News

Alex Schnapp, a first-year associate at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, secured release on bond of an asylum seeker who fled Nicaragua due to threats and persecution he faced from government officials loyal to Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista regime. This man fled Nicaragua with his wife in mid-December of 2019 and was separated from his wife when they encountered immigration officers at the US–Mexico border. Alex appeared via telephone in Immigration Court and argued that this individual had a legitimate asylum claim,… read more about AMES Alumni Alex Schnapp: A Small Victory in a Larger Fight »

AMES welcomes three new faculty members: Sarah Baker, Assistant Professor of the Practice; William Carroll, Postdoctoral Associate; and Eli Sperling, Postdoctoral Associate. Sarah Baker has a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (with a specialty in Hebrew Bible/Ancient Near East) from the University of Texas at Austin, where she taught both Biblical and Modern Hebrew for several years and received the student-nominated “Foreign Language Teaching Excellence Award.”  William Carroll is a scholar of Japanese… read more about New Faculty in AMES! »

Vinod Kumar Shukla has long been recognized as one of India’s foremost writers with his unique stories that deal with 'smaller-than-life people.' Satti Khanna, who has translated a number of Vinod-ji's works into English, speaks with writer and translator Mohini Gupta about his remarkable-yet-mundane world, the startling originality of his voice and syntax, and the experience and challenge of translating him. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klAnuci_pC4 read more about AMES Professor Satti Khanna discusses the writing of Vinod Kumar Shukla »

Mbaye Lo, associate professor of the practice of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, wrote an opinion piece for Medium.com regarding the murder of George Floyd: "Most commentaries on the brutal murder of George Floyd have been concerned with the politics of policing. But the observed evidence at the scene of Floyd’s death indicates a need to cultivate an ethical culture in policing. Derek Chauvin’s callous expression and other officers’ indifferent attitude to the heartfelt pleas of both the victim and the citizen… read more about “I Can’t Breathe” is About Ethics, Not Politics »

We are very proud to announce the Fulbright recipients from AMES, along with their countries of study and project titles:  Allison Geary, senior: Bahrain, English Teaching Assistant Jessica Marlow, senior: Taiwan, National Taiwan University Award in Global Health Andrew Tsai, senior: Taiwan, English Teaching Assistant.  The Fulbright Program offers international educational and cultural exchange programs for passionate and accomplished students, scholars, artists,… read more about Congrats to AMES Fulbright Recipients!  »

Watch videos from faculty and students, as they congratulate the recent graduates of the Class of 2020. From Faculty     From Graduates Anisa Khalifa, a 2020 graduate of the Critical Asian Humanities (CAH) program, offers words of congratulations and best wishes to her fellow students. Natasha Rothenbucher, who graduated with high… read more about Congratulations, Class of 2020! »

Greetings to our graduates and their families on behalf of the AMES department faculty and staff from Durham! The class of 2020 deserves special commendations for their accomplishments. We greatly admire your tenaciousness, determination and strength in making it to the finishing line in the midst of an unprecedented global crisis. We empathize with you for feeling the brunt of this pandemic during what should be the pinnacle of your time at Duke. You should have faith that you will all emerge as wiser, more mature and… read more about AMES Chair Marking the Moment 2020 »

Congratulations to the following student award winners from Duke University units in 2020.   African & African American Studies   John Hope Franklin Award for Academic Excellence: Elizabeth DuBard Grantland Karla FC Holloway Award for University Service: Beza Gebremariam Mary McLeod Bethune Writing Award: Jenna Clayborn Walter C. Burford Award for Community Service: Kayla Lynn Corredera-Wells   Art, Art History & Visual Studies        Mary Duke… read more about Student Honors and Laurels for 2020 »

DURHAM, N.C. -- Eighteen Duke students and alumni have been awarded Fulbright placements to teach English, study and do research abroad during the 2020-2021 academic year. The Fulbright US Student Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, offering opportunities in over 140 countries. The Fulbright award is designed to facilitate cultural exchange and increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries. The awards are announced on a… read more about Eighteen Duke Students And Alumni Awarded Fulbright Scholarships »

