The African and African American studies department at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, is launching a new summer institute that will instruct high school teachers on using historical literature and fiction to teach English and social studies classes on African American history. The institute is being funded by a $200,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Participants in the institute will read novels including Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and review social research, literary criticism, short stories, films, and music that deals with the African American experience.
Wahneema Lubiano, associate professor and associate chair of the department of African and African American studies at Duke, said, “History, fiction, and social narratives are products of the way that humans both think and imagine the world. All narrative calls on us continually to interpret and reinterpret. I’m interested in social facts and narrative representations. I think that close reading all manner of texts opens up students’ minds to the complexity of our world.”
Other faculty who will be involved with the institute include William Darity, a professor of economics at Duke, Thavolia Glymph, an associate professor of history and African and African American studies at Duke, and Tess Chakkalakal of Bowdoin College and Daniella Ann Cook, a professor of education at the University of South Carolina.