Skip to main content

Karin Shapiro

Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of African and African American Studies
African & African American Studies
Box 90252, Durham, NC 27708
243D Friedl Building, Box 90252, Durham, NC 27708
Office hours Wednesdays 3:30pm-5:00pm  

Selected Presentations & Appearances


"South African Social Medicine and the Great Society in North Carolina" - That's History? Thiry Years after the End of Apartheid Conference · 2024 - 2024 International Meeting or Conference Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS),
"American Pholela" - Filmmaker Meets Her Critics · 2024 - 2024 International Meeting or Conference South African Historical Studies, University of Johannesburg
"Investing in Research Experiences" - Duke Library Panel with Paul Jaskot (Art, Art History & Visual Studies) and librarians Carson Holloway and Lee Sorensen · April 2023 Other
“South African Social Medicine and the Great Society in North Carolina” - That’s History? Thirty Years after the End of Apartheid Conference · February 2023 International Meeting or Conference Princeton University,
“Reckoning with the refugee crisis in the 1970s -- The World Council of Churches (WCC)” - Disasters, Emergencies and Relief. Global Perspectives on the History of Humanitarian Interventionism since the 1970s Conference · October 2022 International Meeting or Conference Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History, Munich
"South African Social Medicine and the Great Society in North Carolina" - That's History? Thiry Years after the End of Apartheid Conference · 2024 - 2024 International Meeting or Conference Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS),
"American Pholela" - Filmmaker Meets Her Critics · 2024 - 2024 International Meeting or Conference South African Historical Studies, University of Johannesburg
"Investing in Research Experiences" - Duke Library Panel with Paul Jaskot (Art, Art History & Visual Studies) and librarians Carson Holloway and Lee Sorensen · April 2023 Other
“South African Social Medicine and the Great Society in North Carolina” - That’s History? Thirty Years after the End of Apartheid Conference · February 2023 International Meeting or Conference Princeton University,
“Reckoning with the refugee crisis in the 1970s -- The World Council of Churches (WCC)” - Disasters, Emergencies and Relief. Global Perspectives on the History of Humanitarian Interventionism since the 1970s Conference · October 2022 International Meeting or Conference Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History, Munich
“The Anti-apartheid movements and the church: Archbishop Walter Paul Khotso Makhulu,” - Life History, Political Biography and Struggle History, History Workshop · September 2022 International Meeting or Conference University of the Witwatersrand,
“New Perspectives on Southern Repression” - Southern Labor Studies Conference · September 2022 Other Chapel Hill
"Afterthoughts" - Athol Fugard, The Road to Mecca · December 2021 Invited Talk Burning Coal Theatre Company, Raleigh, NC

(canceled - Covid)

“Walter Khotso Makhulu and the creation of refugee policies for southern and east Africa, 1960- 1990” · November 2021 International Meeting or Conference African Studies Association,
“Follow the Money: Norwegian Anti-apartheid Funding – the Christian Assistance Program” - Funding the Struggle against Apartheid, African Studies Association Meeting · November 2019 International Meeting or Conference Boston
Putting Global Competence and Intercultural Understanding into Practice: Lessons from Global Universities - AFS Global Conference, 2019 · October 2019 International Meeting or Conference Montreal, Canada
“The Anti-Apartheid Movements and the Church: Archbishop Walter Paul Khotso Makhulu” - Religious Activism & Biography in South African History · December 2016 International Meeting or Conference African Studies Association, Washington, D.C.
Religion, Church Networks, and the Fight against Apartheid: The Life and Times of Walter Paul Khotso Makhulu - North Eastern Workshop on Southern Africa · April 2016 International Meeting or Conference Burlington, Vermont
“Statelessness: A Historical Case Study from Apartheid South Africa” - “UNHCR’s Global Action Plan to End Statelessness: A Critical Examination of Identification Infrastructures” · May 2015 Other Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University,
“Race and Labor in the Late 19th Century” · March 2015 International Meeting or Conference Southern Labor Studies Association, Washington, D.C.