AMES Chinese Language Lecturer Yan Liu has received the Betsy Alden Outstanding Service-Learning Award. This award annually recognizes one community partner, one faculty member and one graduating senior for their outstanding commitment to the ideals of service-learning. More info here. read more about Duke Service Learning Award »

AMES Professor Leo Ching has been awarded the Dean's Leadership Award. This award recognizes a group of people or an individual who have demonstrated exceptional leadership to the department, college or university through research, teaching or service. More info here.  read more about Dean's Leadership Award »

During the weekend of January 29-31, about 20 participants filled the Duke Game Lab and—fueled by plenty of coffee, pizza, and snacks—joined minds to bring to life their ideas for games related to a common theme. At the same time, at 933 other sites around the globe, tens of thousands of people were doing the same thing. They were all participating in the Global Game Jam (GGJ), the world’s largest game creation event, where people interested in game development came together all over the world to design, develop, and… read more about Duke Hosts Global Game Jam (GGJ) Site »

The Betsy Alden Outstanding Service-Learning Awards recognize annually one community partner, one faculty member, and one graduating senior for their outstanding commitment to the ideals of service-learning. We are pleased to recognize the… read more about 2020 Betsy Alden Outstanding Service-Learning Award Winners »

Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Professor Mbaye Lo spoke at Duke's Black Muslim Atlantic Symposium at Duke University, discussing the conflicting narratives about Omar ibn Said, a black Muslim scholar captured… read more about New research reconsiders writings of a Muslim slave and scholar »

For nearly 48 hours last weekend, about 20 participants filled the Duke Game Lab and—fueled by plenty of coffee, pizza, and snacks—joined minds to bring to life their ideas for games related to a common theme. At the same time, at 933 other sites around… read more about 48 Hours, Little Sleep, and A Lot of Pizza: Ph.D. Student Brings Global Game Jam to Duke »

Last week’s killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani has raised a number of legal and strategic questions for which there seem to be no consensus, including among Duke faculty. Charles J. Dunlap Jr., a professor of the practice of law and executive director of the law school’s Center on Law, Ethics and National Security, said President Donald Trump’s directive to kill Soleimani was “lawful self-defense” as authorized by the United Nations Charter, not an unlawful assassination. “Because Soleimani was engaged in… read more about Killing of Iranian Commander Raises Legal, Strategic Questions »

Beneath Duke University’s Perkins library, an unassuming, yet fiercely original approach to video games research is underway. Tied less to computer science and engineering than you might expect, the students and faculty are studying games for their effects on players. I was introduced to a graduate… read more about Games, Art, and New Frontiers »

Asian & Middle Eastern Studies Professor Satti Khanna discusses translating works from poet and novelist Vinod Kumar Shukla. Read the full article in The Hindu.   read more about Satti Khanna and the art of translation »

A few weeks back I found myself back in the John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies which is home to the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies program. Now a senior, I have had the privilege of taking Hindi classes since my first-year at Duke with Kusum ji. Each semester we come to the John Hope Franklin Center to have a fully immersive cooking class in Hindi. These cooking classes were always one of the most coveted classes of the semester since we got to make any dish we could decide on as a… read more about A Taste of India at the Franklin Center »

HarperCollins Publishers, in association with Oxford Bookstore, launched The Windows in Our House are Little Doors by Vinod Kumar Shukla, translated from Hindi by AMES Professor Satti Khanna, on Wednesday, December 11 at 6:30PM. The dramatized reading by Kamal Pruthi was followed by conversations between Satti Khanna and Kamal Pruthi.   read more about The Windows in Our House, Translated by AMES Prof. Satti Khanna, Launches in India »

DURHAM, N.C. -- Five Duke University students and alumni have been named Schwarzman Scholars, a program that funds one year of study in Beijing, China. Seniors Charles Berman of Durham, North Carolina, and Max Labaton of Washington, D.C., were named Schwarzman Scholars. They join 2019 Duke… read more about Five From Duke Named Schwarzman Scholars »

Duke University will host its sixth annual Critical Asian Humanities workshop on April 10-11, 2020. Integrating approaches and methodologies from cultural studies, critical theory, and area studies, we identify Critical Asian Humanities as an interdisciplinary field that emphasizes humanistic inquiry while critically interrogating many of the assumptions on which the humanities have traditionally relied. More information: https://asianmideast.duke.edu/cah-annual-workshop   read more about Call for Papers: Sixth Annual Critical Asian Humanities Workshop »

Professor Nayoung Aimee Kwon has been named the 2019 winner of the Trinity College Dean's Diversity Award. An Associate Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and APSI, Aimee Kwon is also the founding director of the Asian American Studies Program at Duke University. She has been a strong advocate for social and racial justice on campus and in the broader community, devoting scholarly attention to portrayals of gender and sexuality in film and other popular media. In their nomination, her colleagues noted, “… read more about Nayoung Aimee Kwon named 2019 winner of Dean's Diversity Award »

After enjoying the cooking class from Hindi 101, we were really excited when Kusum Ji began to discuss plans for our cooking class for this semester. We discussed many ideas for what to cook this semester, including pav bhaji, bhel puri, and roti sabzi, but we quickly settled on one idea that sparked universal excitement from everyone in the class: pani puri. In fact, Kusum Ji even challenged us to eat as many as we could, as one of my classmates said she would try to eat 30! Kusum Ji told us she would buy the ingredients… read more about Holi Festival Celebration in AMES »

POSTED BY SERGIO MACIAS-VAZQUEZ ON JULY 30, 2019 Twelve hours after arriving in Tunisia, I found myself under a tent on the shores of the Mediterranean sipping tea. It was 1 in the afternoon and I was taking in the ancient ruins of the Roman baths of Carthage when the playful cry of a child from across the ruins in a hilltop compound split the whisper of the water and the others in the café. A pristine field, a line of tents, and armed guards manning the walls begged me to ask those next to me – ‘What’s that compound?’ ‘… read more about The President is Dead, Long Live Democracy »

Students in the Duke in the Arab World Program (DAW) attend a Carthage University Conference for a week of insight and experiences into the democratization process in Tunisia. Also, on the agenda, is a guided tour of Carthage ruins, Sidi Bou Said, Bardo Museum, the Parliament and old Tunis. Read about DAW's work at this link. read more about Students in the Duke in the Arab World Program Attend Carthage University Conference »

Thursday, April 25, 5:30-7:30pm, @ Leadership Center (FF 107 Few Quad) Pizza and Sushi Served   read more about Japanese Program End of Year Party »

Providing a venue for the scholarly study of gaming, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences recently refurbished a classroom in the Link to create a new Game Lab. Link Classroom 6 is now decked out with popular gaming consoles — from Microsoft Xbox to Sony PlayStation to Nintendo Switch — as well as a growing collection of board and card games, and several high-end computers and monitors to give those using the facility an immersive gaming experience. But this experience is designed to go far beyond simply playing games.… read more about Let the Games Begin: Trinity Opens Lab to Study Game Development & Culture »

Every Thursday, Kusum Knapczyk tries to constantly challenge her Hindi students to understand the material they had learned during that week. Her philosophy is simple: students should not only do homework, class work, and quizzes to learn Hindi but also engage with the material through activities such as hosting a cooking class and creating a product advertisement in Hindi. This week, Kusum created a Scavenger Hunt that her students in 101 and 203 would participate in.   In each class, students were broken up into pairs… read more about The Hindi Scavenger Hunt and Gossip with Prof. Khanna  »

Last Tuesday, our Hindi class embarked on a trek to the John Hope Franklin Center to meet our Professor, Kusum Ji, for a morning of cooking. As we walked down the hallways of the building, we could already smell the chai brewing. This instantly made my classmate Yash enthusiastic: “I loved how the second I stepped in the hallway, I could smell all the spices and flavors permeating through.” Upon entering the kitchen, we saw the beautiful set up of various ingredients that would be used during our cooking session.   We began… read more about Hindi 101 and 203 Cooking: Reconnecting with Indian Culture »