DUCIS in the Arts

To bring change art practices devise brings fresh perspectives to our ways of engaging international studies. These changes are not hermetic but often extend to having us changes our views on political and social questions. From Sophocles to Yvonne Rainer, from Goya to An-My Lee, or from Stuart to Orhan Pamuk, their works have encouraged us to reconsider our political and social stances. Interesting art is always an argument and often a creative way to reflect upon issues normally the fiefdoms of the social sciences.

For more than a decade, DUCIS has promoted the arts as integral to global studies. In 2000, we invited artist Xu Bing for a semester residency. Out of that emerged the first part of a trilogy just completed after projects in Shanghai and Richmond. The Tobacco Project explored the close yet colonial ties that Durham and Richmond developed with the Chinese tobacco market. Since then, DUCIS has supported additional residencies from visual artist Judy Chicago to Caribbean/British writer George Lamming.

Using the gallery space at the John Hope Franklin Center, DUCIS has curated several shows that reveal new and controversial ways of thinking about “social science” issues.

Many international artists have spent a day or a month with us, creating new works, holding extended conversations with faculty and graduate students and collaborating with Durham organizations.

Today, we’re truly international. We continue our campus projects but have additional ones in Tanzania and Israel. Under the rubric Arts Change we have organized several projects, mostly in the visual arts, as a way of demonstrating our particular strengths and the strength in the arts engaged in conversations with other internationally-focused disciplines and their practitioners.

Some background pieces:

  • The Tobacco Project
  • Out-Takes are History
  • Black British
  • GATA lunch series
  • Curations

On-going and new projects

  • Literacy Through Photography-Arusha, Tanzania
  • Joint Magnum Foundation visiting artist series
  • Israel: Twelve Photographers Look at the People and the Lan
  • Globalization and the Artist publications with Duke University Press
  • Images and the People Who Use Them—A Writers’ Series
  • A Question of Ethics and the Visual Arts in Humanitarian Projects