shaded by towering willow oaks with crooked alleyways running between. A brick Baptist church, a littered creek, a basketball hoop, a porch clinking with handmade wind chimes.
  • December 11, 2014
    If you were in New York’s Times Square on the first of December in 1994, you would have seen a massive image of the AIDS virus attacking a white blood cell on the Sony billboard. It was World AIDS Day, and the video installation, “Day Without Art,” was the work of Carl Tandatnick ’78. Via the screen, Tandatnick posed an eerie question: “When is Day Without AIDS?”
  • December 8, 2014
    While Will Evans was pursuing a master’s in Russian studies at Duke, he asked his professor, Carol Apollonio, why it seemed so few works of contemporary literature were translated into English. Apollonio’s response: “if you ever want to see a book translated, you have to do it yourself.”
  • December 5, 2014
    It’s early October at midterm week’s end, and the sculpture studio is quiet save for the echoing click of Lauren Henschel’s Canon 5D.
  • September 25, 2014
    The foothills are alive...with the sounds of creaky wooden porches, husky train whistles, and tobacco plants being scythed. These sounds are stored in the Sonic Dictionary, a digital archive of acoustics hosted by the Audiovisualities lab at Duke’s Franklin Humanities Institute. It’s a kind of “Wikipedia of sound,” according to English doctoral student Mary Caton Lingold, who conceived the project.
  • September 25, 2014
    On a Friday night two Octobers ago, fans flocked to Cameron Indoor Stadium for the fourth annual Countdown to Craziness. In the locker room, the players suited up for the opening-season bluewhite scrimmage. Meanwhile, Ryan Kelly traveled through a hallway in the stadium’s recesses, towing an ice chest heavy with Gatorade and water. But as he moved to switch hands, he lost hold of the handle. In one swift motion, the chest slipped to the floor, spilling ice and liquid everywhere.
  • July 18, 2014
    At some point or another, most of us have been afflicted by homesickness—that pang of nostalgia and longing for familiar people and places. To understand the origin and purpose of homesickness, we asked Mark Leary, professor of psychology and neuroscience and the director of Duke’s social psychology program, to give us some insight into this common human experience. How would you define homesickness?
  • July 18, 2014
    In the afternoon, Don visits the third cabin, which he recently made his workshop. He lifts a pine plank and secures it between two bench vices, checking to see that the grain runs in the right direction. Over one edge, he steadily passes an old-fashioned hand plane, forming a groove in the wood. Pine shavings curl at his feet, reminding him of golden angel hair, and he inhales the woodsy, clean scent of pine, tinged with the perfume of wisteria.
  • Don Byrne enters the garden through one of four gates.
    July 18, 2014
    ON A MORNING in early 2006, Don Byrne walked through an overgrown field of grass. Alongside trudged his father, who, despite the early hour, carried a bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey. At the highest point on the land, the two men paused. It was here that they wanted to drill the well. In a makeshift christening, they sprinkled the land with liquor.
  • Phil Watson performs An Iliad
    April 28, 2014
    “Nine years,” the Poet begins intensely, in media res. “Fighting on and off, fighting to the wall and back. Greeks win one day, Trojans win the next, like a game of tug-of-war.” He pulls at a black rope hung ominously from a scaffold. “And nothing to show for it but exhaustion, poverty, and loneliness,” he says, articulating each word with a maniacal kick to the air.
  • February 25, 2014
    In the 1930s, Sarah P.
  • February 25, 2014
    Growing up, Steven Blaser gleaned from his parents the value of saving a hard-earned dollar. But he noticed a shortage of understanding about basic financial concepts among many of his peers. in February 2012, Blaser started Duke/Durham Saves, an affiliate of Duke’s Financial Economics Center. Inspired by the national America Saves campaign, Blaser’s local initiative promotes financial literacy and smart saving habits in the Durham community as well as on campus.
  • February 25, 2014
    Wall flowers: David Lang (left) and Tony Fierro lean against the East Side Gallery, a memorialized section of the Berlin Wall. Photo by Maryana Nikolin.
  • February 20, 2014
    For thirty minutes each Thursday, just after the bells chime five, Duke Chapel falls under an enchanting spell. Between the looming limestone pillars and the oaken pews, a chorus begins to sing medieval hymns in foreign, ancient tongues. Wearing white surplices over red robes, they proceed in pairs down the dimly lit nave to the chancel. Each carries a small glowing candle and a songbook.
  • Duke Coffeehouse
    February 11, 2014
    On stage, a woman taps at synthesizers and drum boxes, creating alien noises with her fingertips. Across the room, behind the soundboard, senior Jack Tarpey listens with earphones askew. He tweaks dials that correspond to synths, drums, and vocals, transforming a tangled racket into a starry, liquid melody.
  • November 12, 2013
    Bradley Hintze thrives on the adrenaline of moving with a purpose. In October, he pedaled 75 miles of rural road in coastal North Carolina for Ride Without Limits, an ultimate cycling event that benefits children and adults who struggle with disabilities.
  • Turkey
    November 12, 2013
    About a month before students were slated to land in Turkey last summer, the city of Istanbul erupted in a fury of protests. What began as a peaceful sit-in to oppose the demolition of Gezi Park soon morphed into large-scale demonstrations and indiscriminate police violence.
  • November 12, 2013
    “Ki’ap!” “Ki’ap!” “Ki’ap!” “Ki’ap!” “Ki’ap!” “Ki’ap!” The cries pop and echo across the room like a lit pack of firecrackers. Hands poised in loose fists, eyes narrowed in fierce concentration, nearly two dozen warriors advance upon invisible opponents beneath squares of fluorescent light in a room lined with blue foam. The traditional war whoop of taekwondo, ki’ap, helps focus the mind, flex the core, and summon the fighting spirit.
  • Muslim chaplain Antepli (standing) passes out dates. Les Todd
    September 17, 2013
    Ibrahim Saber carefully chooses a piece of wrinkled fruit from the paper plate being passed around the room. He hasn’t eaten all day, but he waits a few moments longer. Holding it between thumb and forefinger like a sticky jewel, he closes his eyes. Silently, he blesses the fruit in the name of Allah. Then he bites in, chewing slowly, breaking his fast with the sweet taste of a medjool date.


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