Feb 042016
 February 4, 2016

BrethertonKIE Senior Fellow Luke Bretherton (Divinity) recently addressed poverty in America for the Duke University podcast series “Glad You Asked.” The series is part of the Duke Office of News and Communications web resource devoted to the 2016 election season, Campaign Stop 2016. Each week, a different faculty member addresses an issue they find critical to the presidential race.

“It’s very expensive to be poor in contemporary America,” Bretherton says. Why? One reason is usury, an ancient term for exorbitant rates of interest that is very relevant to our modern world. Crippling debt, he argues, is poisonous to democracy.

Jan 262016
 January 26, 2016

The Kenan Institute for Ethics is offering two opportunities for Duke undergraduate students to engage in research and exploration this summer. The Kenan Summer Fellows program is accepting funding applications from undergraduates for projects exploring what it means to live an ethical life. Projects can be local, domestic, or international, and could involve creating a documentary film, conducting field interviews with community members, travel to conferences, and more. Each student will receive up to $5,000. Applications are due February 5. See the KSF page for application instructions and details.

The Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics is offering a unique opportunity for undergraduates interested in business and human rights. Pathways of Change will connect students with partner organizations in the public and private sectors for internships to examine ways to effect change in corporate human rights practice. Each student will receive a $5,000 stipend. Applications are due February 5. See the Pathways of Change page for application instructions and details.

Jan 262016
 January 26, 2016

A woman looking to conceive needs artificial insemination and visits a clinic approved by her insurer. The doctor refuses care. The patient in question is a lesbian, and the doctor refuses his services based on his religious convictions. How do you insure the rights of a patient in this situation? How do you also protect doctors from having to take action on a variety of morally gray decisions? KIE faculty Walter Sinnott-Armstrong addresses the issue of conscientious objection in healthcare for The Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics.

Jan 262016
 January 26, 2016

SuzanneThe Duke Middle East Studies Center and Campaign Stop 2016 recently held a panel featuring Duke experts commenting on the rise and geopolitical impact of the Islamic State. KIE Co-Director Suzanne Shanahan was joined by Duke professors Omid Safi, David Schanzer and David Siegel, with panel moderation by political science professor Abdeslam Maghraoui.

Read a recap of the panel on Duke Today:

Discussing international refugee law, Shanahan also pointed out that the thousands of Syrians and Iraqis entering Europe — and the millions in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey — are asylum-seekers who have the legal right to protection by European and Middle Eastern countries. In the U.S., refugees undergo an extensive screening process by both Homeland Security and the United Nations before they are admitted, and this country has welcomed 800,000 refugees since 2001.

Jan 202016
 January 20, 2016

Fence-400A group of Duke University undergraduate students will be selected to participate in the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ alternative spring break 2016 to Tucson AZ. The group will travel to Tucson for 5 or 6 days during the week of March 13th for an immersion into migration across the US-Mexican border. All costs will be covered by the Kenan Institute for Ethics.

Potential activities include: Hiking along migrant trails in the desert with the Tucson Samaritans; meeting with a lawyer from the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project; crossing the border into Nogales, Mexico to visit the Home for Hope and Peace, a public art installation, and a Grupos Beta agency that provides essential services to migrants; visiting artist Deborah McCullough, who collects found items in the desert for her work; attending an Operation Streamline hearing; or visiting a detention center in Florence, AZ.

Prior to the trip, the group will meet several times with guest speakers and to discuss readings. During the trip students will have evening reflections and will keep a journal documenting their questions, concerns, and experiences. These journals will form the basis of an exhibit upon return to Duke.

To apply:

Please supply the information below by email to Dominique Dery <dominique.dery@duke.edu> by 5 PM on January 29th 2016. Interviews will take place during the week of February 1st 2016.


Year at Duke:


Please briefly respond to the following questions:

  • Describe 2 or 3 things about yourself that will be most valuable to you or helpful to the group during this trip
  • No prior knowledge is required, but how have you previously learned about issues related to the US-Mexico border if you have?
  • Have you participated in Duke Engage, Duke Immerse, or in other Duke or non-Duke-affiliated alternative breaks or service-learning trips? If so, please tell us a bit more about them: where and when did you participate?
  • Do you speak Spanish? At what level?
  • Do you have an up to date passport?
Jan 152016
 January 15, 2016

BCD-400The Bull City Dignity Project, sponsored by the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke, is currently seeking one program coordinator for this summer’s program. This is a full time paid position for a Duke first year or sophomore with an interest in activism and the arts. Ideal candidates should have background in any or all of the following: theater, creative writing, video production, visual arts, political organizing, education, public history. Candidates should have an understanding of their own positionality within systems of oppression and should feel willing to facilitate discussions among high schoolers, Duke students, and members of the public. Apply now!  Apps are due January 20th. 

