Nov 262015
 November 26, 2015

Tools for Change-01Please join us at 6pm on April 26th for the opening reception of the Citizenship Lab’s PhotoVoice Exhibition.

As part of their year-long project, students involved in the “Citizenship Lab” Bass Connections team have worked with locally resettled refugees to create an exhibit the theme of community. Twelve resettled refugees will offer their interpretations of the meaning of community through photographs and statements they have created.

The Lab is one of three Bass Connections teams this year to receive support through the Silver Family Fund at KIE. Throughout the year, the team has partnered with Durham Public Schools and the Durham City Council on the development of a set of proposals to ease the transition of refugee youth into local schools.

Tuesday April 26 at 6pm
Keohane Kenan Gallery
West Duke Building
Parking on East Campus is free after 5pm.

Nov 202015
 November 20, 2015

MontiStoryTellingwebpostCome watch Duke University students and a professor along with a Durham community member tell their true stories live for an evening exploring the theme of race. The Monti is a non-profit organization that invites people to tell personal stories without the use of notes. It’s simple storytelling. Each month, The Monti holds events around the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area and as far away as Greensboro. The goal is to create an intimate, open, and fun atmosphere where people can relate their personal experiences to one another through narrative.

Abhi Shah, Duke Undergrad
Derwin Dubose, Managing partner of New Majority Community Labs
Emily Brockman, Duke Undergrad
Ray Barfield, Duke Associate Professor of Pediatrics (School of Medicine) and of Christian Philosophy (Divinity School)
Torang Asadi, Duke PhD student

This event is being produced by the Monti in partnership with The Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for all others and may be purchased through the Monti website:

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
The Rickhouse, 609 Foster St, Durham

Nov 182015
 November 18, 2015

hussain-ali-agrama-lecture-postersmallHussein Ali Agrama, Associate Professor of Anthropology & Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Chicago, will be giving a workshop on “Justice between Islamic Shari’a and Western Legal Tradition: Remarks on the Egyptian Context.”His pre-circulated paper by that same title, and an accompanying text, are available to download online. How does one compare and contrast potentially very different traditions of law without assuming any common conception of law? How does one stage a comparison of such traditions in the face of their mutual engagement under historical conditions of asymmetric power that render one of them commensurable to the other? These are some of the central questions this essay begins to address through a series of loosely related, ethnographically inspired reflections on the concept of justice within Western legal tradition and the Islamic Shari’a, with respect to modern Egypt. It focuses on the particular problem that the violence of law is seen to pose for the enactment of justice within Western legal thought and practice. Arguing that this problem is of relatively recent origin, it outlines some of the historically emergent forms of sociability, modes of authority, and structures of coercion that contribute to the formation of this problem, and that give rise to a distinctive conception of politics that persists into the present. Contrasting this with classical Shari’a thought and historical practices, the essay then points to how these forms of sociability, authority and coercion – and the concept of politics they made possible – insinuated themselves into the fabric of Egyptian society through the colonizing and modernizing projects that established European based civil law there; it also reflects on how this produced the complicated pattern of similarity, difference, commensurability and incommensurability that exists today between Egyptian civil law and Islamic Shari’a.

Co-sponsored by:The Graduate Program in Religion, the International Comparative Studies Program, the Religions & Public Life at the Kenan Institute of Ethics, and the Religious Studies Department

Monday, April 18
12:00-2:00 pm
Carpenter Conference Room (Rubenstein 249)

Nov 132015
 November 13, 2015

Walzer-KDL-Poster-web-400Michael Walzer, one of America’s most influential political theorists, will speak on “What is the Responsibility to Protect? And What Does it Mean in the Syrian Case?” as the 2016 Kenan Distinguished Lecturer.

Walzer is a professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, New Jersey, and has written about a wide variety of topics in political theory and moral philosophy, including political obligation, just and unjust war, nationalism and ethnicity, economic justice, and the welfare state. He has played a critical role in the revival of a practical, issue-focused ethics and in the development of a pluralist approach to political and moral life. His talk with examine the international moral obligation to intercede in Syria and the international security and human rights norm Responsibility to Protect.

The annual Kenan Distinguished Lecture in Ethics is a signature series of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke that brings a distinguished speaker to campus to address moral issues of broad social and cultural significance. This event is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception.

This talk is co-sponsored by Duke Program in American Values and Institutions, Duke University Middle East Studies Center, Duke Islamic Studies Center, and Duke Council for European Studies.

