Nov 212014
 November 21, 2014

jon-favreauThis residency was previously scheduled for February 26.

Words Matter: Storytelling with President Obama in an Age of Sound Bites
5:30-7:00PM, Fleishman Commons,
Sanford School of Public Policy
This Talk is Free & Open to the Public
Free parking in the Public Policy Lot
Reception to follow

The significance of meaningful and effective words cannot be overrated, especially when a critical message is needed to stand out in a 24/7 news cycle and break through the constant noise of social media.  Jon Favreau—director of speechwriting for President Barack Obama (2009-2013)—knows this all too well.

According to Obama chief advisor David Axelrod, he has had his “stamp on all the great speeches from 2005 to early 2013” and always sought to tell a compelling story rather than string together a collection of sound bites. Favreau will discuss the ability to “see” or get behind the words—to capture the essence of an issue and create dialogue that clearly and powerfully articulates what it is about that issue that matters and why we should care. Favreau will offer his insight on how precisely—from conception to delivery—to “get behind the words we speak,” including the significance of “mining” resources for inspiration, creating scripts that speak from and to the heart, and “walking the walk” of talk.

This visit is jointly presented by the KIE Practitioner in Residence Program and the Humanities Writ Large Network on Democracy and Law: Ancient and Modern. Co-sponsors include the Sanford School of Public Policy and the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and DemocracyStay tuned for information on other events as part of his residency, including:

  • Workshop with undergraduate students on speechwriting, ethics, and policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy (by invitation)
  • Team Kenan Do Lunch
  • A session with the undergraduate class “Democracy: Ancient and Modern” (open only to students and faculty affiliated with the course)

Contact with questions.

Nov 202014
 November 20, 2014


What is the status of the death penalty in North Carolina, and in the U.S. more broadly, and how is it changing? Join the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics for a discussion covering a broad range of topics, including lethal injections and the role of the pharmaceutical industry; its historical and contemporary racial symbolism in North Carolina, as well its persistent application to the most vulnerable in North Carolina, such as the mentally ill. Panelists include:

This event is part of the on-going discussion series Conversations in Human Rights, bringing together panelists from other institutions and Duke faculty to engage with their research on hot-button international human rights issues. The series draws together the social sciences, humanities, law, and policy. This panel is co-sponsored by the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute and the Center for International & Comparative Law at Duke Law School.

RSVP to by Friday, April 17. Free parking will be available in the Gilbort-Addoms circle off of Campus Drive. A parking attendant will be available during the event.

The Death Penalty in North Carolina and the the U.S.   
Monday, April 20th, 4:30-6:00pm
101 West Duke Building
Reception to follow

Nov 182014
 November 18, 2014


The Duke Human Rights Center at The Kenan Institute for Ethics will be holding its first annual Scholars Research Symposium on Saturday, April 18th. The symposium, which is sponsored by the Kenan Institute’s Human Rights Fellows, provides an opportunity for a select group of seniors at Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill to publicly present honors or capstone projects that broadly relate to the themes of human rights, ethics, or international politics. Discussants will include two distinguished Duke alumni, Tosin Agbabiaka and Menaka Nayar, and two current human rights fellows. This event is open to Duke and UNC faculty, students and alumni.

We are pleased to announce the selected student presenters:
Olivia Abrecht; Danielle Allyn; Sarah Niss; Leena El-Sadek; Nali Gillespie; Tra Tran; Arpita Varghese

Saturday, April 18th , 1:00-3:30
West Duke Building, Room 101, Duke University 
Reception to follow

Free parking will be available in the Gilbert-Addoms circle off of Campus Drive. A parking attendant will be available during the event.


1:00-2:15 Panel 1 | Confronting Mass Atrocities: Interventions and Accountability Mechanisms
Chair: Ebony Hargro
Panelists: Olivia Abrecht, Danielle Allyn, Sarah Niss,
Discussants: Menaka Nayar, Shruti Rao

2:15-3:30 Panel 2 | Human Rights Narratives: From Personal to Collective
Chair: Iris Kim
Panelists: Leena El-Sadek, Nali Gillespie & Tra Tran, Arpita Varghese
Discussants: Tosin Agbabiaka, Logan Laguna-Kirkpatrick


Olivia Abrecht, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Tosin Agbabiaka, Duke alumnus (T’10)
Danielle Allyn, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Leena El-Sadek, Duke University
Nali Gillespie, Duke University
Ebony Hargro, Kenan Institute for Ethics Human Rights Fellow
Iris Kim, Kenan Institute for Ethics Human Rights Fellow
Logan Laguna-Kirkpatrick, Kenan Institute for Ethics Human Rights Fellow
Menaka Nayar, Duke alumna (T’11, L’14)
Sarah Niss, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Shruti Rao, Kenan Institute for Ethics Human Rights Fellow
Tra Tran, Duke University
Arpita Varghese, Duke University

Alumni Discussant Bios

Tosin Agbabiaka T’10 was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. He relocated to Katy, Texas at the age of 12, where he completed his middle and high school education. He graduated from Duke with an A.B. in English and minors in Music and Sociology. At Duke, Tosin centered his work on critiquing historical and contemporary social stratification through studies in postcolonial literature, sociological theory, and creative writing. Upon graduating from Duke, Tosin worked with public, private, and social sector organizations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania through the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and developed policy recommendations on various European human rights and migration issues through Humanity in Action fellowships in Copenhagen and at the European Parliament in Brussels. Awarded a Fulbright-Schuman research scholarship for 2012-2013, Tosin conducted an analysis of the efficacy of EU and Greek mechanisms in addressing the asylum and undocumented migration crisis in Greece. Currently, Tosin is a 2nd year JD-MBA student at Yale University, where he is a student director of the Immigration Legal Services clinic, Vice President of the Black Law Students Association, and a member of the Africa Business Practicum and the Africa Law and Policy Association.