Chair and Commentator

"Fair Wages: A History of Getting Paid" - Interview by Edward Ayers · March 28, 2014 Broadcast Appearance Back Story Radio,

http://backstoryradio.org/shows/fair-wages/

Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Careers in the Social Sciences and Humanities · February 2014 Instructional Course, Workshop, or Symposium Duke University, Durham, NC
“Interfaith Vigil for Nelson Mandela” · December 10, 2013 Broadcast Appearance Duke Chapel,

Organizer with Catherine Admay and Dean Luke Powery

Roundtable, "Durham's Jewish Community in Transition" · June 16, 2013 Instructional Course, Workshop, or Symposium Durham County Library

Collaborated with Joanne Abel, Humanities and Adult Programming Coordinator, Durham County Library and Katie Spencer, Executive Director, Museum of Durham History. Panelists: Lynne Grossman, Leonard Rogoff, Robert Rosenstein, Karin Shapiro (Chair). Between 120-140 people attended

“Religion and Black Freedom Struggles in the U.S. and South Africa” - Comparative History Workshop · April 2013 International Meeting or Conference University of Witwatersrand and Duke University, Durham, NC
Panelist with Ebrahim Moosa (Religion Department, Duke University), "Jews and Muslim in Apartheid...and After" · February 1, 2013 Lecture
International Peace Work. Panel with David Shulman, (Hebrew University), David Gilmartin (NCSU), Nadia Yaqub (UNC-Chaple Hill), "Comparing Aparthied and Israel's Occupation of the West Bank." · October 1, 2012 Lecture
American and South African Comparative History · 2011 Lecture University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg,

Invited Roundtable Discussions ; University of the Witwatersrand and Duke Scholars

Then and Now - Eight South African Photographers · April 1, 2008 Lecture Perkins Library, Duke University, Perkins Library, Duke University

Invited Lectures ; Karin Shapiro ; Exhibit Opening

Nelson Mandela: A Light So Powerful · January 2008 Lecture American Tobacco Campus, Durham, North Carolina,

Invited Lectures ; Karin Shapiro

Scott Reynolds Nelson, Steel Drivin’ Man – John Henry –The Untold Story of an American Legend · May 2007 International Meeting or Conference Labor and Working-Class History Association and Southern Labor Studies Association, Durham, NC
"No Exit? The Politics of South African Emigration Restrictions in Early Apartheid South Africa" - Northeastern Workshop on Southern Africa · April 2007 International Meeting or Conference Burlington, Vermont
"Unintended Consequences: The Politics of Punishment and Imprisonment in the South" · November 2006 International Meeting or Conference Southern Historical Association, Birmingham
“Double Vision: Stories of South Africans in North Carolina" - 27th Durban International Film Festival · June 2006 Other
"Social Medicine in South Africa and Abroad: the North Carolina Connection" - “Pholela: The Foundation of Social Medicine in South Africa and the World” · May 2006 Instructional Course, Workshop, or Symposium Columbia University,
"Double Vision: Stories of South Africans in North Carolina" - Southern Fried Flicks Festival · January 2006 Other Augusta, Georgia
"Changing Voices: Alternative Historical Perspectives in South Africa" · February 2005 Invited Talk Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University,

(With ethnomusicologist Louise Meintjes and documentary photographer Paul Weinberg)

“New Perspectives on the Gilded Age and Progressive Era: Labor, Race and the State” · January 2004 International Meeting or Conference American Historical Association, Washington, D.C.

