Duke University | Baldwin Scholars Program

Katie Jane Fernelius


Katie Jane Fernelius

 If you were to ask me a year ago what it meant to be Katie Jane Fernelius, I would probably mention some something about hailing from Orange County (i.e. the land of Arrested Development, Real Housewives and Lauren Conrad), obsessing over Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and enjoying far too many Cookout milkshakes. Today, I would provide a different answer brimming with my latest effort to read every work of Elena Ferrante, an obsession with becoming a tea connoisseur, and struggling with how to define my feminism. As such, it always feels a bit silly to attempt to write an assured biography of myself since I feel as if I'm constantly in flux. 

That being said, I can say that I am studying Global Cultural Studies and Documentary Studies. I am currently Editor of Recess, the arts and culture section of The Chronicle, and enjoy all the perks of the job, which includes tickets to concerts, interviews with artists, and getting to work with a superb team of genuinely cool people. I used to be Editor-in-Chief of The Archive, Duke's literary magazine, where I got the chance to bring one of my literary idols, Zadie Smith, to Duke's campus! And my summers at Duke have afforded me the opportunity to drink a pint at Lewis Carroll's favorite pub, to wake up every morning to the screeching of a peacock, and to climb to the roof of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

Duke is an environment of constant giving and receiving, as it indulges whimsy, intellect, and passion. I love that I am able to pursue a diverse and in-depth program of study, while also enjoying hobbies like baking, hiking, and playing the guitar. The Duke community has been a home where I am not only able to share my perspective, but also able to accumulate perspectives and stories from those around me, and for that, I feel truly fortunate.   

If you have any questions or just want to chat, please feel free to reach out to me at katherine.fernelius@duke.edu. I am always happy to chat over email or over a cup of tea!