Jun 202016
 June 20, 2016

Grad-AwardsEach year, the Kenan Institute for Ethics selects up to 12 graduate student applications for the Graduate Student Fellowships each academic year. Students from any Duke graduate program may apply. Ideal candidates will be in the 3rd or 4th year of their PhD studies: finished all (or almost all) of their coursework requirements, but still developing new ideas and approaches for their dissertation research.

The Fellows receive an award of $3000 that supplements their current funding. This Fellowship involves regular participation in a seminar (typically featuring an invited speaker) that meets approximately five times in each of the Fall and Spring semesters, on a Monday from noon-1:30 pm. In addition, there will be a half-day workshop during the pre-exam reading break at the end of each term.

The seminar series does not typically require extensive preparation in advance. The aim of the on-going discussion among the fellows and Institute faculty members in the seminar is to enhance everyone’s ability to contribute to debates involving ethical issues, and to do so in ways that engage scholars and others both within and outside of their own academic disciplines. Fellows will also be asked to participate in a one-day workshop early in the fall of their Fellowship year, and in two late-afternoon workshops – one late in fall and one late in the spring semester.

The deadline to apply for the Graduate Fellowship at the Kenan Institute for Ethics for the 2016-2017 academic year is Monday, July 11, 2016. For further information, contact kie@duke.edu with “Graduate Fellowship question” in the subject heading.

Download the application (docx)


Apr 112016
 April 11, 2016

Arianna-photo-400This year, in addition to Kenan Summer Fellows and a Duke Engage Dublin cohort, the Kenan Institute for Ethics is supporting a group of student interns in human rights through the Pathways of Change program offered by the Duke Human Rights Center at KIE.

Four Kenan Summer Fellows will undertake projects meant to explore answers to the question “what does it mean to live an ethical life?” Their topics include a documentary film on the Uyghur diaspora population, facilitating a non-profit initiative to subsidize the cost of travel for children of incarcerated parents in the Baltimore-Washington corridor; a deep look into jury selection to uncover racial, gender, and socioeconomic biases employed in criminal proceedings through interviews with prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges; and an exploration of entrepreneurship and profiteering in countries neighboring areas of violent conflict. The students will be writing weekly reflections on their projects throughout the summer.

This will mark the ninth year of the Duke Engage Dublin program, as another eight undergraduates prepare for placements with local NGOs, community organizations, and government agencies that address issues of immigration and multiculturalism.  In the process students come to understand both the ethical challenges of global migration and the often profound impediments to sustainable community-based change, all while having more fun than they ever could have imagined. Each student will post a “letter home” describing their work during the course of the eight weeks that they are in Ireland.

Pathways of Change is a new program providing matched summer internships with partner organizations in the field of business and human rights (including private sector and NGO). In addition to working with the partner organizations, the students will work as a team on a project to examine the best ways of effecting change in corporate human rights practices.

Mar 242016
 March 24, 2016

BCD-400Over the summer of 2015, the Kenan Institute for Ethics supported two Duke student directors and a group of Durham high school students who produced, for the first time, The Bull City Dignity Project, a documentary theater project based on the lives of Durham’s diverse community members. Having compiled this production from transcripts of over 20 interviews with Durham residents old and young, the students explored the forces that shape the city’s changing landscape, history of inequality, and unique culture and community. For our 2016 program, twelve Durham students will be selected to spend the summer acting, writing, and working closely with community members to produce this year’s show. This year’s theme of “the body” may include topics such as: health inequalities, mass incarceration, gender violence, and immigration.

Interested students should fill out the interest form. Interviews/auditions will begin on Saturday, April 16.

Mar 242016
 March 24, 2016

This year, The Kenan Institute for Ethics has supported a Bass Connections project through the Silver Family Fund connecting locally resettled refugee youth with Duke researchers to identify solutions to ease the transition for refugees. Dubbed “The Citizenship Lab,” the project works to encourage civic engagement by the youth as well as together find ways to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers that often make access to resources, jobs, education and social support difficult. As quoted in the Duke Chronicle, fourth-year graduate student Alex Oprea says:

Since this is our first year, our first challenge was to understand the particular challenges faced by a displaced population. For all of [our students], we hope that because they know so many more people in the community, they’ll be able to use these community resources as they move forward. We’re trying to help them build a network and to understand that they’re not outsiders.