Menaka Nayar T’11, L’14 is a first year law clerk (pending admission to the NY Bar) at Linklaters LLP in New York, where she is a member of the International Governance and Development and Dispute Resolution practices. Her practice focuses on advancing good governance across the private and public (development and humanitarian) sectors. Representative projects with the public sector include: working with African Union states to develop governance frameworks to combat illicit financial flows; analysing stakeholder inputs for the Synthesis Report of the UN Secretary General at the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit; and developing metrics to measure governance and the rule of law in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. Her litigation pro bono practice includes projects on LGBT rights in El Salvador and the conviction and sentencing of battered women in US courts.

Prior to joining Linklaters LLP, Menaka attended Duke University School of Law, where she graduated with a JD/LLM in International and Comparative Law; and Duke University, where she obtained a BA in Political Science. While in law school, Menaka interned at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, the Durham District Attorney’s Office, and Linklaters LLP in New York and London. She also completed a semester-long externship in the chambers of the Co-Investigating Judge at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia, and participated in the International Human Rights Advocacy seminar taught by Professor Jayne Huckerby. At Duke University, she was a participant in the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ DukeEngage Dublin program and also interned for Dublin City Council’s Office for Integration, working on issues relating to the integration of immigrants and refugees to Ireland. A classically trained dancer, Menaka was a member of Defining Movement – a multicultural dance group – throughout her Duke career.

Panelist Abstracts

Panel 1 Confronting Mass Atrocities: Interventions and Accountability Mechanisms

Olivia Abrecht
U.S. Corporate Accountability for Human Rights Abuses Abroad: A Case Study of Ford Motor Company in Argentina

Ford Motor Company is often hailed as a model of capitalist enterprise, but in the minds of millions of Argentine citizens, it is associated with terror, kidnapping, and murder. Three former Ford Argentina executives are about to stand trial in the province of Buenos Aires for crimes against humanity committed during the military dictatorship of the l970s. This presentation will discuss the details of the case and examine the broader effort over the last 30 years to hold Ford Motor Company and its subsidiary accountable – both in Argentina and the United States. Through the lens of this case and others, this presentation will explore the obstacles to enforcement of international human rights law and the role of social movements in seeing that justice is done.

Danielle Allyn
The Promise of Peace: UNSC Resolutions 2098 and 2147 and the Protection of Congolese Civilians

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (hereafter, the DRC, DR Congo, or “Congo”) remains home to one of the largest humanitarian crises since the Second World War. As the largest and longest-running UN peacekeeping force in organization history, the UN Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO) boasts a civilian protection record characterized by limited success. During the late 1990s, a series of peacekeeping failures inspired a series of scholarly critiques and UN reforms. International political will coalesced around the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). MONUSCO represents a test case for the operationalization of R2P. This paper analyzes UN Security Council Resolutions 2098 and 2147 and their impact on MONUSCO’s capacity to protect civilians in eastern DRC. Drawing on interviews with UN personnel and Congolese civilians, the present research constructs a case for the limited operational success of UNSC 2098 on measures of civilian protection.

Sarah Niss
Trials and Reconciliation: Transitional Justice in Argentina, Chile, Peru and Paraguay

This thesis explores the relationship between human right trials and reconciliation between state and society in Latin America. I suggest that the final step before reconciliation can occur is the trial of a strongman figure. The trial of a strongman leads to reconciliation through the process of truth telling, establishment of a historical record and psychological benefits of individual justice. Furthermore, reconciliation is also achieved due to the factors that make the trial possible—namely, experience with other transitional justice mechanisms, development of democratic institutions and strong civil society organizations. These factors coalesce into the trial of a strongman, which leads to a higher degree of reconciliation, as seen in the cases of Argentina, Chile and Peru. Paraguay, conversely, was not able to progress to the trial of a strongman.

Panel 2 Human Rights Narratives: From Personal to Collective

Leena El-Sadek
Living with Faith for Now: Journey of Iraqi refugees in Egypt

Refugees from Iraq have witnessed violence in their communities, and many of them have personally experienced it. Iraqis have been displaced to neighboring countries, such as Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. Though in exile, memories of the past continue to linger. People cope in different ways, and this thesis explores how Iraqi refugees in Egypt heal and re-imagine a world that makes sense to them. Using 15 life-story interviews from Iraqi refugees in Egypt, in addition to field-site observations in Jordan, Amman and Durham, North Carolina, this thesis argues that faith offers moments to heal, re-make their worlds, and re-imagine better futures. The interviews suggest that faith is derived differently for male and female Iraqi refugees. Female Iraqi refugees discussed faith in terms of outwardly religious expression, such as the Quran, mosque, hijab, and collective prayers. Male Iraqi refugees, however, described their faith as a “feeling” or a personal relationship between themselves and Allah. Though faith precipitates out of different behaviors and activities, Iraqi refugees in Egypt cling onto their faith to keep imagining better futures. They keep working, and as evidenced by latest encounters with the Durham refugee community, they keep migrating, hoping that they will, one day, discover a safe, comfortable life that makes sense to them.

