Memory of iron

Memory of iron

The news of the discovery of a sunken Portuguese slaving ship off the coast of South Africa is both exciting and deeply moving. According to the Washington Post, in 1794, the São José-Paquete de Africa carried 400 slaves bought in Mozambique and headed...
Duke History 101

Duke History 101

Working in a university is a little like living in a fast-forward nature video. While I molder in my chair, the students swirling around me only get younger. They blossom, bloom and before the petals fall are off changing the world. I’ve learned to ration the Star...
A post from Monica Byrne on “Wired”

A post from Monica Byrne on “Wired”

From Monica Byrne’s blog A month ago, with the Hugo fracas in full swing, an editor at Wired wrote me and said, “If you have something to say, you have the platform.” Given Wired’s enormous readership, what an incredible thing. I wrote the piece in an afternoon,...
Flame Wars

Flame Wars

  I’ve rarely witnessed a fist fight between neighbors. Yet some days I feel like we fight constantly. Instead of using our fists, we battle with the words typed into that little email square we send off to the listserv. Sticks and stones seem somehow quaint in...
Comey and the Holocaust

Comey and the Holocaust

FBI director James Comey has caused a dust up between the United States and Poland with a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post (and reprinted in the Raleigh News and Observer). Titled “The most frightening lesson from the Holocaust,” Comey calls the...
The uriniferous lair

The uriniferous lair

In which I participate in David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.” Not being paid an administrator’s exalted salary, I have no intention of violating the sanctum...