Aug 152017
 August 15, 2017

Please join us for a free screening of The Social Network.

The Social Network tells the story of Facebook’s beginnings as a pet project in a Harvard dormitory to its rise as a global brand. Based on actual events, the film follows Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerberg, as he makes decisions that will affect not only the future of the company but the world as a whole. This film covers an important time in the ongoing social media revolution. The Social Network won multiple Golden Globes and Academy Awards. Rated PG-13.

Stay after the film for a discussion with Negar Mottahedeh.
Negar Mottahedeh is a professor of film and media studies in the Program in Literature at Duke University. Her most recent book about citizenship and civic engagement during the Iranian post-election crisis of 2009 is called #iranelection: Hashtag Solidarity and the Transformation of Online Life (Stanford University Press, 2015). She has recently published in Salon on the Iran protests and on the Muslim travel ban in the US in the Observer. Her research on Iranian hackers in featured in the August 2017 issue of WIRED’s Backchannel.


Spring 2018 Ethics Film Series: You Say You Want a Revolution

Each spring, the Kenan Institute for Ethics sponsors a film series that provides popular and accessible vehicles for talking about ethics around a particular theme. Each series as a whole offers rich opportunities for debate and discussion on ethical issues for audiences from both the Duke and Durham communities. This year’s film series is co-sponsored by DukeArts.

This year’s Ethics Film Series investigates the ethical and moral discourse surrounding revolutions and those who instigate them. Focusing on political, technological, and artistic revolutions this film series explores how revolutions become institutions, affect human psychology, and create venerated revolutionaries. Why do some revolutions have staying power while others do not? How have our day to day lives been changed by the revolutions we have experienced? Can we criticize our revolutionaries? These are just some of the questions this year’s film series will explore. You say you want a revolution? Well, you know, you should come to our film series.

Film selections and dates for the Spring 2018 Ethics Film Series are detailed below. All films will be screened in The Ahmadieh Family Conference Room, West Duke 101 at 7pm (doors open at 6:30pm). Following every film, there will be a post-film discussion with faculty and special guests. The films are free and open to the public. Refreshments and light snacks are provided.

East Campus parking is available.

Spring 2018 Film Series Schedule:

January 25 – Persepolis

February 15 – The Social Network

March 22 – Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

April 19 – Selma

Aug 082017
 August 8, 2017

The annual Duke Graduate Conference in Political Theory will be held in Gross Hall, February 8 and February 9.

Sponsored by Department of Political Science, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Humanities Futures at Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke Graduate School, Center for International and Global Studies, and Program in American Values and Institutions

Aug 082017
 August 8, 2017

The conference will begin with a public forum on the notion of “sanctuary” itself, featuring both scholars and activists who will trace sanctuary from its medieval origins, its 19th century mobilization by the abolitionists, and its reemergence in the last 30 years. This will be followed by a daylong workshop on religious humanitarianism, urban activism, and environmentalism, which will think about the ways that sanctuary might help us to make sense of how different faith communities are mobilizing in ways that are not simply “political.”

For more information, please click here.


Thursday, 8 February

“The Logic of Sanctuary: A Public Forum”

5-7 PM, Goodson Chapel, Duke University

Introduced and moderated by Elizabeth Bruenig (Washington Post)

Confirmed panelists: Thavolia Glymph (Duke, History); Diya Abdo (director of Guilford College’s Every Campus a Refuge project); Julie Peeples (Senior Pastor, Congregational UCC, Greensboro NC)

Friday, 9 February

Three panels, all held in the Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall, Smith Warehouse, Duke University

9 AM: coffee and light breakfast

Panel 1, 9:30-11:30: Humanitarianism: Religion and the Body

Confirmed panelists: C. Julia Huang (Anthropology, Santa Cruz); Carla Hung (Anthropology, Duke); Emmanuel Schaueblin (Anthropology, Zurich)

Chaired by Luke Bretherton (Divinity, Duke).

11:30-12:30: lunch

Panel 2, 12:30-2:30: Civic Activism: Religion in Urban Spaces

Confirmed panelists: Beth Baron (History, Graduate Center/ CUNY); Lila Berman (History, Temple); J. Brooks Jessup (Anthro, Berkeley).

Chaired by Adam Mestyan (History, Duke).

2:30-3:00: Coffee break

Panel 3, 3:00-5:00: Environmentalism: Religion and the Land

Confirmed panelists: Catherine Flowers (FHI Practitioner in Residence); Ryan Juskus (Religious Studies, Duke); Aaron Wolf (Geography, Oregon State).

Chaired by Prasenjit Duara (History, Duke).

Closing remarks and discussion, 5:00-5:30

For more information, contact James Chappel at

Sponsored by History, African and African American Studies (AAAS), Asian Pacific Studies Institute (APSI), Center for Jewish Studies, Divinity School, Duke Chapel, Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute (DHRC@FHI), Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI), Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Nicholas School-Miscellaneous Events, and Religious Studies.

Aug 062017
 August 6, 2017

The process of law school education is a time of moral formation for students but not always for the better. How should entering students be aware of this and respond accordingly? Second, many undergraduates desire to attend law school and become attorneys for noble reasons—to do social justice work or environmental law, for instance. But the fact is that, after being saddled by law school debt, many newly minted attorneys realize that, for practical purposes, “big law” is their only real option. Given this, how should this vast majority see their legal careers in an ethical light? How can the concept “legal ethics” be expanded to include more than merely pro bono work or following the correct protocol in one’s legal practice? What, in other words, about the everyday, “mundane” work of being a lawyer? How is it an opportunity for growing in virtue? And how can we understand it within a wider context or philosophy of human flourishing? In the context of these questions, four Duke Law professors will discuss the opportunities for and potential threats to human flourishing and moral excellence in the process of legal school education and the practice of law.