Nali Gillespie & Tra Tran
The effects of humanitarianism on Syrian and Iraqi refugees living in Jordan, A Case Study

This case study explores how refugees from Iraq and Syria characterize their experiences in Jordan, a country of asylum. Both Iraqis and Syrians in Jordan have been waiting for extended periods of time, as repatriation is not feasible given the unstable conditions in Iraq and Syria and the UNHCR can only resettle a limited number of refugees every year. Based on thirty seven life story interviews collected in the spring and summer of 2014, we find refugees characterize their suffering as a lost sense of purpose. Purpose is understood through an individual’s ability to participate and contribute to society. We argue that the focus of humanitarian assistance on basic needs and inability of humanitarian governments to protect rights, in light of the restrictions and regulations Syrians and Iraqis face, are important contributing factors. Because Syrians and Iraqis live as second class individuals and the dimensions of their life in Jordan are limited, asylum can be distressing, even if physical security has been achieved and refugees’ time in Jordan is temporary. Without a purposeful intermediate time, refugees reimagine the future and re-orient a sense of purpose in their lives through either return or resettlement.

Arpita Varghese
A Sense of Us: Strategies and Activisms of Muslim Women’s Organizations in the Uniform Civil Code Debate

“Indian Secularism” is understood as the State’s acceptance of different religions and their practices. Consequently, the Constitution allows for Personal Laws that empower religious authorities to enforce religious laws on personal matters. However, legislators also approved a directive to establish a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) applicable to all citizens. Of the three personal law systems, Hindu, Muslim and Christian Personal Laws, the Muslim Personal Law has received the most scrutiny. Historically, the “Muslim woman” is seen as the victim in need of saving. My paper explores how Muslim women, as organizers and activists, are active participants in the UCC debate. I contrast how two Muslim Women’s Organizations, the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan and Awaaz-e-Niswaan, approach this issue. The organizations, each questioning what it means to be an Indian, Muslim woman, participate and shape the UCC discourse differently. They challenge the very idea of Indian secularism and lead it to new directions.

Nov 172014
 November 17, 2014

cropped-394989_10102516289856830_1790556150_n1-2What can the past tell us about the present? This question, once the bedrock of historical enquiry, faded from the academic imagination after the post-structural turn. As utilitarian and deterministic understandings of the past came under attack for ossifying ‘traditions’, a new periodization took shape–now familiar to anthropologists and historians alike–of a post-colonial present separated from its ‘authentic’ past by the unbridgeable gulf of European imperialism and colonial modernity. The workshop aims to probe the limits of this approach by bringing together anthropologists and historians interested in exploring the manifold relationships various pasts have with the present day world. The workshop will focus on Muslim societies as the primary context to conceptualize the interplay between historical inquiry and analysis of emergent social forms.

Friedl 225, East Campus, Duke University

For call for papers, speakers, and schedule, visit the workshop website. The workshop is sponsored by Duke Cultural Anthropology, Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Franklin Humanities InstituteDuke Islamic Studies, Duke Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, and Duke History Department.

Nov 172014
 November 17, 2014

This workshop maps the broad conceptual parameters of Central American-American Studies and explores them through history, cultural and literary studies, and humanistic social sciences, as well as interdisciplinary frameworks. Engaging with this transnational U.S. population, Subjects of and for Central American-American Studies aims to proceed with the critical baton of academic conversation started after the historic 2012 Teresa Lozano Long conference at The University of Texas at Austin on “Central Americans and the Latino/a Landscape: New Configurations of Latina/o America” and the summer 2013 special issue of Latino Studies on “U.S. Central Americans: Representations, Agency and Communities.” Questions to be worked through include: what is “Central American-American” (and the very language that names it), how is it brought into view, what is its past and future, how is it dialoguing with Latino/a Studies, and are there new geographic sites and analytic nests of possibilities?

Organized by Duke Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South and co-sponsored by the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Program in Women’s Studies, Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies.

Friday, April 17, 9:00am-6:30pm
Pink Parlor, East Duke Building

ARTURO ARIAS The University of Texas at Austin
MARITZA CARDENAS The University of Arizona
CARY CORDOVA The University of Texas at Austin
KENCY CORNEJO The University of New Mexico
ÓSCAR MARTÍNEZ Journalist at El Faro & author of The Beast (Verso, 2013)
KIRSTEN SILVA GRUESZ University of California at Santa Cruz

Nov 162014
 November 16, 2014

Genocide-400This workshop will consider the language of genocide from its inception to the present.  While teaching at Duke Law School in the 1940s, Raphael Lemkin effectively coined the term “genocide,” referring to the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, caste, religious, or national group. Today, the term is a mainstay of contemporary human rights discussion and policy, now referring to a diverse swath of ethically charged human atrocities, from slavery to microbial disease. With diverse expertise and knowledge of linguistics, history, literature, public policy, political science, and human rights philosophy, this project aims to influence and improve international policy focused on the topic of genocide.

This workshop is part of the Humanities Writ Large and KIE/Bass Connections project “The Language of Genocide and Human Rights.” The workshop is co-sponsored by Duke Council for European Studies. This event is free and open to the public – RSVP here.

