Now in its third year, DukeReads, an interactive online book club sponsored by the Duke Alumni Association (DAA), has implemented a number of electronic enhancements in response to participant feedback. Among the improvements will be a more robust online chat capability, live video, and the opportunity for participants to vote on book selections.
"We conducted surveys of all DukeReads participants and found that people really like having the ability to download the programs and listen to them at their convenience," says Rachel Davies '72, A.M. '89, director of alumni education and travel for the DAA and the coordinator of DukeReads. "Regardless of when people listened to the discussions, their responses confirmed that we're fulfilling our original mission for DukeReads—to provide an educational opportunity for alumni and friends to engage intellectually with the university."
Video, audio, and podcasts are available through the revamped DukeReads website, which serves as the portal for participants to listen to the book discussion in real time through their computer or by phone. Participants can also post questions using instant messaging. Returning DukeReads moderator Frank Stasio, host of North Carolina Public Radio's The State of Things, earned high marks from past years' participants. Also making a return appearance this year is author Reynolds Price '55, James B. Duke Professor of English, who will discuss Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse in January.
Other presenters include Ranjana Khanna, Margaret Taylor Smith Director of women's studies and professor of English and literature (The White Tiger); Peter Lange, provost (House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess); Michael Malone, author and visiting professor of the practice in theater studies (The Maltese Falcon); Steve Nowicki, dean of undergraduate education (Bel Canto); and Blair Sheppard, dean of the Fuqua School of Business (A Brief History of the Human Race).
October 1, 2009