Chair and Commentator

“New Perspectives on the Black Working Class in the Jim Crow Era” · November 2000 International Meeting or Conference Southern Historical Association, Louisville

Chair and Commentator

"'Boundaries of Dissent': The Battle Against Convict Labor in the Tennessee Coalfields" - Feminist Women in History · April 2000 Instructional Course, Workshop, or Symposium Durham, NC
“The Prism of a New South Rebellion: Criminal Justice and Convict Labor in Late Nineteenth-Century Tennessee” - Southern Labor Studies Conference · October 1999 International Meeting or Conference Atlanta
"Comparisons and Connections: South Africa and the United States" · April 1998 International Meeting or Conference Organization of American Historians, Indianapolis
"The Prism of a New South Rebellion: Political Economy, Industrialization, and Criminal Justice in Late Nineteenth-Century Tennessee" · February 1996 Invited Talk University of Miami,
"Only the State May be a Master: The Termination of Tennessee's Convict Lease" · April 1992 International Meeting or Conference Organization of American Historians, Chicago
"Convict Labor in Three Georgia Industries" - Southern Labor Studies Conference · October 1991 International Meeting or Conference Atlanta

Commentator

"Race and the Construction of Southern Society" · March 1991 Invited Talk Earlham College,
"'History from South Africa': A Critical Review" · December 1990 Invited Talk Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton University,

Invited participant to a roundtable discussion

History from South Africa: A Critical Review - Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies · December 1990 Invited Talk Princeton University,
"Racism and the Limits of Republicanism: The East Tennessee Coal Miners' Rebellion of 1891-1892" - New Perspectives on the 1890s · October 1989 Invited Talk Allentown College, Pennsylvania
The Tennessee Coal Miners' Revolts, 1891-92: Convict Labor, Political Culture adn Southern Rural Industrialization · February 1989 Invited Talk Harvard University,
The Convict Must Go! Tennesse Miners and the State 1891-92 - Comparative Social History Seminar · May 1987 Invited Talk Oxford University,
"'The Convicts Must Go!': Tennessee Miners and the State 1891-92" - Comparative Social History Seminar · May 1987 Invited Talk Oxford University,
"The East Tennessee Coal Miners' Rebellion, 1891-92" - Southern Labor Studies Conference · October 1986 International Meeting or Conference Atlanta
"'The Company was the District': Pilgrim's Rest, 1915-20" - African Studies Association Conference · November 1985 International Meeting or Conference New Orleans

Outreach & Engaged Scholarship


Interviewer with Catherine Admay - Interview with Dikgang Moseneke, Deputy Chief Justice of the South African Constitutional Court · January 2020 Other
Interviewed by Edward Ayers - Fair Wages: A History of Getting Paid · March 28, 2014 Other Backstory Radio
Board Member - Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina · 2013 - 2016 Community Outreach Community Service
Exhibition Curator - Beth El Synagogue, the first 125 years · 2012 - 2013 Other , Freeman Center for Jewish Life, Duke University Service to the Community; Exhibited at Beth El Synagogue, Jan-Aug. 2012; Exhibited at the Durham Public Library, June-July 2013; Exhibited at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life, Duke University, Aug-Dec, 2012.
History Advisory Committee - Museum of Durham History (History Hub) · 2012 - 2016 Community Outreach
Interviewer with Catherine Admay - Interview with Dikgang Moseneke, Deputy Chief Justice of the South African Constitutional Court · January 2020 Other
Interviewed by Edward Ayers - Fair Wages: A History of Getting Paid · March 28, 2014 Other Backstory Radio
Board Member - Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina · 2013 - 2016 Community Outreach Community Service
Exhibition Curator - Beth El Synagogue, the first 125 years · 2012 - 2013 Other , Freeman Center for Jewish Life, Duke University Service to the Community; Exhibited at Beth El Synagogue, Jan-Aug. 2012; Exhibited at the Durham Public Library, June-July 2013; Exhibited at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life, Duke University, Aug-Dec, 2012.
History Advisory Committee - Museum of Durham History (History Hub) · 2012 - 2016 Community Outreach
Interviewer with John Allen - Interview with Archbishop Walter Khotso Makhulu · 2010 Other
Exhibition Curator - Nelson Mandela: A Light So Powerful · January 2008 - May 2008 Other American Tobacco Campus, Durham , American Tobacco Campus, Durham Over 10,000 people visited the exhibition.
Interviewer with William Chafe and Ken Carder - Interview with Bishop Peter Storey · 2008 Other
Exhibiton Curator - Spirit of Freedom: Drawings & Narratives from Nelson Mandela's Imprisonment on Robben Island · 2007 Other Durham Public Library

Service to the Profession


Editorial Board Member · July 2021 Editorial Activities Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies,
Co-Editor - Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies · January 2016 - July 2021 Editorial Activities

See Shane Graham, “A tribute to Karin Shapiro, outgoing co-editor for Safundi,” Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, (22: 3, 2021), 187-88. https://doi.org/10.1080/17533171.2021.2020454

Vice President - Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina · 2014 - 2016 Committee Service

Board Member, 2013-2016
Vice-President, 2014-2016

History Advisory Committee · 2012 - 2024 Committee Service Museum of Durham History (History Hub),

From the inception of the committee in 2012 to present

Reviewed promotions/honors - National Research Foundation -- the major government research foundation in South Africa · 2012 - 2015 Editorial Activities
Editorial Board Member · July 2021 Editorial Activities Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies,
Co-Editor - Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies · January 2016 - July 2021 Editorial Activities

See Shane Graham, “A tribute to Karin Shapiro, outgoing co-editor for Safundi,” Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, (22: 3, 2021), 187-88. https://doi.org/10.1080/17533171.2021.2020454

Vice President - Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina · 2014 - 2016 Committee Service

Board Member, 2013-2016
Vice-President, 2014-2016

History Advisory Committee · 2012 - 2024 Committee Service Museum of Durham History (History Hub),

From the inception of the committee in 2012 to present

Reviewed promotions/honors - National Research Foundation -- the major government research foundation in South Africa · 2012 - 2015 Editorial Activities
Manuscript Reviewer : University of Illinois Press - University of Illinois Press and Univesrity of California Press · 2010 - 2013 Editorial Activities
James A. Rawley Prize Committee Member and Chair · May 2008 - May 2011 Committee Service Organization of American Historians,

Service to the Profession ; Organization of American Historians. The prize is given annually for the best book dealing with the history of race relations in the United States. Chair 2009-2010. Between 2008-2010, the committee received between 75-120 submissions annually.

Exhibition Consultant - “Spirit of Freedom: Drawings & Narratives from Nelson Mandela’s Imprisonment on Robben Island” · 2007 Consulting Durham Country Library, Durham, NC
Faculty Participant - History Connect Summer Institute, Durham Public Schools · 2003 Event Attendance
Reviewed articles - Journal of American History, Journal of Religion, Safundi, RHR, Journal of Southern African Studies; Kronos, Southern Cultures, Journal of Natal and Zulu History, Cultural Anthropology, and Journal of Appalachian Studies · 2000 - 2024 Editorial Activities
Associate Member, Editorial Collective - Radical History Review · 2000 - 2024 Editorial Activities
Convener - Institute for Advanced Social Research Seminar on Southern Africa · 1995 - 1997 Event/Organization Administration University of Witwatersrand,
Grant Writer - "Images of Self and Family Histories of Black South Africans, 1890-1950 · 1994 Other University of Witwatersrand,

Raised R200,000 for this project, based at the Institute for Advanced Social Research

Committee Member - Fulbright, South Africa · 1994 - 1997 Committee Service

Selection committee for South Africans applying to study in the United States

Arts Faculty Board · 1993 - 1997 Committee Service University of Witwatersrand,
Organizer - Visision of American Labor on Film · 1993 Event/Organization Administration University of Witwatersrand,
Conference Manager · 1992 Event/Organization Administration Urban Foundation, Johannesburg

Ran conference on local government in the PWV region (now Gauteng), 1992/ (With Soto Ndukwane)

Editorial Collective - Radical History Review · 1988 - 2000 Editorial Activities

Editorial Boards

Organizer - Open Day for the History Workshop Conference · 1983 Event/Organization Administration University of Witwatersrand,

Unionists, school children, and the public attended this path-breaking festivalof history.