Please contact Lara Haft at lara.haft@duke.edu with questions.

Jan 132016
 January 13, 2016

Bass-KIEBass Connections at Duke and the Kenan Institute for Ethics have selected two project teams for the 2016-2017 academic year thanks to the Silver Family Fund. This allows joint funding for projects chosen by the Bass Connections theme leaders that also connect to one of KIE’s five program areas in Human RightsGlobal MigrationRethinking RegulationMoral Attitudes and Decision-Making, and Religions and Public Life. Another aspect of the KIE-supported research teams is a public symposium on the project’s topic. Students who are interested in joining the teams shoudl attend to the Bass Connections Open House on Wednesday, January 27, from 3:00 to 6:00 in the Energy Hub on the first floor of Gross Hall. Applications will be open from January 27 through February 26 for priority consideration.

The selected KIE/Bass Connections projects are:

Human Health Risks, Environmental and Ecosystem Damage Associated with Contamination of Used Motor Oil at Auto-mechanic Villages in Ghana (2016-2017)
This project team will collaborate with a team of faculty and students from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to assess the extent and levels of heavy metals and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) pollution in soils, drinking water resources and food crops within and near Suame Magazine, a cluster of hundreds of  auto-mechanic workshops in in the vicinity of Kumasi. The joint team will investigate hair samples, the potential of mechanics being exposed to heavy metals and PAH and possible effects on their health. The findings will be used in developing an educational and awareness program by directly engaging and interacting with the mechanics.

Spirituality, Self-management and Chronic Disease among Ethnic Groups of Robeson County, North Carolina (2016-2017)
The primary objective of this project is to understand the relationship between spiritual and self-management practices among adults from Robeson County living with chronic diseases. Robeson County is home to a remarkably diverse population including the Lumbee tribe, which is the largest American Indian tribe in North Carolina and the ninth largest in the United States. Mortality rates are twice the state average for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the county has one of the highest national rates of end-stage kidney disease. Specific aims are 1) to assess the spiritual and self-management practices of adults living with chronic diseases in Robeson County; and 2) to determine differences in spiritual and religious practices across major ethnic groups living in Robeson County.

Bass Connections supports interdisciplinary teams of collaborators, providing undergraduates with the opportunity to join faculty, graduates students, and post-docs. These teams work on problem-based research around the themes of brain & society; information, society & culture; global health; energy; and education & human development. There are currently four jointly supported projects underway. The partnership between KIE and Bass furthers the missions of both to foster innovative work and thinking across different kinds of expertise on campus as well as to enrich student education. An annual call for proposals occurs in the fall semester for new project teams.

Jan 052016
 January 5, 2016

Lamb-FellowsGeorge C. Lamb Jr. Visiting Fellows in Regulatory Governance
Application deadline: January 22, 2016

The Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, in collaboration with Duke’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and the Fuqua School of Business, invites outstanding scholars of regulatory governance to apply for a residential George C. Lamb, Jr. Fellowship for the 2016-17 academic year (nine or twelve month appointment). The Fellow will work with the Rethinking Regulation Program at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, a multi-disciplinary community comprised of faculty members and graduate/professional students from many academic departments and professional schools at Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University. The group’s members study and assess the design and performance of regulatory systems, and “regulation in action” – the evolving politics, operations, and culture of regulatory institutions, their interactions with regulated businesses and other interest groups, and normative frameworks for the evaluation of regulatory policy.

In addition to pursuing their own research, Lamb Fellows are expected to participate in Rethinking Regulation seminars and workshops, Kenan Institute for Ethics workshops, and help shape a significant collaborative research project along with other members of the Rethinking regulation community. As part of that collaboration, the Fellow will teach a course in the Kenan Institute for Ethics and either Duke University’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences or Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. Fellows can come from any relevant academic discipline, including political science, public policy/administration, history, economics, sociology, cognitive psychology, anthropology, business management, law, environmental studies, risk analysis, and engineering.

Thematic Preferences for 2016-17
We especially welcome proposals from scholars with expertise or a strong emerging interest in one of the following areas:

  • Adaptive regulation: How should regulations be designed to keep up with new information and rapid change, such as in science, technology, economic or social conditions? This topic also includes how regulatory authorities learn from prior policies, such as through retrospective review, and use that information in evaluating new policies or in revising existing policies.
  • Conflict/Cooperation Among Regulatory Agencies: Agencies often have overlapping regulatory jurisdictions or missions, gaps between their authorities, and related problems induced by institutional fragmentation. We are interested in both descriptive and prescriptive research on how conflict and cooperation among regulatory agencies should be managed.
  • Private Regulation and Third-Party Auditing: Third-party auditing is a concept that is spreading to many forms of public and private regulation. To what extent have lessons from third-party auditing and rating services in finance been applied to these newer applications and what should the role for third-party auditing and certification be in private regulatory regimes?
  • New Directions for Competition Policy: What are the appropriate approaches to regulating monopoly, oligopoly, and competition? How are different countries addressing these questions?

