Duke Performances Announces Recipients of 2018/19 Curricular Awards

Duke Performances is pleased to announce the faculty recipients of its second annual curriculum enrichment awards: Ellen McLarney, Daniel Train, and Laura Florand. These competitive grants support Duke instructors who seek to engage creatively with the dynamics of live performance in their teaching — and with the themes, cultural traditions, and perspectives embodied in the work of our visiting artists.

Train’s and Florand’s awards are offered as part of a joint initiative with the Duke Language, Arts & Media Program (LAMP). LAMP supports faculty in teaching students to think critically across media and to conduct research in old and new media alike.

Each year, Duke Performances partners with more than 30 faculty across a range of departments and academic units to coordinate over 100 distinct artist residency events, including public conversations, class visits, and workshops. The curriculum enrichment awards reflect Duke Performances’ belief in the power of the arts to spur new ideas in the classroom while forging interdisciplinary connections between a diverse set of campus partners.

In “Intro to Theology and the Arts,” offered in Fall 2018, Prof. Daniel Train (Divinity School) invites his students in the Master of Divinity program to explore the performative dimension of theological work, using art as a way of thinking about how all human knowledge is lived, embodied, and inextricable from the physical senses.

Prof. Ellen McLarney (Asian and Middle East Studies), faculty director of the Middle East & Islam in Global Contexts FOCUS cluster, will engage throughout the Fall 2018 semester with artists featured in Duke Performances’ ongoing Building Bridges: Muslims in America series. Together with Profs. David Schanzer (Public Policy) and Nancy Kalow (Center for Documentary Studies), McLarney will encourage her FOCUS students to consider the cultural hybridity central to these artists’ work and its relationship to Muslim identity in a post-911 world.

Prof. Laura Florand (Romance Studies) will offer “Writing Performance and the Performance of Writing,” an advanced French writing course that Florand has thoroughly reimagined for Spring 2019. As a result of the curriculum enrichment award, her students will have the opportunity to conduct interviews with visiting Francophone artists and to attend performances throughout the semester, responding critically and creatively to these works and the cultural traditions they represent.

“We’re delighted with the impact that these awards have already had across campus,” said executive director Aaron Greenwald. “We hear repeatedly from faculty that the classroom visits by Duke Performances artists become a highlight of the semester, illustrating and extending the concepts being discussed in class. In the second year of this initiative, we look forward to working closely with a new group of instructors — whose classes all originate outside of the performing arts — to make Duke Performances’ programming a meaningful part of the curriculum.”


About the Organizations

Duke Performances presents willfully eclectic, forward-thinking programming at a dozen venues on campus and in Durham. Through superb performances, outstanding visiting artist residencies, and the commissioning and development of exciting new work, the organization takes a leading role in the cultural life of the nation and encourages meaningful engagement with the Duke campus and Durham community. Duke Performances offers a robust season of 70-80 presentations spanning classical, new music, jazz, American vernacular music, international music, theater, and dance, while coordinating over 100 residency events, including class visits, workshops, and public conversations with over 40 campus partners annually. https://dukeperformances.duke.edu/

The Duke Language, Arts and Media Program (LAMP) is an undergraduate program focused on building strong, contemporary communication skills in students. While practice in conventional scholarly writing is still essential, today’s undergraduates must also develop skills in oral communication and be able to critically evaluate and compose in new media. LAMP supports undergraduate courses, faculty workshops, and programming that advance three main learning objectives: Research as critical evaluation across media; composing across media; and public engagement, including helping students to understand and gain practice in participatory citizenship through creating and sharing knowledge with publics beyond the classroom. https://lamp.duke.edu/