Feb 202018
 February 20, 2018

March 5 is the date President Trump has set as the day that he will rescind and begin phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. The After DACA/ Más Allá de DACA symposium will use the milestone of the cancellation—and/or other developments that occur between this writing and March 1—as an opportunity to discuss humanitarian, legal, and policy issues related to DACA and other in-between statuses.

The forum will air these issues within a transnational context, primarily by examining Mexico but also by drawing parallels between dilemmas faced by DACA recipients and by those from Central America and Haiti who have been eligible for Temporary Protected Status. The symposium will feature scholars and analysts from Duke, the Migration Policy Institute, Americans for Immigrant Justice, Mexicans in Exile, Universidad de Veracruz, the New School, Durham Public Schools, and ODA, as well as students—some with DACA status—from Duke, UNC-CH, UNCG, Davidson, and Mexican universities, in addition to community advocates such as Alerta Migratoria and the NC Dream Coalition.

Learn more about the event here.

Feb 142018
 February 14, 2018

In The Twilight of Cutting: African Activism and Life after NGOs Saida Hodzic explores the role of Ghanaian feminist and reproductive health NGOs that have organized campaigns against female genital cutting over the last 30 years, a period that has seen a decrease in cutting across Africa, and an increase in discourses surrounding cutting in the West. In problematizing their campaigns, transnational and regional encounters and the forms of governmentality that they produce, the book offers a critical lens on the claims of human rights, and the limits of cultural relativism and feminist activism. In this conversation, we would like to explore the book’s implications for a) how US-based people do and do not, but should support human rights in the global South and b) what the book reveals about the unique challenges and opportunities for human rights activism when governed by a liberal vs. illiberal administration.

Join us for a conversation:

· Saida Hodžić, Anthropology (Cornell University)

· Anu Sharma, Associate Professor, Anthropology (Wesleyan University)

· Moderated by Catherine Mathers, International and Comparative Studies (Duke)

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.

To RSVP for the event, email Suzanne Katzenstein by noon April 2nd,

The event will be held on Thursday, April 5th the Ahmadieh Family Conference Room, West Duke, Room 101.

Feb 142018
 February 14, 2018

The Duke Islamic Studies Center, along with the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, will host its keynote event on March 1st, as part of the “American Muslims, Civil and Human Rights” series, which examines the current human rights crisis for Muslims in the U.S.

Alaa Murabit is a medical doctor, one of 17 Global Sustainable Development Goal Advocates appointed by the UN Secretary General, and a UN High-Level Commissioner on Health Employment & Economic Growth. Her efficacy in security, health policy and sustainable development was most recently recognized by Forbes, Aspen Ideas and Bay Street Bull who named her a 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30, Aspen Institute Spotlight Scholar, and Canada’s 30×30 respectively. Her leadership in global policy and in elevating the role of women, particularly young, minority women, on global platforms was recognized by Harvard Law who named her the youngest 2017 Woman Inspiring Change.

This event is open to the public.

Where: Perkins 217

When: 5:00-6:30


Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies
The International Human Rights Clinic at Duke Law School
International Comparative Studies
POLIS: The Center for Political Leadership, Innovation and Service
Duke Global Health Institute

Feb 132018
 February 13, 2018

This roundtable will discuss the perverse incentives of ‘impact’ in academia; the ethics of authorship, board membership and publication; and practicing freedom of speech in our contemporary political climate. We will draw from the example of a recent publication by the journal Third World Quarterly of a ‘Viewpoint’ in September 2017 arguing for the merits of colonialism. This piece follows in the footsteps of several Western intellectuals who have tried to reopen debates over the balance sheet of colonialism’s impact. In the context of Trumpism and vocal white supremacy in the US and increasing xenophobia in Europe and parts of Africa, this now deeply controversial essay led to considerable outcry, including nearly half of the Editorial Board of the journal resigning in protest.

This debate about the so-called benefits of colonization comes at a time when universities in Africa and around the world are calling for the decolonization of the curriculum in their institutions. Moreover, the resonance between a paper arguing for colonialism and questions about journal mismanagement and lack of peer-review is ironic given the documented challenges that scholars based in developing country universities face in getting published in high ranking, western-based journals throughout the social sciences and humanities.

