Nov 212016
 November 21, 2016

Twitter_BlindDuke Postdoctoral Fellow Jordan Carpenter has recently published an article on stereotypes of Twitter users based on the content of their tweets. In an innovative study, Carpenter asked participants to guess the gender, political identity, age, and education of a person based on a single tweet. While participants were more likely to guess gender, politics, and age correctly, they performed worse than chance on education.

“An accurate stereotype should be one with accurate social judgments of people,” but clearly every stereotype breaks down at some point, leading to “mistaken social judgement,” Carpenter said.
Read the full article here.

Nov 172016
 November 17, 2016

KRP_Launch400The Kenan Institute for Ethics will launch the Kenan Refugee Project website with an event on December 2nd. In addition to housing information about the Institute’s portfolio of refugee-related programming in one place, the site will feature easily accessible information about the status of refugees around the world; refugee oral histories, and archived editions of the weekly InFlux newsletter.

Look for more info soon!

Nov 152016
 November 15, 2016
Regulation & Emerging Technologies
taught by KIE Senior Fellow Andrea Renda, Ph. D.

This new special topics course introduces students to the main tools used to evaluate the impacts of new regulation, and then focuses specifically on new technologies such as fracking, precision medicine, robotics, artificial intelligence and human-machine interaction. How can we enable innovation without compromising privacy, security, civil rights, pluralism and other important public policy goals? How can we appraise the possible economic, social and environmental impacts of these new technologies, and enable constant learning, monitoring and retrospective evaluation of relevant regulation? What should be the relative weight of short- and long-term impacts? Should governments use algorithms to regulate technology, and if yes when? This course discusses these and other issues, in a highly interactive way. It is being launched by the Kenan Institute as many governments around the world discuss the ethics of algorithms and artificial intelligence, as well as the best way to regulate new medicines, fracking, drones, search engines, chatbots, etc. After a general introductory part, students will be allowed to propose topics and focus on those technologies that meet their interest in a final essay. Guest lecturers and scheduled debates, plus participation in seminars and public events will complete this comprehensive introduction to “regulating the future”.

Game Theory and Public Policy in Developing Economies
taught by 2016-17 Lamb Fellow Viswanath Pingali, Ph.D.
In this new special topics course, we use elementary game theory to study how repeated human interaction leads to formation of formal and informal institutions, which in turn leads to how a society moves into a vicious circle of poverty. We will also look at current government regulations on some sectors like healthcare, financial inclusion, social provisions, etc. and see how they impact the outcomes. Pedagogy includes a textbook (Games in Economic Development by Bruce Wydick) and several journal articles. This course is not recommended for graduate students in economics and students with advanced knowledge of mathematics. ECON 201D is highly recommended. If no ECON 201D, talk to instructor.
Oct 202016
 October 20, 2016

Immerse 2016UpdateExplore the dynamics of the current crisis and the challenges it poses for refugees, host communities and international law. Work with refugees locally and internationally. 4 courses. 4 weeks in Jordan. A life-changing experience.

Courses listed in AMES, CULANTH, ETHICS, ICS, POLSCI, and SOCIOL. Codes include ALP, CCI, CZ, IE, QS, R, SS, AND W.

The deadline to apply to DukeImmerse: Deconstructing/Reconstructing the Refugee Experience is Tuesday, October 25th at 5pm.

Click here to download the application.

Please direct questions to Suzanne Shanahan.

