Opinion Magazine Articles




August 24, 2021

In March 2020, as it became clear that we would be spending more time cloistered in our homes than ever before, I took up gardening. In the midst of chaos, digging in the dirt felt fitting, I decided. I would participate in a human experience that went back for millennia, in times of crisis and in times of peace. It felt universal.

August 24, 2021

Writer:

Joseph Blocher

Although it was ratified in 1791, the Second Amendment has undergone a radical transformation in the fifteen years since I graduated from law school. My introduction to the Second Amendment came in 2007, a few months after starting work at a Washington, D.C., law firm. My boss—former U.S. Solicitor General and future Duke colleague Walter Dellinger—asked me what I knew about the amendment.

August 24, 2021

Writer:

Zach Weisberg

At Duke University, surfing is not a career. Period.

August 24, 2021

Writer:

Corbie Hill

I make my living with words, and that’s what rap is—words—but I can’t freestyle. I nerd out on the linguistic intricacies, the staggering poetry and ironclad rhetoric, the references-within-references-within-references of billy woods and Jean Grae and Quelle Chris and Open Mike Eagle; of Q-Tip and GZA and MF Doom and Andre 3000. But I can’t freestyle.

August 23, 2021

Social studies is the lowest-priority core class, always. History is not viewed as being as central or important as math and English, and science got a huge boost with Sputnik, the growth of the U.S. space program, and now the focus on STEM areas. I’ve always somewhat begrudged the lack of attention. History teachers have always banded together in the knowledge that we provide the most important core content; after all, if you don’t know where you’ve been, you can’t know where you are going.

August 23, 2021

Writer:

Ed Magee

We began a conversation with Ed Magee M.B.A. ’04 on another topic, and we ended up deep in discussion about racism, anti-racism, and the enormous complexity of our moment. So when the topic of freedom came up, we naturally reached out to him, and he leapt at the chance to share his thoughts. “I’d kick off the conversation with the Nina Simone quote that the meaning of freedom is simply ‘no fear,’ ” he said in an email.

August 23, 2021

Writer:

Jed W. Atkins

A conservative student announces to the class that his experience during his first semester in Duke’s Visions of Freedom Focus program dispelled prior concerns that he would be ostracized by his fellow students and penalized by his professors on account of his political beliefs. Instead of condemnation, he encountered spirited debate within an intellectually diverse community of friends.

August 23, 2021

Writer:

Denise Heinze

Here’s the deal: I don’t have a middle name. Of my seven brothers and sisters, I’m one of two who didn’t get one. All the other middle names were chosen with great care and consideration, laden with nostalgia, nuance, a bit of poetry. Me, I got zilch. Such, perhaps, is the nature of the middle child, a happy addition to a burgeoning family but spared, or bereft of— depending on one’s perspective—the intense focus on nomenclature that comes in the birth order with firsts and lasts.

Illustration of roots

December 8, 2020

In the spring of 2018, I joined a group of student leaders and student activists in a protest on the stage of Page Auditorium during Duke’s Reunions Weekend. This weekend was a gilded one, as newly inaugurated President Vincent E. Price welcomed generations of Duke graduates to revel in just how far the university had come on so many accounts. In fact, this was a special celebration of the legacy of student activism.

August 12, 2019

Robert J. Lefkowitz, James B. Duke Professor of medicine and recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

What aspect of your current life would have most surprised your college-age self? That I became a scientist.

What’s the best thing college students can do to prepare for careers that may not even now exist? Get as rounded an education as possible. And make sure you are well-versed in computer science, whatever [your] major.

August 12, 2019

Writer:

Andrew Rosen

When I walk across Duke’s majestic campus, I’m sometimes lulled into thinking campus-based universities, beloved for centuries, might continue forever. Duke’s beauty and dynamism make it hard to imagine that the campus model of higher education is heading into long-term decline, to the point where a generation from now it will be the exception, not the rule.

August 12, 2019

It has been a great spring and summer in beautiful and historic Beaufort, North Carolina, my hometown. Hundreds of visitors daily have come to explore the glorious coastal ecosystem, just as they have every summer. Yet the normality is just surface. Beaufort is still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which struck the area just under a year ago. 

August 8, 2019

Writer:

Nick Martin

A couple of weeks after I graduated, my editor at the independent blog company I had interned for over my junior-year summer called to offer me a full-time gig. This was about a month after a has-been professional wrestler nearly sued the entire company out of existence.

August 8, 2019

For as long as I can remember, I have existed within and been marked by sex classifications. By this I mean that I have been sorted into and out of categories, spaces, and opportunities on the basis of sex, including formally by governments and institutions, informally by people in my life and on the street, and naturally by the facts of my body and my own related choices. These classifications are sometimes a net good, sometimes a net harm, and often simply value-neutral.

September 30, 2014

Last spring, the Sanford School of Public Policy developed a new strategic vision intended to spark political engagement, broaden students’ experiences, and boost the school’s influence across the country and around the globe.

July 30, 2014

Charles Taylor ’15 presents a visual guide to his time at Duke.

Produced for the Motion Design course taught by Raquel Salvatella de Prada, assistant professor of the practice of art, art history & visual studies, and arts of the moving image.

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.

Erik Goodge (photo by Justin Lubke)

July 18, 2014

Writer:

Sabrina Lee

Sitting a comfortable distance from the U.S. military conflicts abroad, I had envisioned “coming home” as both a welcome departure from the battlefield and a new beginning for returning veterans. However, my perspective shifted upon interviewing one of the subjects from my first documentary.

July 18, 2014

Eleven years ago, when my wife, Leah, and I were far from home in the Anbar province of Iraq, American friends with whom we were traveling had a car accident. Three of them split their heads open on impact and stumbled out of the car onto a dusty highway strewn with the debris of war. A car of Iraqis stopped, took them into their car, and drove them to a town called Rutba. There a doctor spoke to them in perfect English: “Three days ago, your country bombed our hospital.

September 17, 2013

Writer:

Our readers

Regulating Water

I read with interest your recent piece in the Summer 2013 Duke Magazine titled “Thirst for Knowledge” and share your appreciation for the important topic of water. However, as both the general counsel of Nestlé Waters North America and an alumnus of Duke law school, I’d also like to comment about the assertion made in the article that “most bottled water...is exempt from federal regulation.”

Seal of the State of North Carolina

July 25, 2013

In response to North Carolina’s newly conservative legislature, several Duke professors have been participating— and getting arrested—in weekly rallies in Raleigh. Known as Moral Mondays, the rallies have drawn several thousand protesters, including faculty members from other universities as well as students and clergy members, who have assembled each week since late April.