Fellowship Terms
We will consider applications for the full academic year (nine or twelve month appointment). All applicants should: possess a doctorate, J.D., or equivalent professional degree; be at least two years beyond their graduate training; and be based outside the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. All scholarly ranks are eligible. Residence in Durham is expected during the tenure of the fellowship. Lamb Fellows will receive office space at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, full Duke Library privileges, a modest research account, and eligibility for Duke Employee health benefits. Primary financial support will be disbursed monthly for the duration of the appointment term, and will vary according to individual circumstances. We anticipate offering awards equal to one-half of yearly salaries, up to an annually set maximum amount, which may be less than half-salary for professors at the higher end of the compensation spectrum.

Application Process
Applicants should submit all of the following to Amber Díaz Pearson (amber.diaz@duke.edu) by January 22, 2016:

  • A letter of application that describes the candidate’s research areas and experience, ongoing projects, interest in collaborative research and teaching, and rationale for desiring a sustained period of engagement with Rethinking Regulation
  • A 2-3 page research proposal that details the individual work to be pursued during the term of the fellowship
  • A curriculum vitae
  • Two to four references – these should be individuals who can speak to the candidate’s research expertise, experience in multi-disciplinary contexts, and capacity for/interest in collaborative academic work.

Selection Criteria
The Selection Committee, made up of scholars active in the Rethinking Regulation program, will assess applications on the basis of:

  • The quality of their research and other achievements
  • The promise of their current research, especially in bridging disciplinary divides and informing ongoing regulatory policy debates
  • Their capacity for/interest in collaborative research, teaching, and writing
  • The fit between their expertise and the research priorities identified by Rethinking Regulation.

An affirmative action and equal-opportunity employer, Duke University is committed to increasing the cultural and intellectual diversity of its academic community. Applications from women and under-represented minorities are strongly encouraged.

Jan 052016
 January 5, 2016

Instagram ContestEach spring, Team Kenan holds the WIGA competition around a different theme. Duke University students are encouraged to submit entries to compete for four prizes, and have their work displayed in a collective exhibition in the Keohane Kenan Gallery of the West Duke Building. A distinguished panel of experts in art and/or ethics convene to select pieces for display. All Duke students are invited to submit works in any medium for the spring contest and exhibition around the theme of “Food, Ethics, Culture.”

Food is a basic human need.  However, food is more than just a survival tool.  Throughout the course of history, food has been an integral part of different cultures: providing a social space to host conversations, representing bounty, and encouraging creativity. As always, the WIGA theme is intentionally broad and open to many interpretations. Questions that might be explored include:

  • The creation of food is a long process that includes the farmers who grew the food, the individuals who transported the food, those who sold the food, and the people who prepared and served the food.
  • The globalized world we live in has allowed for the fusion of cultures and foods.  The intention of this theme is to provoke artists to depict the complexity of creating, sharing, or eating food.  Works discussing, nourishment, eating, cultivating food are encouraged.

  • First Prize: $500
  • Second Prize: $300
  • Third Prize: $100
  • Gallery Choice Prize: $100

How to submit:

  • Download the submission guidelines and submit with a digital photo or video of your work.
  • Submissions will be due on Tuesday, January 19th. The exhibition opening and prize announcement will be scheduled for mid-February.

Dec 232015
 December 23, 2015

Writing for the winter 2015 Duke Magazine, Leena El-Sadek (T’15), an alumna of the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ DukeImmerse: Uprooted/Rerouted program, former Bass Connections team member, and co-founder of Supporting Women’s Action (SuWA) recently discussed the impact that hearing refugees’ personal stories has had on her own life.

Khalid was a student in my English and photography classes three years ago at a refugee organization in Egypt. He was one of many unaccompanied teenagers who escaped home— in his case, Sudan—in the hope of securing a better life elsewhere. Other students came from Eritrea, Iraq, Palestine, Central African Republic, Syria, Somalia, and Afghanistan. After nearly every sentence I spoke, five students eagerly translated the lesson to the others. These students, just like ones at Duke, were inspired and energized by educational opportunities, which explains why they endured the tedious translation process in my class. They were determined to resettle in the U.S. and someday bring their families over.