The Language of Genocide: Discourse and Policy, 1915-2015
Thursday,  Apr 16, 2015
101 West Duke Building


8:45-9am–Opening remarks
9-10:30am Panel 1–Naming a Problem from Hell: Languages of Violence, 1880-1950
Chair: Prof James Chappel
Panelists: Anson Rabinbach, Mira Siegelberg, Keith Watenpaugh
Respondent: Matthew Cole
10:45am-12:00pm Panel 2–Genocides in All But Name? Holocaust and Holodomor
Chair: Thomas Prendergast
Panelists: Douglas Irvin-Erickson, Gennadi Pobereżny, Rebecca Wittmann
Respondent: Roy Doron and Aladar Madarasz
1:00-2:15pm Panel 3–The Rebirth of Genocide and Emergence of R2P: Discourse and Policy in the 1990s and Beyond
Chair: Suzanne Katzenstein
Panelists: David Abramowitz, Thomas Weiss, Bruce Jentleson
Respondent: Nora Nunn
2:30-3:30pm  Panel 4–Student Genocide Research at Duke 
3:30-3:45pm Closing Remarks


David Abramowitz
Vice President of Policy and Government Relations, Humanity United
Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC

James Chappel
Assistant Professor of History, Duke University, Durham, NC

Roy Doron
Assistant Professor of History, Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC

Ruth Grant
Senior Fellow, Kenan Institute for Ethics
Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, Duke University, Durham, NC

Malachi Hacohen
Bass Fellow and Associate Professor of History, Political Science and Religion
Director, Council for European Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC

Douglas Irvin-Erickson
Fellow of Peacemaking Practice, Director of the Genocide Prevention Program
George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Bruce Jentleson
Professor, Public Policy and Political Science, Duke University, Durham, NC

Suzanne Katzenstein
Research Scholar & Project Director at the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics
Duke University, Durham, NC

Aladar Madarasz
Institute of Economics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

Nora Nunn
PhD Student in English, Duke University

Thomas Prendergast
PhD Student in History, Duke University, Durham, NC

Gennadi Pobereżny
Associate, Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Anson Rabinbach
Professor of Modern European History, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Mira Siegelberg
Fellow, Princeton Society of Fellow, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Keith Watenpaugh
Associate Professor of Modern Islam, Human Rights and Peace, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

Thomas Weiss
Presidential Professor, Political Science, City University of New York, New York, NY

Rebecca Wittmann
Chair and Associate Professor, History, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, ON Canada

Panelist Bios

Abramowitz Biography

Abramowitz Photo BWDavid Abramowitz currently is Vice President for Policy and Government Relations at Humanity United, a foundation that focuses on building peace and preventing deadly violence, including working on Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic and atrocity prevention more broadly.Over the course of his ten year career at the Department, he worked on arms control agreements with the then Soviet Union, advised the Department on regional issues relating to the Middle East, and helped the Department guide foreign policy legislation through the U.S. Congress, including legislation reorganizing the foreign affairs agencies.

In 1999, Mr. Abramowitz joined the staff of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, serving as Democratic Chief Counsel from 1999 to 2006 and as Chief Counsel from 2007 to 2009.  In addition to advising members of Congress on constitutional questions and international law issues, including on issues of international war crimes tribunal, international justice and the International Criminal Court, he has worked on such legislation as authorizing the use of the US Armed Forces abroad, Victims of Trafficking and Violence Act of 2000, legislation creating the Millennium Challenge Corporation and legislation implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. After becoming Chief Counsel to the Committee in 2007, Mr. Abramowitz assisted on the reauthorization of U.S. international HIV/AIDS programs and the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act, and led efforts to pass the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 and the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2009.

Mr. Abramowitz graduated from Kalamazoo College with a B.A. and grom the University of Michigan Law School with a J.D. He is the author of several articles and has testified annually before Congress since he left government.  Mr. Abramowitz has also been an adjunct professor at George Washington University School of Law and has been a frequent guest lecturer.

Doron Bio

Doron headshot BWRoy Doron is Assistant Professor of History at Winston-Salem State University. He is the author, with Toyin Falola, of a forthcoming biography of Ken Saro-Wiwa from Ohio University Press as well as several journal articles, book chapters and encyclopedia articles on the Nigerian Civil War. His main research focuses on the Nigerian Civil War and the war’s effect on identity formation and state-society relations. His work is also concerned with the ways that the Biafran government framed their public diplomacy as a war against a genocidal enemy and how that idea has shaped the memory of the war in Nigeria and abroad.  Doron received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and his B.A. from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Irvin-Erickson Biography

Douglas Irvin-EricksonDouglas Irvin-Erickson is Fellow of Peacemaking Practice and Director of the Genocide Prevention Program at The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University. He is the author of chapters and articles on genocide and political theory, and Raphael Lemkin, and the co-editor of Hidden Genocides: Power, Knowledge, and Memory. His current research includes a book on the life and works of Raphael Lemkin, based on his dissertation. He is co-editing a volume titled, Violence, Religion, Peacemaking: Contributions of Interreligious Dialogue; a volume of proceedings of a conference marking the 80th anniversary on the Great Famine; and a volume on the Holodomor and policies of genocide in Soviet Ukraine. Irvin-Erickson also serves as Associate Editor of “Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal,” the official publication of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. He holds a Ph.D. in Global Affairs from Rutgers University , and an M.A. in English Literature.

