What to See This Week at Duke

The Week at Duke: Simone Dinnerstein, Marc Brettler, the presidential inauguration

2 Don’t write the obituary for the humanities quite yet. Former National Endowment for the Humanities director William D. Adams remains optimistic that the disciplines are a relevant and vital to contemporary society as ever.  What’s more, he sees humanists innovating in their research and teaching and finding valued uses for their work. In particular, he praises Duke’s Humanities Writ Large project.  Adams will discuss the future of the humanities at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, in the Nasher Museum of Art auditorium.


2 The public choice movement for schools has been hailed as the savior of American education and blamed for undermining public education and resegregating our schools. The movement is getting stronger and showing no signs of going away.  Two noted Duke educational policy experts, Helen "Sunny" Ladd and Tom Nechyba, will discuss the school choice debate in North Carolina and the trend toward privatization. The event coincides with the residency of NY-based investigative theater company The Civilians, who return to Duke to develop their new play on the charter school movement in North Carolina. Noon, Monday, Oct. 2, 011 Old Chemistry Bldg.


3 It’s impossible to appreciate the richness of the Christian New Testament without understanding the Jewish history, beliefs and practices that animated its Jewish characters’ thinking and action. Promoting such a deep Biblical literacy is one of the aims of Duke Professor Marc Brettler, one of the world’s leading scholars of the Hebrew Bible. He joins co-editor Amy-Jill Levine for a panel discussion to mark the publication of their work on “The Jewish Annotated New Testament.” Panelists include scholars Yaakov Ariel (UNC-Chapel Hill) and Mark Goodacre, Richard Hays and Bethany Wilson of Duke. 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, in 0012 Westbrook Bldg.


4 The story goes that the Russian ambassador to Saxony complained to Johann Sebastian Bach that he was restless at night and wished for some light pieces of beauty and passion to help him sleep. From that came Bach’s masterful The Goldberg Variations, which have kept musicians and artists intrigued for nearly 300 years. Acclaimed classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein is the latest to take up the challenge. She joins dancer Pam Tanowitz in a discussion of their careers and their collaboration in performing the work. Noon, Wednesday, Oct. 4, East Duke Parlors, East Campus.


4-5 Inaugurating a president is more than a ceremony. When Duke officially installs Vincent E. Price as its 10th president this week, it will mark a statement of the university’s values and mission and stake out a pathway forward into a challenging future. The two days of events begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday night on East Campus with PricePalooza. The festive celebration includes music, dance, activities and of course, lots of food.  The scholarly discussions begin Thursday at 1 p.m. in the Griffith Film Theater in the Bryan Center. That will be followed by Price’s installation ceremony at 5 p.m. outside Duke Chapel.