Project coordinator - Policy report on influx control and urbanization, incorporating interviews with Black community councilors · 1983 Event/Organization Administration Urban Foundation,
Archival Consultant - African Studies Institute · 1983 Consulting University of Witwatersrand,

Clandestinely reviewed the papers and write a biographical sketch of Canon James Calata, Chaplain of the then banned African National Congress

Service to Duke


Reference Checks Committee (University) · 2024 Committee Service

Provost Committee, Chaired by Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement

Full Frame Filmmaker Award (University) · 2024 Committee Service Center for Documentary Study, Duke University
Academic Council (University) · 2022 - 2024 Committee Service
President's Council on Black Affairs (University) · 2022 - 2025 Committee Service
President's Advisory Committee on Institutional History (University) · 2021 - 2024 Committee Service
Reference Checks Committee (University) · 2024 Committee Service

Provost Committee, Chaired by Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement

Full Frame Filmmaker Award (University) · 2024 Committee Service Center for Documentary Study, Duke University
Academic Council (University) · 2022 - 2024 Committee Service
President's Council on Black Affairs (University) · 2022 - 2025 Committee Service
President's Advisory Committee on Institutional History (University) · 2021 - 2024 Committee Service
Faculty Director . Karsh International Scholars Program · July 2017 - July 2022 Other
Faculty Leader . Duke Alumni Tour · 2017 - 2023 Professional Development

Kenya and Tanzania, July-August 2019.
Southern Africa, June 2020, 2022.
Cuba, December 2023.

University Priorities Committee (University) · 2016 - 2019 Committee Service
Executive Committee, Center for Jewish Studies (Center) · 2014 - 2015 Committee Service
Graduate Liberal Studies Advisory Board (Program) · 2014 - 2016 Committee Service
Representative for African and African American Studies · 2014 - 2016 Other Arts & Sciences Council,
Faculty Advisor . Student Trip to Prague · 2012 - 2013 Event/Organization Administration Freeman Center for Jewish Life,
Co-chair with Charles Piot (Anthropology) and John Barlett (Medicine and Global Health) · 2012 - 2016 Other Africa Initiative,

Served on steering committee, 2012-present; Co-chair, 2013-2014 and 2015 to present.
http://sites.duke.edu/africainitiative/home-page/about-us/

Director . Fulbright Program · June 2008 - June 2013 Other Office of Undergraduate Scholars and Publics,

Oversaw applications of roughly 50-60 students annually; organized committees to interview students, consisting of faculty and senior staff members; chaired committees and wrote evaluations for all Duke students, graduate and undergraduate, who applied for Fulbrights. For all 5 years that I ran the program the Institute for International Education recognized Duke as a top Fulbright producing university in the United States.

AB Duke Scholarship Committee (University) · 2007 - 2008 Committee Service
Co-chair · 2006 - 2024 Other Concilium on Southern Africa (COSA), DUCIS

Served on the Steering Committee from COSA's inception; co-chaired with Catherine Admay since 2006.

Friends of the Library (University) · 2006 - 2008 Committee Service
Faculty Mentor . Hart Leadership Program · 2005 - 2006 Other
Selection Committees (University) · 2005 - 2022 Committee Service Office of Undergraduate Scholars and Fellows (OUSF),
Steering Committee, Comparative Area Studies (University) · 2001 - 2002 Committee Service
Fulbright Screening Committee (Program) · 2001 - 2005 Committee Service
Co-director . Hosei at Duke · 2000 Event/Organization Administration

Created and taught an intensive program in American history and culture for visiting Japanese students.

Academic & Administrative Activities


 Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), African & African American Studies (July 2019-present)
  • Over 40 students in the Ph.D. and Masters Certificate Programs from Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and the Divinity School.