Jentleson Biography

Jentleson Pic BWBruce Jentleson is Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, where he previously served as Director of the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy (now the Sanford School of Public Policy). He is a leading scholar of American foreign policy and has served in a number of U.S. policy and political positions.  Jentleson has published numerous books including American Foreign Policy: The Dynamics of Choice in the 21st Century (5th edition, W.W. Norton, 2013); The End of Arrogance: America in the Global Competition of Ideas, co-authored with Steven Weber (Harvard University Press, 2010); and With Friends Like These: Reagan, Bush and Saddam, 1982-1990 (W.W. Norton, 1994). His current book (working title) is Profiles in Statesmanship: Seeking a Better World.  Jentleson holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University, and was recipient of the American Political Science Association’s Harold D. Lasswell Award for his doctoral dissertation. He earned a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell, including study at the Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia.

Pobereżny Biography

Pobereżny Headshot BWGennadi Q. Pobereżny is the chief cartographer and the liaison officer for the Holodomor Atlas project and a research associate at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. He is also collaborating on two other Holodomor related projects: co-editing a volume of proceedings of a conference marking the 80th anniversary on the Great Famine, and co-authoring a book on the Holodomor and policies of genocide in Soviet Ukraine. Gennadi has interest in the history of Crimea during World War II and the subsequent fate of its population and is involved in a relevant project on the subject as well. He is also interested in transitional societies of Eastern Europe, particularly focusing on administrative reforms and accommodation of regionalism. Dr. Pobereżny holds graduate degrees in sustainable systems, geography, political science, and global affairs; he enjoys collecting and making maps and is proficient with GIS and cartographic software. Gennadi previously taught various collegiate courses on political and cultural geography of international relations, comparative politics of post-Soviet and post-colonial transitional societies, imperialism and nationalism. Before joining the Holodomor Atlas team, he worked as an intelligence analyst for the US Army in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He is an alumnus of Rutgers University and resides in New Jersey.

Rabinbach Biography

Rabinbach BWAnson Rabinbach is professor of history at Princeton University and is a founding editor of New German Critique.  He was  Director of the Program in European Cultural Studies from 1998 to 2009.  He has been awarded fellowships at the American Academy, Berlin (2005) and by the Guggenheim Foundation.  As a Fulbright Senior Scholar he was visiting Professor at Smolny College, St. Petersburg (2004) , at the Institute for 20th Century History Jena (2009), the Simon-Dubnow Institut (Leipzig, 2014)and was a Fellow at the IDirecteur d’etudes at the  Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Social, Paris. Before coming to Princeton he taught at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and Hampshire College.

His research focuses on the cultural and intellectual history of modern Europe.  Among his books are:  The Crisis of Austrian Socialism: From Red Vienna to Civil War 1927-1934 (The University of Chicago Press, 1981), The Human Motor: Energy, Fatigue, and the Origins of Modernity (Basic Books,1991), In the Shadow of Catastrophe: German Intellectuals Between Apocalypse and Enlightenment (University of California Press, 1996).  He has recently completed a documentary history of Nazi Germany, The Third Reich Sourcebook, co-edited with Sander Gilman  (The University of California Press. 2013).  His current research is a conceptual history of the twentieth century, entitled “Concepts that Came in from the Cold: Total War, Totalitarianism, Genocide”.

Siegelberg Biography

siegelberg picture BWMira Siegelberg is a Perkins-Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Princeton Society of Fellows and a Lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and History.  Siegelberg’s work explores the history of international society, international relations theory, international law, human rights, and the intellectual history of international order. She is currently completing a book manuscript on the history of statelessness from World War I to the present day. Siegelberg received her Ph.D. in international history from Harvard University in 2014 and holds a B.A. in history and human rights from Columbia University.

Watenpaugh Biography

watenpaugh 250 pixels BWKeith David Watenpaugh is a historian and associate professor of Human Rights Studies at the University of California, Davis.  He is founding director of the UC Davis Human Rights Initiative, co-director of the UC Human Rights Collaboration, President of the Syrian Studies Association and the director of joint UC Davis, Institute of International Education, Carnegie Corporation of New York research project on the conditions facing refugee Syrian university students.  Author of two major books in Modern Middle East History, including Being Modern in the Middle East (Princeton: 2006) and Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism (California: 2015) his articles have appeared in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, the American Historical Review, Journal of Human Rights, Humanity, Social History, the Armenian Review, The Huffington Post,and the Chronicle of Higher Education; and his work has been translated into French, German, Arabic, Persian, Armenian and Turkish.

Weiss Biography

Weiss Photo BWThomas G. Weiss is Presidential Professor of Political Science at The CUNY Graduate Center and Director Emeritus (2001-14) of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies; he is also research professor at SOAS, University of London. He directed the United Nations Intellectual History Project (1999-2010) and was President of the International Studies Association (2009-10), Chair of the Academic Council on the UN System (2006-9), editor of Global Governance, Research Director of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, Research Professor at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies, Executive Director of the Academic Council on the UN System and of the International Peace Academy, a member of the UN secretariat, and a consultant to several public and private agencies. He has written extensively about multilateral approaches to international peace and security, humanitarian action, and sustainable development. Recent authored volumes include: Governing the World? Addressing “Problems without Passports” (2014); The United Nations and Changing World Politics (2014); Global Governance: Why? What? Whither? (2013); Humanitarian Business (2013); Humanitarianism Intervention: Ideas in Action (2012); What’s Wrong with the United Nations and How to Fix It (2012); Thinking about Global Governance, Why People and Ideas Matter (2011); Humanitarianism Contested: Where Angels Fear to Tread (2011); Global Governance and the UN: An Unfinished Journey (2010); and UN Ideas That Changed the World (2009).

