Curating Durham's History
The Context & Connections Series
Curating Durham's History: The Museum of Durham History & the Civil Rights Mural
Durham mural artist, Cornelio Campos, with Duke faculty: Charlie Thompson (Duke Cultural Anthropology and Documentary Studies), Bethzaida Fernandez (Duke Romance Studies), Miguel Rojas-Sotelo (Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies)
Wings of a Migrant Butterfly Mural Installation
Charlie Thompson, Bethzaida Fernandez, Cornelio Campos, and Miguel Rojas-Sotelo with a mural installation at the Durham Public Library.

About Duke Service-Learning

Duke Service-Learning is a signature program of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, enacting Duke's commitment to “knowledge in the service of society” by supporting and facilitating academic courses that connect students with communities. We support courses in a variety of academic disciplines, including sociology, education, world languages, documentary studies, music, dance, global health, and economics, among others. Although many of our courses are housed within Trinity College, we also have courses in the Sanford School of Public Policy, the Nicholas School for the Environment, and the Pratt School of Engineering. Many courses address interdisciplinary topics and are cross-listed in more than one department. Service-learning courses allow opportunities for Duke faculty and students to engage with communities on contemporary issues such as the environment, socioeconomic inequities, public policy, health, immigration, education, and more.

Our primary goal is to provide support and assistance to faculty members seeking to integrate service-learning and community-engaged pedagogies into their courses. We provide consultation, training, research opportunities, funding, resources, and advocacy for the work of university faculty, staff, and students as they work with communities to integrate community engagement into academic learning. Our team offers administrative support for programming, as well as faculty consultants and service-learning assistants to directly support faculty.

What is Service-Learning?  

Service-Learning is an approach to learning that connects academic coursework with community engagement.  In service-learning courses, faculty and students deepen critical consciousness about our local and global communities as they partner in service with them and listen to diverse perspectives.  Service-learning requires participants to engage in reading, reflection, and analysis that connect course content to the service experience. 

Why Take Our Courses? 

Courses can feel removed from the world outside Duke and life after college, but service-learning courses allow you to apply and gain academic knowledge in an authentic setting. With courses in dozens of departments, you’ll find a course that fits your interests, while also providing you with an opportunity to: 

  • Get to know Durham (beyond downtown) 
  • Deepen your learning by gaining academic knowledge in an authentic context 
  • Apply what you're learning in the classroom to contemporary issues 
  • Develop a wide range of skills, from cross-cultural awareness to critical thinking, problem solving, and leadership skills.

Learn more about the course in this Duke Magazine article and more about professor Michelle Lanier in this NPR interview.  This is a great video on a similar topic… read more about Veterans Oral History Project »


About the Course: Students in this course will participate in community economic development in Durham. First, students will learn to evaluate competing theories regarding the reasons for… read more about Social Inequalities and Low-Wage Work »

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