This panel will take up the issues of why an argument in support of colonialism could be profitable at this time and what the commodification of scholarship means for decolonizing the academy. The panel includes representatives of the Third World Quarterly Editorial Board, journalism, and scholars and social media activists.

For a brief overview of the case, see here.



Ilan Kapoor, Professor of Critical Development Studies at York University, TWQ Editorial Board Member and development studies scholar specializing in postcolonial perspectives, queering development studies and psychoanalysis.

Lisa Ann Richey, Professor of International Developmetn Studies at Roskilde University, Denmark and Visiting Professor at Kenan Institute for Ethics, TWQ Editorial Board Member and development studies scholar specializing in new actors and alliances in aid, celebrity humanitarianism, and African causes.

Walter Mignolo, William H. Wannamaker Professor of Romance Studies in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Duke

Yolande Bouka,  Postdoctoral Fellow, Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

And moderated by Jessica Namakkal, Assistant Professor of the Practice in International Comparative Studies, Duke


Ahmadieh Family Conference Room, West Duke 101

5:00 – 6:30pm

Please RSVP to Suzanne Katzenstein at sk272@duke.edu by March 5th at noon. 

Feb 072018
 February 7, 2018

How long could you go without your phone?

The Kenan Institute for Ethics is co-sponsoring a performance art piece at the Nasher Museum for Art held by Wendy Hower and Myra Weise. For 4 days, they will be forgoing the ability to check their phones, read, or speak to others in the gallery.

They are looking for volunteers that can sign up for shifts of 6-10 hours during the day on Wednesday, March 7 to Saturday, March 10.  Attendance is free to all Duke employees and students.

If you would like to participate, email Hannah Bondurant.

And read more on DukeToday.



Feb 022018
 February 2, 2018

How do we tell our history? Whose voices are heard? What role does politics play? Join New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu for snacks and discussion to get a different and involved perspective!

Mitch Landrieu was sworn in as the 61st Mayor of New Orleans on May 3, 2010, with a clear mandate to turn the city around following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill. On February 1, 2014, Mayor Landrieu was overwhelmingly re-elected to a second term and is continuing to deliver major victories. Prior to serving as Mayor, Landrieu served as Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana for six years and as a State legislator for 16 years where he earned a reputation as a reformer. Throughout his years of public service, Mitch has governed by the philosophy that New Orleans is “one team, one fight, one voice, and one city.”

Mayor Landrieu is the 2018 Kenan Distinguished Lecturer, whose talk, “Making Straight What Has Been Crooked: The Ethics and Politics of Race in America,” will take place at 7pm on March 2, at the Durham Armory.

Do Lunch is a series of informal lunch discussions, exclusively for currently enrolled Duke undergraduate students, featuring ethical leaders outside of Duke and their decision-making processes.

Snacks are available to students who RSVP; space is limited. Sign-up here.

WHAT: Do Snacks with Mitch Landrieu
WHEN: Friday, March 2, from 4pm to 5pm
WHERE: Ahmadieh Family Conference Room, West Duke 101, East Campus
RSVP: Click here to RSVP.

Jan 242018
 January 24, 2018

Detention, Deportation and Death: America’s Undocumented Immigrants Under Fire

Join us in the Jameson Gallery, 115 Friedl on Feb. 22nd at 5pm for a Talk with Margaret Regan on Undocumented Immigrants in America.

Margaret Regan is the author of two prizewinning books on immigration. Her work has been published in the Washington Post, Al Jazeera English, Utne Reader.  Sojourners, Newsday, Black + White, Photovision and in many regional and local publications. She has appeared on NPR, C-Span Book TV, WHYY Philadelphia, KPFK Los Angeles, Pacifica and many other radio stations, and she gave a TEDx talk in Phoenix. Most recently, in March 2016, Margaret did a solo half-hour Q&A appearance on Book TV’s “Open Phones,” program, taking questions about immigration from viewers around the nation. She’s a regular speaker at the Tucson Festival of Books. Her books have been adopted in many university classrooms, including the University of California Davis, Loyola University Chicago, Franklin Marshall College, James Madison University, Butler University, Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.

This event is co-sponsored by: The Duke Human Rights Center at FHI, The Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Latino Studies, International Comparative Studies, History, Cultural Anthropology, The Human Rights Archive at the Rubenstein Library, The International Human Rights Clinic, and The Center for International and Comparative Law.

Jan 232018
 January 23, 2018

On February 22, Religions and Public Life will host a seminar featuring a new project by Dr. Michael McVaugh (UNC-CH), Dr. Gerrit Bos (Cologne), and Dr. Joseph Shatzmiller (Duke), speaking on the medieval transmission and translation of Arabic medical texts through the West.

Thursday, February 22
Ahmadieh Family Conference Room,
West Duke Building, Room 101

Abstract: The transforming effect of Islamic learning on medieval European civilization, far more poorly known today than it should be, was facilitated by a flood of Arabic-to-Latin translations of medical and philosophical writings in the years 1000-1300. The interreligious and intercultural aspects of these translations and transmissions are notable: Jews were often intermediates in translation because they could read the Arabic and translate it into the Romance vernacular for the Christian translators to go on and turn into Latin. The speakers will give a summary account of this movement, and then go on to examine its effects more closely by studying one specific medical translation that is an utterly unique witness to the process of Arabic-Latin translation in general—its difficulties and its successes, and its methods, with their combination of faithfulness to the original and successful adaptation to new circumstances. This 12th-c Arabic work exists in a Latin version made by a Jewish scholar who translated the Arabic into the Romance vernacular for a Christian surgeon to turn into Latin, and then made his own Hebrew translation of the same text. The speakers will invite reflections on how far translation can allow one culture’s achievements to be communicated to and internalized by another.

Joseph Shatzmiller is the Smart Family Professor Emeritus in Judaic Studies in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University. He is the author of Shylock Reconsidered: Jews, Moneylending and Medieval Society and a more recent volume on Jews, Medicine, and Medieval Society, along with numerous essays on European Jewry in the Middle Ages. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research, and he has taught Jewish history at the University of Haifa and the University of Toronto.

Michael McVaugh is Professor Emeritus and William Smith Wells Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His research focuses on the growth of medical and surgical learning in the Middle Ages, particularly as shaped by the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century universities, and on the concomitant medicalization of European life. Since 1975 he has been a general editor of the collected Latin writings of one of the most famous of medieval physicians, Arnau de Vilanova (d. 1311), a series now nearly complete. Most recently he has been engaged in a series of studies investigating aspects of the process of translation of medical literature in the Middle Ages: translations between Arabic and Latin, between Hebrew and Latin, and between Latin and the European vernaculars.

Gerrit Bos is Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the Martin-Buber-Institut at Cologne University. His main fields of research are medieval Jewish-Islamic science, especially medicine, medieval Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic. Current projects include developing critical editions of Maimonides’ medical works, and editing and translating previously unpublished middle Hebrew medical-botanical texts. (Dr. Bos will be unable to join the seminar at this time.)

For more information, please contact Amber Díaz Pearson. Those coming from outside of Duke University may request a parking pass.

Jan 232018
 January 23, 2018
Join Dr. Lauret Savoy, author of Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape and the Katz Family Fellow of Spring 2018, for a Do Snack (a twist on our Do Lunches) on February 20th, at 4:30pm. A woman of African American, Euro-American, and Native American heritage, Dr. Savoy writes about the stories we tell of the American land’s origins and the stories we tell of ourselves in this land. She is the David B. Truman Professor of Environmental Studies at Mount Holyoke, and has published multiple books, including The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity and the Natural WorldBedrock: Writers on the Wonders of Geology; and Living with the Changing California Coast. She is also a photographer and pilot.
Dr. Savoy has been recognized for the excellence of her writing and teaching. Trace won the 2016 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation and the 2017 ASLE Creative Writing Award. It was also a finalist for the 2016 PEN American Open Book Award and Phillis Wheatley Book Award, as well as shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing and Orion Book Award. Winner of Mount Holyoke’s Distinguished Teaching Award and an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, she has also held fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution and Yale University, and she is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.
What: Do Snack with Lauret Savoy, author of Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscapeonly open to Duke undergraduate students
When: Tuesday, February 20th, from 4:30-5:30pm.
Where: Blue Parlor, East Duke Building, East Campus
Snacks will be served.
Please RSVP here.