Wittmann Biography

Wittmann Photo BWRebecca Wittmann (PhD University of Toronto) is Associate Professor of History at the University of Toronto and Chair of the Department of Historical Studies at UTM. Her research focuses on the Holocaust and postwar Germany, trials of Nazi perpetrators and terrorists, and German legal history. She has received fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). She has published articles in Central European History, German History, and Lessons and Legacies. Her book, Beyond Justice: The Auschwitz Trial (Harvard University Press, 2005) won the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History. She is currently working on her second book project entitled Guilt and Shame through the Generations: Confronting the Past in Postwar Germany.


Abramowitz Abstract

The United States has had a mixed record of adopting the Responsibility to Protect or R2P as a framing for describing its approach to the four named crimes of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing,  At times, the United States has turned to “atrocity prevention” or “protection of civilians” as its preferred approach.  Key countries inevitably have focused critically on Pillar III of R2P, which addresses the controversial endorsement of the need for international collective action if a government manifestly fails to protect its people.  The use of the doctrine in the context of the Libya operation, and the deep military engagement exercised by NATO, left countries wary of the invocation of the doctrine.  Yet there remains an important and unfulfilled opportunity presented by Pillar I and II, which offer the promise of preventing mass atrocities in the first place.  These divisions are mirrored among civil society, with some advocacy groups remained committed to the framing of stopping mass atrocities and genocide as a more powerful and politically palatable approach to engaging policy makers and mobilizing public opinion, while a community is developing to support the R2P approach to these issues.

Doron Abstract
Biafra Defiant: Genocide, Propaganda and the Biafran War Effort in 1969

In the summer of 1969, Biafran forces had lost much ground during the war, but seemed to have managed to stop their imminent collapse. One of the central tenets of their war effort was a very effective global and local campaign to convince the world that they were fighting a war for their very survival against a genocidal foe bent on the extermination of the Igbo people. The summer of 1969 saw the carefully constructed propaganda campaign begin to collapse, as military defeats mounted. This project examines the response to Biafran propaganda both at home and abroad, and evaluates how the secessionist state’s rhetoric, which was so effective at the beginning of the war, lost much of its impact. Scrutiny of documents from Biafra and outside the country show that the propaganda machine began to lose its effectiveness, both in the country and abroad. Both of these factors had important implications on Biafra’s ability to continue the war and were some of the main catalysts for the defeat that came in January 1970.

Irvin-Erickson and Pobereżny Abstract

Over the last eighty years, there have been many ways to refer to the Great Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933. While they were intended to denote a clear empirical—and historical—reality, they did more than name or describe the phenomenon of state directed famine. While foreign language newspapers used the terms famine and catastrophe, the phenomenon, later to be known as the “Holodomor”, entered into the world discourse of international law under the labels of “state terror,” crimes against nations, crimes against humanity, and genocide. These different terms carried ontological distinctions that had consequences for how the events were perceived, interpreted, and understood.

The circumstances of this famine were instrumental in Raphael Lemkin’s formulation of the concept of genocide, when, in 1933, he proposed outlawing barbarism and vandalism. Yet, during the late 1940s, Lemkin was reluctant to use his own term “genocide” to describe the famine because he needed to cajole and convince the Soviet Union to sign the UN Genocide Convention. The term “Holodomor,” while used by the Ukrainian diaspora since the 1950s, was not in common use until the early 1980s, when there was a great push by the Ukrainian émigré community in North America to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the famine. With the emergence of an independent Ukraine in 1991, a new academic field of Holodomor Studies came into existence with ever strengthening links to a Genocide Studies paradigm informed by the Lemkin’s contribution to the discipline. The findings and conclusions of Holodomor scholars from around the world are fiercely contested by Russia, which sees itself as the heir to the Soviet Union and fears liabilities for the Soviet policies.

Jentleson Abstract

I will (a) discuss Obama administration policy as relates to R2P in ways that complement David Abramowitz’s presentation, (b) draw lessons from the Libya 2011 case, and (c) discuss efforts by a range of international actors  to build capacity for atrocities prevention consistent with Pillars 1 and 2.

