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Embracing this Moment: Is Covid-19 Creating New Opportunities to Improve Sexual Health in 2021?

Former Kenan undergraduate student Ali Davis recently wrote an article about sexual health in the time of COVID-19.

“A couple of weeks ago I was talking to my friend about her date. When I asked if there was a kiss involved, she replied, ‘Okay I did…but only because he showed me a picture of his negative Covid test during the date.’ Justifying a kiss with a COVID-19 test made me chuckle, and then it made me think: has it become normal to talk about when you last got tested on a date? We already know that COVID-19 has changed dating — I can speak to it firsthand. You most likely meet over the internet, and then FaceTime or Zoom a couple of times to ensure this person is “worth” getting out of sweatpants for. Finally, you have that in-person date and spend half the time wondering who is going to break the awkward six-foot space first.

It’s abundantly clear that the pandemic is changing dating culture in two ways. Firstly, it is creating abnormally long amounts of time to engage in conversations. Of course, this can be a blessing and a curse. Newfound time may lead to more profound and intimate conversations, allowing people to become more comfortable before meeting in-person. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the downside — it can leave incompatible duos with unbearable moments of uncomfortable silence. Then there’s the second shift: talking about testing. For those that are COVID-conservative, you probably ask a date if they’ve been tested before meeting up in person. Others may panic the next morning and ask about the issue after the fact. No matter where you lay in the spectrum, the pandemic has forced people to think and talk more about medical testing. Personal health has been somewhat of a taboo topic in casual dating of the past few decades, but it appears as if this is changing as COVID-19 persists.

Why do these conversations have to stop at COVID-19? If sexual partners are more comfortable with one another, and they’re already talking about testing, why couldn’t they talk more about sexual health? Now feels like the perfect moment to encourage young adults to have more transparent conversations with their sexual partners about STDs, partner testing, and even consent. Although one conversation may not seem significant, a slow but steady change in attitudes amongst young people has the potential to significantly improve the health of millions of Americans.”

Read more.

Ali works as an analyst at Decode_M, an insights and strategy firm based in NYC. In this role, she uses a diverse mix of datasets to help companies overcome complex challenges and accelerate their momentum. Ali graduated from Duke with a bachelors degree in Psychology and Global Health. As a senior, Ali was a part of the the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct Bass Connections – a Kenan led initiative.

Kenan Senior Fellow Tim Büthe in the African Journal for International Economic Law

Tim Büthe (Kenan Senior Fellow) and Vellah Kedogo Kigwiru (Technical University of Munich) recently published “The Spread of Competition Law and Policy in Africa: A Research Agenda” in the new African Journal for International Economic Law. The introduction is included below:

“Economic law – the focus of this new journal – has enabled and shaped the phenomenal, extremely dynamic, yet also highly uneven development of markets in Africa in recent years. It also is called upon to “govern” those markets and to ensure that individually rational behavior by economic actors produces outcomes that are beneficial for the people of Africa, as well as economically and ecologically sustainable.

This paper focuses on competition law as an area of economic law that has inspired particularly high hopes for ensuring that the benefits of a market economy are widely shared. Competition law seeks to encourage and safeguard competition in markets by making anticompetitive agreements and conduct illegal and to constrain economic power by punishing its abuse and by regulating mergers and acquisitions to reduce the risk of monopoly and oligopoly. We consider not just “black letter law” but also the public institutions needed to implement and enforce competition law such that it maintains and creates economic opportunities, as well as incentives for innovation, greater efficiency and lower prices. In doing so, we are cognizant of the inherently political and controversial character of competition law and its enforcement, because it entails the use of the power of the state to constrain and possibly redistribute private economic power.

Competition law used to be very uncommon in Africa, but in the last two to three decades has rapidly spread throughout most of the continent. We therefore first take stock of the status of competition laws and agencies at the national and – especially – at the regional level. Based on this overview of the history and current state of competition law and policy throughout Africa, as well as our review of the literature, we then set out a research agenda for better understanding the reality, promise, and limitations of competition law and policy in Africa. In doing so, we make the case for a multidisciplinary and indeed genuinely interdisciplinary approach to the study of competition law and policy, which incorporates political analysis along with legal and economic analysis.”

Read more.

2020-2021 GRADUATE ARTS FELLOW IN SOCIAL CHOREOGRAPHY AND PERFORMANCE ALYAH BAKER

“I’m proud to be a Black, Queer, Woman and the intersection and complexities of these identities is something I explore and celebrate in my work. At the same time, I’ve experienced how these labels and the norms associated with them have quite literally impacted where and how I’m allowed to move in the world.”

The Institute is pleased to introduce Alyah Baker as the Kenan Graduate Arts Fellow in Social Choreography and Performance for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Baker was drawn to movement as a form of self-expression at an early age. Having danced since age four, she has performed pre-professionally and professionally with companies across the country. While at Duke for her undergraduate studies, she pursued a degree in Sociology, as she was fascinated by human relationships, social interactions, and how culture is formed and transmitted. Since then, she has performed and focused on her identities as a Black, Queer, Woman. Her existence as an “other” fuels her creative endeavors and has led her to a life at the intersection of art, social justice, and embodied activism. “Through my personal dance practice and in my work with others, I am actively moving against systemic structures of oppression and towards a world where liberation is possible for people like me. I don’t know exactly what that world looks like, but I know that I get a glimpse of what it feels like when I am dancing,” she says. In 2011 and 2015, respectively, Baker opened two brick-and-mortar businesses, Show & Tell Concept Shop and Qulture Collective, which are both focused on curating welcoming and affirming creative spaces for Black and LGBTQIA communities. In 2017, she also founded Ballet for Black and Brown Bodies, which advocates for increased visibility, inclusion, and access for BIPOC dancers of all genders, orientations, and ability levels within classical ballet. Since 2020, all these outlets exist primarily online, although she is looking forward to in-person engagements as soon as it is safe to do so.

In her research, Baker is committed to foregrounding the body as she explores power, the politics of place, and identity. A body-centered approach gives attention to the way we police and structure how bodies move, what certain bodies can and can’t do. Particularly, she is exploring what witnesses can learn from members of BIPOC communities as they move freely in spaces where they are often excluded or made invisible. In practice and performance, she asks us to consider how tapping into corporeal knowledge(s) might move our society towards a space of liberation and possibility, particularly for BIPOC communities.

Baker will use her time as a Kenan Graduate Arts Fellow to develop PLACE/MAKING, a collaborative movement and story sharing project that explores the concept of belonging, the politics of place, and Black identity in Durham. This investigation arises amidst the backdrop of COVID-19, which further exacerbates the historical and systemic displacement and disenfranchisement in public and private sectors that shape how Black people inhabit and move through communities across America. Exploring and enacting new possibilities for Black communities in spaces where they are routinely excluded or marginalized is a key facet of the PLACE/MAKING project. The project will center the well-being of a multi-generational, multi-disciplinary Black community as they collectively explore practices for reconsecrating public spaces in Durham. The project will culminate in a series of socially distanced pop-up performances that reimagine public spaces as PLACES where Black communities are safe(r), seen, and empowered through collective movement.

Call for Faculty Proposals

Deadline January 15, 2021

The Kenan Institute for Ethics strives to engage Durham with a reciprocity that respects the knowledge of both the university and the local community and aims to mobilize these ways of knowing to address real world problems. This kind of community-based research brings together diverse perspectives from residents, local leaders and the university and allows us to develop, share and apply knowledge to find innovative ways to tackle historically intractable problems. To further this work, the Kenan Institute for Ethics is seeking community-based research projects from Duke faculty.

Community-Based Research Program Guidelines

  • Available to faculty in partnership with a local community or neighborhood organizations in Durham. The representative from the community organization must be identified as a co-PI with a substantive role clearly described in the proposal.
  • Awards up to $20,000 for a one-year period with an option for renewal for a second year. Projects must begin before June 15, 2020. We expect to make 2 awards.
  • KIE is particularly interested in the projects that might address issues in education, policing, healthcare, or housing.

Proposal Instructions:

  1. No more than 2-page proposals.
  2. Proposals should include:
    1. Project Description – A brief description of the area of research, rationale for approach and expected outcomes – Who will benefit from the research? How will they benefit?
    2. Collaboration – Provide a description of the project leadership and partnership (list of partners and roles, infrastructure for participation, history of the partnership), an outline of how partners will work together to complete the project, and potential plans for future collaboration.
    3. Budget
    4. Timeline
  3. Submit to kie@duke.edu by 5pm, January 15, 2020.

Please contact Suzanne Shanahan with questions or to discuss further.

Spring 2021 Courses

ClassesAtKenan_Square

 

There are a number of interesting courses being offered through the Ethics department this coming Spring! Whether students are interested in the What Now? network, the Ethics & Society Certificate, the Civic Engagement & Social Change Certificate, or simply exploring Ethics, there is something for everyone.

 

SPRING 2021 ETHICS COURSES

 

  • What Now? Emotion, Evolution, and Ethics with Daniel McShea (ETHICS 89S/BIOLOGY 89S)
  • What Now? What We Owe to Each Other with Jesse Summers (ETHICS 89S/PHIL 89S)
  • What Now? Organizing for Equity with Adam Hollowell (ETHICS 89S/EDUC 89S)
  • What Now? Visionary Thinking with Michael Kliën (ETHICS 89S/DANCE 89S)
  • What Now? The Magic of Collaboration with Thomas Brothers (ETHICS 89S/MUSIC 89S)
  • What Now? Why Are We Here? with David Malone (ETHICS 89S/EDUC 89S)
  • What Now? Leading Through Change with Moran Anisman-Razin (ETHICS 89S/I&E 89S/PSY 89S/SOCIOL 89S)
  • What Now? Race and Education with Angel Harris (ETHICS 89S/ SOCIOL 89S/PUBPOL 89S/ AAAS 89S)
  • The Challenges of Living an Ethical Life with Elliot Mamet (ETHICS 101/POLSCI 120)
  • Conservatism with John Rose (ETHICS 202/POLSCI 210)
  • How to Think in an Age of Political Polarization with John Rose (ETHICS 203/POLSCI 208)
  • Religion and Migration with Alberto La Rosa Rojas (ETHICS 290S)
  • Solidarity as a Way of Life with Matthew Elia (ETHICS 290S)
  • Christianity, Suffering, and the Problem of Evil with Nathan Hershberger (ETHICS 290S/RELIGION 290S)
  • Lives of Civic Engagement with Eric Mlyn (ETHICS 401S/CESC 401S/EDUC 401S/POLSCI 401S/PUBPOL 401S)
  • Modern Catholic Writing with Peter Casarella (ETHICS 481/XTIANTHE 781)
  • Privacy, Ethics, Data and Tech with Jolynn Dellinger (ETHICS 590S/PUBPOL 590S

Fall 2020 with Kenan

Check out the exciting and unique courses being offered through the Kenan Institute for Ethics this Fall!

 

Ethics 101

THE CHALLENGES OF LIVING AN ETHICAL LIFE

ETHICS 101/POLSCI 120 (EI, CZ)

Instructor: David Toole

Mode: Online

Familiar but fundamental ethical questions: What is a good, worthy or just life? How is it to be lived, toward what ends? Readings include dramas and philosophical analyses, parables and auto- biographies, polemics and meditations, novels and political commentaries. Introductory course for the Ethics & Society Certificate.

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO ENGAGED CITIZENSHIP AND SOCIAL CHANGE

CESC 201/EDUC 201/PUBPOL 203/POLSCI 213/RIGHTS 201 (CCI, EI, CZ, SS)

Instructor: Eric Mlyn

Mode: Online

and On-Campus

Introduction to key concepts, theories, and critiques of civic engagement and social change, with a focus on competing notions of democratic citizenship. Examination of voluntarism, philanthropy, community service, political participation, social activism and other forms of community engagement. Critical reflection on ethical issues related to community engagement and social change, including critiques of progressivism and service. Students will also be asked to apply these various approaches to pressing social issues of our time, such as income inequality, environmental justice, education reform and gender and race equality. Introductory course for the Civic Engagement & Social Change Certificate.

 

 

REIMAGINING THE WORLD TOGETHER: WHY FRIENDSHIP MATTERS FOR OUR FUTURE

ETHICS 387/PUBPOL 385/POLSCI 387/SOCIOL 387/ICS 371/GLHLTH 387 (CCI, EI, W, CZ, SS)

Instructor: David Toole

Mode: Online

Explores friendship and why it matters in the frenzied world of “likes” and “swipes.” The average Facebook user has 155 friends. Instagram added a “Close Friends” feature to distinguish friends from followers. Social media has weakened our sense of friendship. Still, Facebook users say that, of those 155 friends, they would trust only four in a crisis. Pursues the importance of friendship, not only as a place of private refuge but as a relationship of trust that facilitates insight and innovation and that has public purchase. Classes center on conversations between pairs of friends who bring their friendship, their work, and their imaginations to bear on the shape of the world in the future.

 

WHAT IS GOOD WORK?

ETHICS 390S.01/PUBPOL 290S.03 (EI, R, SS)

Instructor: Ada Gregory

Mode: In-Person

This course explores contemporary questions of what it means to work for the public good with, within or outside of the bounds of the State through a practicum experience coupled with a weekly seminar. It is designed to help students reflect on their placements working 24 hrs/week within various organizations dedicated to remedying social inequities and disadvantage in education, immigration, criminal justice, or housing. The course will introduce students firsthand to the systems, actors and contexts of current approaches to change in both policy and practice using the placements as primary sources of analysis. Students will explore the ethical issues inherent in community engagement and social change strategies by critiquing the benefits and limitations of various strategies for working towards the public good, by considering the implications of race, gender, class and other identity markers on the actors and beneficiaries of change efforts, and by reflecting on the tensions inherent in organizing and sustaining movements within the context of Durham’s history and contemporary landscape. Service-learning course.

 

If you or someone you know is a first year who may be interest in What Now?, Kenan’s innovative first year seminar experience, please share!