Oct 172016
 October 17, 2016

2015-2016 Global Human Rights Scholars

Michael Bleggi is a junior is pursuing majors in Political Science, International Comparative Studies and a minor in Economics. He is interested in applying culturally relevant business strategies to addressing human rights concerns. During his time at Duke, Michael has been involved in multiple research initiatives and labs, including the Center for Advanced Hindsight, which focuses through the lens of behavioral economics. During the past two summers thanks to the Duke Dean’s Summer initiative and an independent DukeEngage, he has worked for an NGO in Uttar Pradesh, India, as a teacher, gender equality advocate and business analyst. Michael hopes to work with NGO development and relationships, from government to the private sector, in the near future, in order to tackle pressing human rights concerns. In his free time, he likes to run, hike, talk with strangers and explore new places.
Ekim Buyuk is a freshman, pursuing a major and minor in a combination of Economics, Statistics and the Computer Sciences. Born in Turkey, she moved to New York at the age of 5. She believes that there is a pretty even split between the two worlds in regards to her upbringing and subsequent cultural values. Ekim is interested in studying the effects of different levels of education on the development of kids in developing and how that eventually affects that country’s economic development. She is also interested in cost-benefit analyses and believes strongly in the importance of effective money allocation in the non-profit sector. In her free time, she enjoys teaching, volunteering, and playing ultimate frisbee and tennis.
Rinzin Dorjee is a junior, pursuing a double major in International Comparative Studies (Europe), and Italian and European Studies (French and Italian), with a certificate in Markets and Management Studies. During his freshman year at Duke, he co-founded the civic engagement organization, ‘With Love From Duke’ to empower orphaned refugee children in India and connect them to Duke students studying refugee and resettlement policies.  Rinzin grew up in Refugee Camp no. 4 in Orissa, India and came to the US to attend university after completing his I.B. diploma in the UK. He is interested in learning and working on issues related to statelessness, forced migration and global politics, international refugee protection, and asylum procedure. He is currently doing an independent research study on forced migration, resettlement/relocation and integration of refugees in the E.U. and is especially interested in the political economy of the refugee burden-sharing in the E.U. and the working towards a common European asylum system.
Bochen Han is a Political Science and International Comparative Studies major from Ontario, Canada. At Duke, she is the President of the Duke East Asia Nexus. She co-directed the 2015 Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit, and has taught at a school for migrant children in Beijing with DukeEngage. This past summer she worked at an Oxfam shop while studying abroad at Oxford University and attended The Third Hague Peace Conference in Den Haag, Netherlands. All her experiences so far have solidified her interest in researching humanitarian intervention issues in the Asia Pacific. In her free time, she writes for the international affairs magazine The Diplomat and enjoys meeting new people.
Ebony 2
Ebony Hargro is a sophomore who loves writing and laughter. She is majoring in International Comparative Studies (with a concentration in Francophone African Studies), minoring in French Studies, and hopes to obtain a certificate in Policy Journalism and Media Studies. She is passionate about race, gender, and economic equality broadly, but has a particular interest in studying migration, the African diaspora, refugee resettlement rights, and the question of how place can shape the meaning of race.
Kalif Jeremiah is a freshman, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. In high school he played football every year and picked up track his senior year. In addition, he participated in student government for all four years, in varying roles: from class representative to grade president. In his final year he helped to pioneer and lead his school’s first male step team as co-captain. In the classroom, Kalif gravitated closer to the humanities over time, finding a new passion in poetry and spoken word. Far from his original plan to become an engineer, his current track leads toward a career as a lawyer.
Coleman Kraemer is a freshman from Bronxville, NY who attended Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx. At home, he enjoys reading theological books and working at a cheese shop. He works at the Kenan Institute for Ethics and is involved in Visions for Interfaith Action and Cru. He began to understand the challenges of human rights this past year while traveling on the Kivu Gap Year, which is an eight month facilitated gap year with internships at six global destinations, living in Denver, the Philippians, Tanzania, Rwanda, Israel, and Jordan.
Laura Roberts is a senior from Dallas, Texas majoring in History and double minoring in Religion and Political Science. Outside of class, she is involved with Duke International Relations Association, WISER, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the undergraduate Student Advisory Board at the Duke Human Rights Center. Her specific interests in human rights concern women’s rights and international law.
Amulya Vadapalli is a freshman considering a Public Policy major, and a decision sciences certificate. She grew up in and around Asia and North America, and currently lives in Thailand. Her human rights interests lie primarily in women’s rights in developing countries, a product of her community work in India. She can most often be found in her room listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and watching The Good Wife.
Jenna Zhang is a junior studying Political Science and English. A DukeEngage, Cape Town alum, she returned to South Africa last summer to conduct research for her senior thesis on political reconciliation. Her hobbies include reading, taking long walks, and learning non-extant languages. Someday, she would like to go continue going to school and own a gramophone.
Sep 272016
 September 27, 2016

campus-grants-400The Campus Grants program allows members of the Duke community to incorporate ethics into their own work. Grants of up to $500 are available to all members of the Duke community—students, faculty, and staff—to support initiatives that promote ethical or moral reflection, deliberation, and dialogue at Duke and beyond.

We welcome diverse perspectives and submissions from organizations and individuals in all areas of the University and the Medical Center. Campus Grant funding provides support for speakers, workshops, meetings, curriculum development, publications, organizational collaborations, and other activities. Travel grants for attending conferences or other individual activities will not be awarded. 

To view previous awardees, visit the Campus Grants page.

For consideration, the application form must be completed and sent to

Download the form now: Word.

Sep 232016
 September 23, 2016

Time, Tide and Turtles - Alternative Spring BreakThe Kenan Institute for Ethics invites applications for an intensive three-day Alternative Fall Break program on the collision between culture, food systems, development, industry and conservation, through the lens of a small community coping with the changing tide.

In cooperation with the the NOAA Beaufort Lab, the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center, Duke University Marine Lab and Duke Campus Farm, the Alternative Fall Break program will run from Sunday morning, October 9th through Tuesday afternoon, October 11th.