Rabinbach Abstract

Just a few years ago, the Polish-Jewish jurist, Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959) could be described as a “largely forgotten immigrant from Poland who coined the word genocide and pushed a convention outlawing it through the General Assembly.” (NYTimes June 19, 2001). Even less well known is the story of how, from the very outset, Lemkin, and his United Nations genocide convention were deeply entwined with the politics of race in early post World War II America.  Pro-Soviet African-American intellectuals and political activists saw the genocide Convention as an opportunity to address the issue of lynching in the American South. The result was a petition entitled We Charge Genocide; The Crime of Government against the Negro People signed by the leading figures of the early civil rights movement, including W.E.B. Dubois and Paul Robeson, and presented to the United Nations in December 1951 by Robeson (in New York) and by William Patterson in Paris.  The Truman Government, fearing a propaganda victory for Stalin, abandoned its’ support for the genocide convention and took aggressive measures against the petition’s organizers.  Southern Democrats seized the opportunity to stigmatize the convention as a Soviet propaganda device and Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term genocide in 1943, distanced himself from the petition. As Lemkin wrote, “lynchings will become a matter of international concern and will be used by the USSR against he U.S. for propaganda purposes.” Lemkin viewed the looming controversy over race as dooming U.S. support for his convention.  And as it turned out, he was not wrong.  By 1949 Lemkin, developed what even a sympathetic biographer called “an obsession bordering on paranoia” and recommended the “tactical” need to sever any linkage between genocide and human rights or civil rights.  In the 1940s and early 1950s, memory of the Holocaust, racial atrocities in the American South, the politics of civil rights advocacy, U.S. foreign policy, and the fate of the genocide Convention were inextricably tied together.

Siegelberg Abstract
Lemkin’s Rivalries: Genocide and the History of International Law

This paper examines Raphael Lemkin’s campaign for the Genocide Convention in the context of other internationalist projects pursued at the UN in the postwar era. Lemkin’s project to create an internationally recognized law to make genocide a crime was legalistic in its implicit faith in the power of lawmaking. However, he cannily sought to distance the Convention from those promoting the renewal of international law in a period defined more by realist skepticism about interwar approaches to global law-making. Instead, he rooted genocide in a religiously inflected moral idiom that could distance his project from those pursuing a broader agenda of international legal codification and embraced the looser methods of persuasion and publicity. The paper contextualizes Lemkin’s rivalry with the legalists by examining the effort by UN civil servants and international lawyers to revive the prewar project to expand international law, arguing that it compels a reconsideration of Lemkin’s, and the Genocide Convention’s, place in the history of international law and legal order more broadly.

Watenpaugh Abstract

The study of genocide rightly focuses on mass killing and extra-judicial murder. However, among the most critical insights of Raphael Lemkin in his work on the concepts of Barbarity and Vandalism before World War II, and his articulation of the legal theory of Genocide in its aftermath, was that genocide is more than just killing, but is also an assault on the moral underpinnings of society through measures and policies that fall short of physical murder.  Nonetheless, it is often difficult to qualify the role of these paralethal dimensions of genocide; and as their discussion tends to cross into the fields of colonialism, the treatment of indigenous peoples and sexual and gender based violence, they have proved quite controversial in the formulation of international human rights law, and continue to be contested in public policy and programs for transitional justice.  This paper borrows the concept of social death from feminist theory and the study of slavery to explore the broader social significance of three paralethal elements of the genocide of the Ottoman Armenians (1915-1923): child transfer, the trafficking of women and children, and forced conversion to Islam.  Not only does social death form a useful intellectual framework for understanding  genocide writ large, but by employing the concept, it makes the multidimensional and transgenerational harm of genocide more legible.

Weiss Abstract

A political and military roller-coaster ride is the most apt image for R2P’s trajectory from the periphery to the center of international debate. With the possible exception of Lemkin’s work on genocide, the normative itinerary has been the most rapid in my lifetime, a move from the prose and passion of a blue-ribbon international commission toward a mainstay on the public policy agenda since the December 2001 release of the ICISS report.  R2P represents the middle ground for coming to the rescue of civilians is larger than ever, even if there hardly has been too much but rather too little deployment of military force for human protection purposes. The examples of humanitarian non-intervention have in fact been far more numerous than of humanitarian intervention.

Wittmann Abstract
Prosecuting Mass Murder with the Wrong Tools: Lessons from Germany

In this paper I will examine the failure of the German justice system to cope with mass atrocity from the immediate postwar period to the present. Legal obstacles to real justice in the case of Nazi crime were instituted knowingly by the Ministry of Justice from its earliest inception – before its official founding with the creation of the West German state in 1949 – and the legacy of these obstacles remains present and troubling to this day. By looking at three specific trials through the decades – The Auschwitz Trial in the 1960s, the Majdanek trial in the 1970s and 80s, and the Demjanjuk Trial in 2009-10 – I will argue that early roadblocks led to an ongoing dismal record of prosecution and a legal blindness to genocide.

Nov 142014
 November 14, 2014

SuWA-400Join the student and local refugee community members of SuWA for an opening celebration for ‘Voices of Home,” a Photovoice project featuring photography by 14 Iraqi women documenting their new lives in Durham. These refugee women use images and stories to explore a redefinition of home. Hand-crafted goods will also be available for sale at the reception.

SuWA (Supporting Women’s Action) is a program of empowerment, education, and enterprise uniting locally resettled refugee women with students working through the Kenan Institute for Ethics.

Tuesday, April 14, 6:00pm
Keohane Kenan Gallery, West Duke Building

The exhibition will be on display Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm, through June 1.

Nov 142014
 November 14, 2014

Punk-singer filterThe Punk Singer (dir. Sini Anderson, 2013) is about Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, and how she rose to national attention as the reluctant but never shy voice of the riot grrrl movement. She became one of the most famously outspoken feminist icons, a cultural lightning rod. Her critics wished she would just shut-up, and her fans hoped she never would. So in 2005, when Hanna stopped shouting, many wondered why. Through 20 years of archival footage* and intimate interviews with Hanna, THE PUNK SINGER takes viewers on a fascinating tour of contemporary music and offers a never-before-seen view into the life of this fearless leader.