Wednesday, April 13, 5:00 pm
Fredric Jameson Gallery, Friedl Building, East Campus
Parking on East Campus is free after 5:00pm.


Nov 122015
 November 12, 2015

walzerMichael Walzer, one of America’s most influential political theorists, will present on Jewish Political Theory. This discussion will be centered around the ‘Introduction’ to Volume One of his work, ‘The Jewish Political Tradition,’ available online from the Duke University library system. If you cannot access the paper, an alternative copy will be provided upon receipt of your RSVP. Walzer is a professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, New Jersey, and has written about a wide variety of topics in political theory and moral philosophy, including political obligation, just and unjust war, nationalism and ethnicity, economic justice, and the welfare state. This event is co-sponsored by the Council for European Studies at Duke University.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Deirdre White at by April 7 to ensure a spot at the discussion. Light refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
4:30-6:00 pm
Ahmadieh Family Conference Hall (John Hope Franklin Center, Rm 240)

Nov 082015
 November 8, 2015

MarketpostMarkets are not just a central feature of modern societies, they are also a foundational component of dominant (neoliberal) economic thought and policy-making. Indeed, the idea of markets at once presupposes and defines dominant notions of development and progress. This panel discussion with a variety of market experts from Duke and UNC explores the role and function of markets. What are they? How do they function? Who made them? And what are their potential benefits and shortcomings, particularly in light of climate change, growing inequality, resource depletion, and the insatiable commodification of life? Come join us to discuss these important topics. Lunch will be provided. This event is part of the project “The Role of Markets in Ethical Global Development,” supported by a collaborative scholarly grant in ethics by the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke.

Panelists include: 

  • Arturo Escobar (Kenan Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at UNC)
  • Charles Becker (Economist, Duke)
  • Lawrence Grossberg (Morris Davis Distinguished Professor of Media & Cultural Studies, UNC)
  • Tolga Erkmen (Community Sustainability Entrepreneur)
  • Lindah Mhando (Duke SSRI)
  • Jonas Monast (Duke Law/Nicholas School of the Environment)

Friday, April 8
Noon to 2:00pm
Smith Warehouse, Bay 6, Room 271

Nov 062015
 November 6, 2015

hayhoeJoin the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, the Nicholas School of the Environment, the Kenan Institute for Ethics, and the Young Evangelicals for Climate Action for “Climate Change Is Not a Leap of Faith: On Being a Climate Scientist and an Evangelical Christian”. Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, will lead off the night with discussion about why Christians should care about climate change. In a panel discussion following, the Nicholas Institute’s Amy Pickle, the Nicholas School of the Environment’s Megan Mullin, and the Kenan Institute for Ethic’s David Toole will offer perspectives on the policy and religious implications of Hayhoe’s conversation.

Street Parking after 5 p.m. is available on Circuit Dr. and LaSalle St.
A reception will follow the panel discussion at 7:30 p.m.
This event is free, but registration is required.

April 6
6:00-8:00 PM
Environment Hall, 9 Circuit Drive, Duke University, Field Auditorium


Nov 042015
 November 4, 2015

KIELogo-gray400Aaron Fox, Columbia University ethnomusicologist, will untangle the complex history of the Laura Boulton Collection of Traditional and Liturgical Music, a collection of 1500 hours of music collected on five continents, which was acquired by Columbia University beginning in 1962. Professor Fox explores a “trail of legal agreements, memoranda, correspondence, and contracts that mark the history of the `Laura Boulton Collection’s’ acquisition by Columbia University as intellectual and physical property and the subsequent distribution and management of the associated rights by Columbia, Indiana University, and the Library of Congress.” Professor Fox will talk about the extraction of the musical heritage of indigenous people and his work to repatriate this music to its ancestral homes.Co-sponsored by the Kenan Institute for Ethics and the Forum for Scholars and Publics.

Monday, April 4
12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
Forum for Scholars and Publics (Old Chem 011)

Nov 042015
 November 4, 2015

The next event in our spring series examining food, ethics, and culture will host Matthew Raiford, executive chef and owner at The Farmer and The Larder (Brunswick, GA), and farmer at Gilliard Farms, where he is the sixth generation to farm on the land that has been in his family since 1874. He refers to himself as a CheFarmer, focusing on the connection between food production and preparation.

Monday, April 4, 5:00pm
Ahmadieh Family Conference Room (West Duke 101)