Story+ Project

Choose Your Words Carefully: Storytelling, Duke Magazine, and the university’s Black community


Duke Magazine has been around in several iterations since 1917 and has sought to engage alumni in the life of the university through storytelling. President Price’s recent goal of Duke becoming an anti-racist university raises new (and yet perhaps, old) questions: What story has the magazine been telling? Whose story has the magazine been sharing? How has that story changed over time? The aim of this project is to use textual analysis and oral history to examine the magazine through the prism of marketing, journalism, language, and race. We hope the data gleaned from this project will inform the magazine’s language and approach going forward in terms of story selection and scope.


  • Understand the power of language and storytelling and understand how it can be used in marketing and engagement
  • Have an interest in digital humanities methods and text analysis
  • Wants to obtain and practice reporting and interviewing skills
  • Has some skill in capturing audio
  • Are interested and invested in exploring full and complex Duke’s history
  • Has a passion for Black studies and an enthusiasm for equity issues


Project Sponsor(s): 

Adrienne Johnson Martin, Managing Editor Duke Magazine

Duke Magazine


  • Visual Media
  • Oral History
  • Civil Rights
  • Archives
  • History