The group will travel to Harker’s Island, NC, to explore how a local fishing community (where turtle stew was once a local staple but is now illegal, to make) experiences complex politics surrounding food systems, cultural preservation, environmental conservation and coastal development. Participants will meet Harkers Island community members, marine scientists, members of the commercial fishing industry, and some folks back in the Triangle who work at the intersection of food systems and eating ethics. Participants will come away from break better able to map some significant pieces and moral puzzles contained in North Carolina’s foodways, particularly surrounding its fishing-based food economy. We’ll enjoy plenty of tastes, smells, and sights along the journey.

During the trip students will keep a journal documenting their questions, concerns, and experiences. These journals will form the basis of a physical and electronic response, created upon return to Duke.

Participation in the program is open to all currently-enrolled Duke undergraduate students, as we explore these topics from a wide-variety of disciplines and backgrounds. The Kenan Institute for Ethics will cover lodging, board, meals and transportation.

Please note: participants will be in close proximity to shellfish and other seafood and marine life throughout this trip.

Contact Dan Smith ( ) with questions and concerns.

Application deadline: 11:59pm on Sunday, October 2, 2016. Application form:


Sep 072016
 September 7, 2016

Team-Kenan-ColorUndergraduates, are you interested in joining the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ group of highly motivated students who want to plan and implement programming to increase ethical dialog across campus? Join Team Kenan and be part of the Institute’s larger community of students, faculty, and visiting practitioners, and get in on the ground floor of guerilla ethics like Ethics Couch, the WIGA art prize and exhibition, and more!

Those interested should contact Dan Smith,

Sep 012016
 September 1, 2016

KIE CRW Report FINAL-1Last spring, the Kenan Institute for Ethics sponsored a second year of the undergraduate Business and Human Rights Advocacy Lab, a course taught by DHRC at KIE project director Suzanne Katzenstein. The report, written and edited by five Duke University undergraduates, was created for Corporate Responsibility Watch, an NGO based in India, features research on nine companies, focusing on the relationship between corporate policies and actual business practices. Each case study provides an important vantage point for understanding how a company’s industry, reputation, or performance on CRW’s policy metrics impacts the relationship between corporate policy and practice.  Taken together, the cases studies seek to spur discussion of how to evaluate and encourage companies’ commitment to the NVGs and CSR more broadly.

Read the report now (PDF).

Sep 012016
 September 1, 2016

Global-HR-Scholars“North Korea Executes Deputy Premier,” “Mob in Ukraine Drives Dozens of Roma from their Homes,” “Critics Say North Carolina is Curbing Black Vote. Again,” “From Bikinis to Burkinis, Regulating What Women Wear,” “Court Costs Entrap NonWhites, Poor Juvenile Offenders.”

Human rights violations, both at home and abroad, pervade The New York Times daily headlines. The 24-hour news cycle combined with the constant drum of social media ensure access to the latest story. But analysis can be thin, the bigger picture lost, and the human rights dimension gets crowded out.

The Global Human Rights Scholars Program at the Kenan Institute for Ethic is offering a new project called “Rights Writers,” where participants will use a shared platform to blog about human rights issues. The project’s goals are two-fold. It seeks to provide a public space for students to offer in-depth and thoughtful analysis across a range of diverse human rights issues, shaping discussions at Duke and beyond. It also will help students develop their analytical and writing skills, particularly with regards to writing for a general public. Global Scholars will blog on a monthly basis about a human rights topic of their choice (see application for more information), read and comment on one another’s draft posts, and meet regularly to discuss. In addition, the Scholars program offers students an opportunity to engage with the work of the DHRC at KIE and its network of scholars and practitioners.

DHRC at KIE is now accepting applications for the Rights Writers project. Students who enjoy writing, would like more public exposure for their writing, and who are interested in tracing developments of their chosen topic over the course of a year are especially encouraged to apply.

Opportunities and responsibilities for the 2016-2017 Kenan Global Human Rights Scholars include:

  • Scholars will receive an $850 honorarium in support of their participation in the program.
  • Scholars will blog! Each month during the school year (total 8 blogs) scholars will respond to a prompt about their given topic, as well as provide comments on the draft blog of one other scholar in the group. Blogs will be between 500-800 words;
  • Scholars will attend mandatory meetings twice a month to discuss their writing, their own, broadly defined, global human rights interests as well as current events;
  • Scholars will help facilitate the annual Student Research Symposium in April
  • The Program will include invitations to attend events and meet with human rights scholars and activists visiting the Kenan Institute for Ethics;

Download the application form: PDF or Word doc. Completed applications should be sent to Suzanne Katzenstein ( by Thursday, September 22nd at 11:59 pm. Please put “Global Scholars Application” in the subject line.

Admission is selective; 5-6 students will be chosen for 2016-2017. Candidates may be asked in for an interview; applicants will be notified of their admission decision around October 5th. Any further questions about the application process should be directed to Suzanne Katzenstein, Project Director of the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics (