Oct 132017
 October 13, 2017  Tagged with: ,


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.