The film will begin at 7:00pm  in the Griffith Film Theater in Duke University’s Bryan Center, followed by a Q&A session with Duke University faculty.

The screenings are free and open to the public. Refreshments are provided.

Parking is available in the Bryan Center Parking Deck. Upon leaving the film, you may receive a voucher to hand to the attendant.

This year’s Ethics Film Series, “Sound Beliefs: Music, Ethics, Identity,” centers on the idea that music can act as a space and as an action at and through which identity is contested, exchanged, and upheld. This year’s four films—which range from a modern-day musical about the love story of a Czech immigrant and an Irishman, to a documentary profile of aging Cuban musicians who find global notoriety — explore the many ways ethics, morals, and personal identity are expressed and shared through music.

Nov 132014
 November 13, 2014

Dhaka_Savar_Building_Collaps-400eThe Kenan Institute for Ethics Prize in Regulatory Ethics and Human Rights is an essay competition for undergraduate students interested in business ethics, workplace safety and regulation, and human rights. This year’s policy focus is the regulatory responses to the collapse of Rana Plaza on April 24, 2013, which caused the deaths of over 1,100 people and injured 2,500 more. Located in Bangladesh, the eight story building housed several factories that churned out cheap clothes for stores around the world — including retailers like Walmart, JC Penney, H&M, and Benetton. Rana Plaza sparked protests around the world as workers and human rights activists pushed for greater corporate responsibility and government oversight of the garment industry.

On April 13, at 5:00PM in West Duke 101, please join finalists Emily Feng, Ava Jackson & Joseph Wu, and Diana Tarrazo, as they present their research before a panel of judges, including Allan Freyer, Steven J. Lerner, and Layna Mosley. The judges will select the first, second, and third prize winners from among the finalists.

Information on the Judges

Allan Freyer, Director, Workers’ Rights Project at the North Carolina Justice Center
A Duke alum, Mr. Freyer has over ten years of professional experience working in local, state, and Federal economic policy. In 2011, he joined the North Carolina Justice Center as a Policy Analyst in their Budget & Tax center, focusing on economic and workplace development, as well as state-level economic analysis. In 2014, he took over as Director of the Workers’ Rights Project at the Justice Center, which works at the state policy level to expand safe workplace policies, improve the well-being of working families and enable North Carolina workers to access economic security and stability.

Steven J. Lerner, Founder and Managing Partner, Blue Hill Group
Dr. Lerner is the Founder and Managing Partner of the Blue Hill Group, a successful venture capital firm based in Chapel Hill. Over the past 30 years, Dr. Lerner has invested his time, resources, and financial expertise into helping small and medium sized entrepreneurial firms maximize their potential. In addition to serving as a Managing Partner at the Blue Hill Group and Partner for LaunchBox Digital, an organization that provides seed capital and mentoring to new start-ups, and for several marketing and communications firms, Dr. Lerner has served on several boards for local non-profit and community organizations. In 2011, he was elected to a four year term on the UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees where he sits on President’s Council on Community Solutions.

Layna Mosley, Professor of Political Science, UNC Chapel Hill
Also a Duke alum, Dr. Mosley specializes in international relations and international political economy. Much of her research focuses on the impacts of international investors on national policy. Her most recent work investigates the ways in which private investors shape workers’ rights in developing nations and the role of the private sector in the global regulation of financial markets. Her most recent book, Labor Rights and Multinational Production, argues that direct foreign investment can positively affect local labor rights, but can also lead to a comparative “race to the bottom” as nations compete for foreign contracts.

Monday, April 13
West Duke 101

Free and open to the public, Reception to follow
Free parking in the GA Dr. Circle off of Campus Drive — the attendant will direct you.

Nov 102014
 November 10, 2014

Reg-RR-capThe Rethinking Regulation seminar series presents Professor Eleanor Fox (Walter J. Derenberg Professor of Trade Regulation at New York University School of Law) to discuss the quality of competition regimes across developing countries in her talk, “Competition Law and Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa – Does it Promote Efficiency and Development? Efficient Development? Efficient Inclusive Development?

Before joining the faculty of NYU Law School, Professor Fox was a partner at the New York law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. She has served as a member of the International Competition Policy Advisory Committee to the Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice (1997-2000) (President Clinton) and as a Commissioner on President Carter’s National Commission for the Review of Antitrust Laws and Procedures (1978-79). She has advised numerous younger antitrust jurisdictions, including South Africa, Egypt, Tanzania, The Gambia, Indonesia, Russia, Poland and Hungary, and the common market COMESA. Fox received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Paris-Dauphine in 2009. She was awarded an inaugural Lifetime Achievement award in 2011 by the Global Competition Review for “substantial, lasting and transformational impact on competition policy.”

This event is hosted by George C. Lamb Fellow in Regulatory Governance Umut Aydin, and is sponsored by the Rethinking Regulation Program at the Kenan Institute for Ethics and co-sponsored by the Center for International and Comparative Law at Duke Law School.

Friday, April 10
Law 4055

Please RSVP to Umut Aydin by Wednesday, April 8, to receive a copy of Professor Fox’s paper to read in advance.