Mar 212016
 March 21, 2016

Amit Sen, The UN Refugee Agency’s Regional Protection Officer on Statelessness for the Middle East and North Africa, will be a Kenan Practitioner in Residence with the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics the first three weeks of April. Sen has worked with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) since 2007. His current focus is on promoting the rights and security of children displaced by the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya. Mr. Sen previously covered the Asia-Pacific region for UNHCR as a Regional Protection Officer based in Bangkok, Thailand. He also adjudicated asylum claims for UNHCR in Turkey, and later served as UNHCR’s Protection Officer in Nepal, where he worked on Constitutional reform and refugee protection. You can learn more about Sen and his work on our Profiles in Human Rights page.

While at Duke University, Sen will conduct a three-part dinner seminar series open to graduating seniors, graduate and professional students Wednesday April 6, Monday April 11, and Wednesday April 20, as well as participate in an event in the Conversations in Human Rights series focused on Shari’a and the promotion of nationality rights and gender equity in the Middle East and North Africa. Stay tuned to the DHRC at KIE website for other events and full details.

Mar 152016
 March 15, 2016

Immerse-map-400-1Letters home from our six undergraduate students in the DukeImmerse: Uprooted/Rerouted program are being coming in. The students are spending a month abroad examining the refugee crisis through field interviews based out of Jordan from late February through late March. The students reflect on the ethics of field work, how to process the personal stories of the refugees seeking resettlement, and the issues that plague them as they wait.

Mar 102016
 March 10, 2016

SuzanneAn article for Inside Higher Ed addresses the relevance of general education requirements in higher ed by looking at two major efforts to thoughtfully re-imagine core curriculum at Harvard University and at Duke University. The Duke committee is led by Kenan Institute for Ethics co-director Suzanne Shanahan.

Duke’s redesigned curriculum “needs to embrace the challenges of this new ecology creatively and deliberatively,” it continues. Graduates “still need to be ethically responsible, able to engage multiple languages and logics, be theoretically versatile, able to mount sophisticated arguments and able to deploy appropriate data and evidence. But how we cultivate this sensibility, these perspectives and capabilities needs rethinking at Duke and beyond. Our students need more than ever to be challenged and empowered to be intellectually and personally creative, agile and resilient.”

Mar 092016
 March 9, 2016

Walzer-KDL-Poster-web-400Representatives of the Science, Ethics, Identity and Human Rights (SEIHR) Kenan Creative Collaboratory, facilitated by the Kenan Institute for Ethics, will be joining a working group meeting of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) Missing Migrant Working Group in mid-March. The Office of Justice Program’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funds major efforts to maximize the use of DNA technology in our criminal justice system. Much of NIJ’s work has focused on developing tools to investigate and solve the cases of missing persons and unidentified decedents.

The Science, Ethics, Identity and Human Rights (SEIHR) Kenan Creative Collaboratory synergizes scholars, researchers and students in the sciences and humanities to examine a key challenge in the world: the ethical application of scientific technologies for human identification in human rights contexts. The team examines ethically sound processes for human identification in high-risk populations that maximize the investigative utility and minimize risk of privacy violation. It is one of three teams this academic year that are fostered by the Kenan Institute for Ethics and funded by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Funds.

Mar 022016
 March 2, 2016

Duke students joined local refugees and their children at the Durham Spirits Company in east Durham to prepare a meal of traditional foods from Iraq and Sudan Here students work with Moram Taha (in pink headscarf) and Asma Mohammed (in black veil). Both are from Sudan. The event was part of the Food, Ethics, and Culture series at the Kenan Institute for Ethics

On Saturday, February 27, the Kenan Institute for Ethics hosted locally resettled refugee women from Sudan and Iraq together with undergraduate students for a day of cooking and eating together. The event was part of this spring’s Food, Ethics, and Culture series, organized by Bear Postgraduate Fellow in Ethics Cece Mercer. The women chose recipes tied to particular cultural or religious festivities in their home countries, enabling a cultural exchange between them and the students as they worked side by side. The Food, Ethics, and Culture series is connected to this year’s “Food Fe(a)st” Ethics Film Series; additional upcoming events include a panel on sustainability and food labeling through the lens of religion and a talk on foodways and Gullah culture. Stay tuned to the Kenan Institute for Ethics event listings for more information.

Photos from Saturday’s workshop can be viewed on our Facebook photo album from the event, courtesy of Duke Photography.