Apr 142018
 April 14, 2018


The Duke Human Rights Center at The Kenan Institute for Ethics will be holding its fourth annual Scholars Research Symposium on Saturday, April 14. The symposium, which is sponsored by the Kenan Institute’s Global Human Rights Scholars, 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. This event is open to the public, and particularly for faculty, students and alumni of both Duke and UNC .

Saturday, April 14
Ahmadieh Family Conference Room (West Duke 101), starting at 1:00 pm

Please fell free to come for one or both panels

Introduction and Welcome – Suzanne Katzenstein

Panel 1 | 1 to 2:15 p.m. | Migration: Representation, Narrative, and Policy

  • Chair: Julia Kaufman
  • Panelists: Maura Smyles, Emily Venturi, Catherine Ward,
  • Discussants: Tosin Agbabiaka and Robert Carlson

The Impact of Legal Representation for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children in the United States  – Maura Smyles
Migration Management and Development Policy Issue-Linkage in European Union External Relations  – Emily Venturi
Repositioning Home: Performing and Reconstructing Identity in the Migration Narrative – Catherine Ward

Panel 2 | 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. | Colonial Legacies and Retreat, and Communities Divided

  • Chair: June Eric-Udorie
  • Panelists: Rebekah Cockram, Danielle Dvir, Morgan Vickers
  • Discussants: Katherine Gan and Menaka Nayar

Cession and Retreat: Negotiating Hong Kong’s Future, 1979-1984.” – Rebekah Cockram
Colonial Legacies of Global Medicine and Pharma – Danielle Dvir
Community Divided: Relationally Reconstructing the Lynching of Eugene Daniel – Morgan Vickers

Selected Presenters

  • Rebekah Cockram, History and Political Science, UNC, 2018
  • Danielle Dvir, History, Duke 2018
  • Maura Smyles, Public Policy, Duke 2018
  • Emily Venturi, Political Science and Economics, UNC, 2018
  • Morgan Vickers, Communication Studies and American Studies, UNC, 2018
  • Catherine Ward, English, Duke 2018

Global Scholars

  • Robert Carlson, Duke, 2020
  • Amelia Cheatham, Duke 2018
  • June Eric-Udorie, Duke 2021
  • Katherine Gan, Duke 2021
  • Julia Kaufman, Duke 2018

Alumni Discussants

  • Tosin Agbabiaka, Trinity ‘10
  • Menaka Nayar, Trinity ’11 and Law ’14
Panel 1 | Migration: Representation, Narrative, and Policy


The Impact of Legal Representation for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children in the United States  – Maura Smyles

Unlike US criminal courts, US immigration courts do not offer any guarantee of legal counsel to those who cannot afford it, even to children who are separated from their parents. To illustrate the implications of this policy, the purpose of this study is to examine the impact of legal representation on the legal outcomes of unaccompanied immigrant children in the United States. Through interviews with legal service providers and regression analysis of deportation rates and representation rates for immigrant children since 2005, I find that further investment in legal representation programs that serve unaccompanied immigrant children in removal proceedings would benefit this vulnerable population by providing them greater access to legal and technical support services and leading to a decrease in the rate at which they are deported.

Migration Management and Development Policy Issue-Linkage in European Union External Relations  – Emily Venturi

After establishing the emergence of migration as an EU foreign policy priority, this article evaluates the contributing factors and preliminary outcomes of the linkage of migration management to development policy in EU external governance. With Italy as an EU member state case study and Senegal as a non-EU partner country case study, the study draws evidence from expert interviews conducted between May 2017 and July 2017 with EU officials, Senegalese and Italian governments representatives, and civil society actors. The impacts of issue-linkage on development cooperation ranged from micro-level project management to macro-level tensions surrounding conditionality and the EU’s role as a development actor. The impacts of issue-linkage on migration management included the stagnation of legal migration, human rights protection, and readmission efforts. Overall, the study argues that securitization compromises EU-Senegal joint efforts to link migration and development policy. This research contributes to the emerging discussion on the long-term consequences of the EU’s current short-term security priority of reducing irregular migration.

Repositioning Home: Performing and Reconstructing Identity in the Migration Narrative – Catherine Ward

Home is complicated. It’s this messy ideal we all hold, while struggling to clearly define it. Home, or lack of home, is part of an individual’s identity.  Amidst recent media surge surrounding forced migration, Warsan Shire’s poem “Home” has become something of a rallying cry. She opens, “no one leaves home/ unless home is the mouth of a shark” (1-2). Well, if it is the mouth of a shark, a visceral image striking a reader with distinct feelings of fear and sorrow, is it even home at all? How can it be? Does one’s notion of home change in migration? My thesis seeks to answer these questions, taking into account three fictional women rooted ancestrally in Africa and socio-culturally tied to Nigeria, America, France, and Guadeloupe. Through analyzing the stories of these women, my thesis explores what effect home has on a migrant’s sense of belonging, while exploring the manner in which narratives of identity and culture empower individuals.

Panel 2 | Colonial Legacies and Retreat, and Communities Divided

Cession and Retreat: Negotiating Hong Kong’s Future, 1979-1984Rebekah Cockram

In the mid-nineteenth century, Britain acquired Hong Kong from the Qing dynasty in three parts via three separate legal agreements. Unlike the international agreements that ceded Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula to the British indefinitely, Britain’s possession of the New Territories had a fixed expiration date of July 1, 1997. As the expiration date of the New Territories Lease approached, British officials responded to investor fears about the future of Hong Kong and determined that they held strong legal and economic arguments to advocate for continued British administration after 1997. By 1984, however, Britain relinquished their sovereign claims to Hong Kong and retreated from the territory. This thesis underscores how Britain’s miscalculations concerning the strength of their legal and economic arguments as well as China’s tough negotiating constraints led Britain to change their policy and eventually cede sovereignty of territory otherwise guaranteed to them under international law. Moreover, it evaluates how China undermined Britain’s attempts to advocate for the Hong Kong people in a direct way and evaluates the relative success of the negotiated outcome for Britain.

Colonial Legacies of Global Medicine and Pharma – Danielle Dvir

We live in the era of biomedicalization: the product of a mode of knowledge that perceives biomedical phenomena in all aspects of society. Concurrently, the recent expansion of medical technology now allows for discipline of the body at the biological level through drugs and surgery. Such technologies are developed within a near-ironclad medico-ethical conceptual and theoretical apparatus, or discursive regime. How did the concept of “modern” medicine emerge in possession of a matter-of-fact assumption of objective truth? Why have medical technologies, institutions, and modes of thought extended into jurisdictions of society previously thought of as unrelated to health and wellness? These questions will guide an examination of contemporary global discourse where narratives of modernity and health intertwine – a dimension of the colonial encounter that is continually (re-)enacted in varied contexts across time. Using historical and theoretical methods, this paper describes modern medical ideologies, institutions, and industries as emerging out of the politics of colonization and empire that construct modernity.

Community Divided: Relationally Reconstructing the Lynching of Eugene Daniel – Morgan Vickers

The history of lynching in America is often defined by statistics, trends, and characterizations of the mobs involved in the murder of an accused individual. The memory of a lynching is often defined by purported criminality, angry mobs, and the death of the accused, rather than by the community that produced the lynching, the life lost during the murder, and the implications thereafter. In this thesis, I introduce the notion of personhood in lynching victims through the case study of a single victim: Eugene Daniel from New Hope Township, North Carolina, who was murdered in 1921. This thesis argues that one cannot separate people from the context in which they live; acts of racial violence, like lynchings, neither exist in a vacuum nor solely affect the murdered individual. Modern digital tools allow historians to gain a better understanding of the circumstances that perpetuated lynchings, the communities in which lynchings occurred, and the contemporary implications of historic acts of violence.

Alumni Discussants

Tosin Agbabiaka T’10 was raised in Lagos, Nigeria and Katy, Texas and 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. Through a Fulbright-Schuman research scholarship (2012 -’13), he subsequently conducted an analysis of the efficacy of EU and Greek mechanisms in addressing the asylum and undocumented migration crisis in Greece.

Tosin holds a JD-MBA from Yale Law School and Yale School of Management, where he co-taught the Doing Business in Africa course and was a leader of the Immigration Legal Services clinic, Africa Law and Policy Association, and Yale Black Law Students Association. He currently works as a venture capital investor at Octopus Ventures, helping European startups develop and scale their ideas in the U.S. and thinking deeply about the intersection of technology, urban planning, and government.

Menaka Nayar, Trinity ‘11 and Law ’14, is an associate at Linklaters LLP in New York, where she is a member of the Dispute Resolution practice. She has a broad range of experience in commercial litigation and government investigations work. She also has a significant pro bono practice focused on the rights of vulnerable populations such as refugees, immigrants and survivors of domestic violence. As a former member of the first-of-kind International Governance and Development Practices, her previous work for Linklaters LLP focused on advancing good governance across the private and public (development and humanitarian) sectors. Prior to joining Linklaters LLP, Menaka attended Duke University School of Law, graduating with a JD/LLM in International and Comparative Law; and Duke University, where she obtained a BA in Political Science. A classically trained dancer, Menaka was a member of Defining Movement (“defMo”) – a multicultural dance group – throughout her Duke career.

Apr 122018
 April 12, 2018

Does what “good” means depend on the kind of work you do?

Join us for a lunch and panel discussion of the moral dimensions of finance featuring prominent experts with deep and diverse experience in the industry.

John Forlines III
Chief Investment Officer at JAForlines Global
Executive in Residence, Duke Economics
Focused on investment management and “family office” venture capital

Pamela Hendrickson
COO and Vice Chair, Strategic Initiatives, The Riverside Company
Focused on private equity

Steve Monti
Managing Director, Solidarity Capital Group
Focused on impact investing, sustainable, social justice-oriented investments

What: Panel discussion and lunch
When: April 20, noon-1:30pm
Where: West Campus (details upon RSVP confirmation)
RSVP: Follow this link to RSVP.

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.
Jan 232018
 January 23, 2018

Cheap-Shots and Kayfabe

On February 23, join 2018 Kenan Graduate Arts Fellow Rachel Jessen for a conversation on the ethics of performative violence, the moral decision making of professional wrestling and the social value of mimicking that which entertains and enthralls us, with MIT Professor of Theater Arts Claire Conceison and the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ Mike and Ruth Mackowski Professor of Ethics Wayne Norman, at 5:30pm in the Ahmadieh Family Conference Room, West Duke Building Room 101.

Immediately following the conversation, at 6:30pm, please join Jessen in the Keohane-Kenan Gallery for the artist’s reception for her exhibit, Yarders: The Underground World of Backyard Wrestling, on-display through March 19, 2018.

Both events are open to the public and free of charge.

Jan 232018
 January 23, 2018

Author and David B. Truman Professor of Environmental studies at Mount Holyoke, Lauret Savoy presented the 2018 Spring Katz Family lecture and the Facing the Anthropocene lecture.
A video of the lecture can be viewed here.

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. In her book Trace: Memory, History, Race and the American Landscape, Dr. Savoy explores how the country’s still unfolding history and ideas of “race” have marked her and the land. from twisted terrain within the San Andreas Fault zone to a South Carolina plantation, from national parks to burial grounds, from “Indian Territory” and the U.S.-Mexico Border to the U.S. capital, Trace grapples with a searing national history to reveal the often unvoiced presence of the past.

Dr. Savoy was also interviewed on WUNC’s The State of Things. The interview is available here.


This event is sponsored by The Katz Family Women, Ethics, and Leadership Fund, and is in collaboration with the Luce Anthropocene Project and the Power Plant Gallery.

Dec 212017
 December 21, 2017

Rethinking Regulation Seminar on 
Legal Systems and Accountability for Clerical Sexual Abuse of Children 
with Meredith Edelman 
Thursday, February 8
12:00 noon – 1:30 pm
Ahmadieh Family Conference Room, KIE 101 West Duke Building (on East Campus) 
Lunch served; to RSVP and to request parking, please email  Hayden Hashimoto by 3:00 pm on Monday, February 5. 

Meredith Edelman, who is currently a Lamb Postdoctoral Fellow with the Rethinking Regulation program at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, will be presenting on “Judging the Church: Legal Systems and Accountability for Clerical Sexual Abuse of Children” on Thursday, February 8 from 12pm-1:30pm. Meredith’s research focuses on legal systems’ approaches to disputes arising out of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and compares the underlying theories, relevant doctrinal and procedural law, and practical realities of cases in canon law, tort law, bankruptcy law, and an Australian Royal Commission. The presentation will summarize conclusions and findings from her research.

In addition to being a Lamb Postdoctoral Fellow with the Rethinking Regulation Program at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Meredith is a PhD candidate with RegNet, the School of Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University. Before beginning her studies, Meredith was a corporate restructuring lawyer in Los Angeles, California.