Exploring the Impact of Collaborative, Interdisciplinary Research Through Bass Connections

In 2013, the first Bass Connections research teams embarked on ambitious projects to tackle real-world challenges ranging from gender inequality in STEM education to children’s mental health to climate policy in the U.S. to rural poverty. Since then, the program has supported nearly 500 interdisciplinary teams and brought together more than 4,000 faculty, students and staff to conduct cutting-edge research spanning dozens of disciplinary fields and world regions.

Black Duke employees and white Duke employees, segregated at 1946 holiday party

Let's embrace Duke's entire history


I am writing two weeks after the murder of George Floyd, as protests against white supremacy take place across the country. Many Americans are reckoning with the impact of racism, especially as it relates to American history. I, too, am reckoning with the past, especially here at Duke. There are hard truths to accept in a place where many people feel warmly embraced—a place that many of us love.

The mystery of a manikin collection


In the Josiah Charles Trent History of Medicine Room at the Rubenstein Library, Duke radiology research fellow Fides Schwartz unrolls a little hand-sized puff of bubble wrap and lays out on the table all the pieces of a neat, slightly translucent white medical manikin, about six inches tall. The body of a woman: She’s pregnant, and her midsection lifts off, revealing removable heart, lungs, baby. “You see?” Schwartz asks. “Actually it does all fit together.”

The unstructured challenge of the reading period


The Carpenter Reading Room on the third floor of Bostock Library is an “absolute silence area” during even slow times of the semester. An overloud cough can generate a stare, an unmuted phone chime, defenestration—for at least the phone.

In the Gardens Beside a Library


The willow oak has written in it
an ink of time-underlayment.
I say the word emeritus
and the wind-rubbed coppery surface
touches my eyes like a worn rug.
Corded by limbs to a base in soil
it recovers those years of toil
that layered other leaves in another place.
The library’s vellum and coffee still drug
my memory, like Gothic walls and trees above.
There I and my gnarled masters strove,
limning interpretive cursives and dots
onto the passionate dead’s still living arguments.

Sosin scrutinizing papyri

A Mind in Two Worlds


The ancient and the modern come together in a new appointment at Duke. In July, Joshua D. Sosin Ph.D. ’00, an associate professor of classical studies and history, became the director of the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing, a new digital-humanities unit of Duke University Libraries. More impressive: Sosin is the first tenured faculty member at Duke to have a joint appointment in the library and an academic department.

[Les Todd]

Dungeons & Dragons



The 1974 debut of Dungeons & Dragons opened a whole new world for gamers and set off a cultural craze that persists today. But unlike the mostly online roleplaying games of today, D&D served up fantasy with a certain dose of reality. Game sets included small alloy figures representing D&D’s mythical creatures and heroic warriors, which were often hand-painted by passionate fans. While the need for the miniatures waned as the game evolved, they remained popular as collector’s items.