Arete Medical Ethics Summer Seminar

June 15 – June 19, 2020 | Duke University, North Carolina
a seminar for students of medicine and nursing


Arete Medical Ethics Summer Seminar, June 15th-19th 2020This seminar invites students to examine the central ethical questions that arise in the everyday practice of medicine and to interpret those questions through a moral framework drawing from both natural law and medicine’s traditional orientation toward the patient’s health. This framework will be contrasted with principlism and consequentialism as participants consider what sort of practice medicine is, whether it has a rational end or goal, and how medicine contributes to human flourishing.

The seminar will consider common clinical ethical cases to examine perennial ethical concerns that arise in the practice of medicine, including: the nature of the clinician-patient relationship; the limits of medicine, the meaning of autonomy, the place of conscience in the physician’s work, the difference between an intended effect and a side effect, proportionality, human dignity, sexuality and reproduction, the beginning of life, disability, end-of-life care, and death. The purpose of the seminar is to equip participants with intellectual tools that can help physicians discern how to practice medicine well in the face of medicine’s clinical challenges and moral complexities.


Farr Curlin, MD, Duke University
Christopher Tollefsen, PhD, University of South Carolina


This seminar is open to entering and current medical students, as well as nursing students

Registration Fee and Facilities

There is no registration fee for accepted students. All other expenses, including room and board for the duration of the seminar, are covered by the Arete Initiative.

Application Requirements and Instructions:

All applicants must submit the following forms and documents via e-mail to john.rose@duke.edu.

  • Curriculum vitae or resume, including your nationality.
  • Cover letter discussing the reasons for your interest in the seminar, an overview of any relevant experience in the seminar’s topic. Please explain how you found out about the seminar.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until April 26th, 2020.

Triangle Intellectual History Seminar

In recent years, intellectual history has reestablished itself as a distinct and vital field of scholarship, with a new attention to the social and cultural contexts of thought as well as to language, rhetoric, and meaning.  Even as the field has applied insights from a broad range of other disciplines, and especially from literary studies and philosophy, its practitioners have sought an understanding of thinkers, ideas, and texts that is emphatically historical.





2019 – 2020 Seminar Dates and Speakers

(All seminars will meet from *5:00-7:00pm* on Sundays at the National Humanities Center in RTP.)


Fall Semester

  • September 23, 2019

Matthew Specter, U.C. Berkeley: The First Atlantic Realist Moment: U.S. and German Intellectual Discourse on “World Politics,” 1880-1910


Matthew Specter (Ph.D. Duke), is an intellectual historian who focuses on German intellectuals and politics in the 20th century. His first book, Habermas: An Intellectual Biography (Cambridge 2010), was widely reviewed and translated. He is now completing  Atlantic Realisms: Political Thought and Foreign Policy, 1880-1980 for Stanford University Press. He has published articles in Modern Intellectual History and History and Theory. A former Associate Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, he is currently Lecturer in Global Studies at U.C. Berkeley, and Associate Editor of the journal History and Theory.


  • October 13, 2019

Margarita Fajardo,  Sarah Lawrence College: The World that Latin America Created: An Intellectual History of Capitalism from the South



Margarita Fajardo is an Assistant Professor at Sarah Lawrence College. She received her BA in History and Economics from the Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, followed by her MA and PhD from Princeton University. She has published several pieces on the history of dependency theory and the social sciences in Latin America in the post-WWII era.  She recently received a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Humanities to complete her book manuscript tentatively title The World that Latin America Created. Her research and teaching interests span the fields of global intellectual history and the politics of science and expertise as well as the history of Latin American and global capitalism. 


  • October 27, 2019

Anne Vila, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Spectacles to ‘Confound All of Philosophy’ — The Paris Crucifixions of 1758-60

A bizarre sort of spectacle rivetted Paris in 1758-60: assemblies organized by fringe cells of the Jansenist convulsionary movement, where female adepts endured crucifixions and other brutal mortifications—often before sizable audiences. These assemblies were rooted in beliefs and practices that took shape 30 years earlier, when some Jansenists began convulsing ecstatically around the tomb of François de Pâris. They were also tied to the battles that pitted Jansenists against philosophes in the late 1750s: as one apologist declared, they were meant to “confound all of philosophy” by demonstrating the power of faith over incredulity and godless rationality (ills imputed to the Encyclopedists). To uncover both the ideological stakes of these spectacles and the attraction they held, I take a Rashomon-style look at how they were described by different eyewitnesses: defenders of the convulsionary movement, aristocratic curiosity seekers, physicians, and allies to the philosophes. I also consider their textual afterlives from the 1760s into the 20th century.


Anne Vila is the Pickard-Bascom Professor of French at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on the interplay of literature, medicine and philosophy in the context of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century France, while also venturing into other areas of European culture and intellectual history. Her publications include the monographs Enlightenment and Pathology: Sensibility in the Literature and Medicine of Eighteenth-Century France (1998) and Suffering Scholars: Pathologies of the Intellectual in Enlightenment France (2018). This paper draws on her new book project, tentatively entitled  “Convulsive Enlightenment: Lives and Afterlives of  the Convulsionnaires in French Culture (18th to 21st Centuries).”


  • November 17, 2019

Sophia Rosenfeld, University of Pennsylvania: VOTING AND THE INVENTION OF CHOICE

This paper considers an uneventful event in British history.  That is the introduction of the secret ballot in a parliamentary bi-election in Yorkshire in August 1872. What draws our attention now is not only what this late and unspectacular turn to privatized, individuated voting tells us about the history of democracy, but also what it tells us about how and why the development of choice-making became so central to modern conceptions of freedom.



Sophia Rosenfeld is Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of A Revolution in Language: The Problem of Signs in Late Eighteenth-Century France (2001), Common Sense: A Political History (2011), and Truth and Democracy: A Short History (2019), as well as numerous articles in journals ranging from the American Historical Review to The Nation. She is currently Vice President (Research Division) of the American Historical Association. She was previously Professor of History at the University of Virginia and at Yale.


Spring Semester


  • January 12, 2020

Nima Bassiri, Duke University: Truth of the Simulator — Traumatic Accidents and Insurance Pathologies at the Turn of Century.


Nima Bassiri is an assistant professor at Duke University, where he teaches in the Graduate Program in Literature and Global Cultural Studies, Duke’s interdisciplinary humanities, cultural studies, and critical theory department. He is an intellectual historian of the human sciences, and his scholarship is deeply informed by the history and philosophy of science and critical theory.


  • February 9, 2020

Isaac Nakhimovsky, Yale University: ‘The Most Liberal of All Ideas’: The Holy Alliance and the History of Global Order


Isaac Nakhimovsky is Associate Professor of History and Humanities at Yale. His first book, The Closed Commercial State: Perpetual Peace and Commercial Society from Rousseau to Fichte (Princeton, 2011), showed how, in the context of the French Revolution, the German philosopher J.G. Fichte came to undertake a systematic treatment of economic independence as an ideal, or the political theory of what John Maynard Keynes later termed “national self-sufficiency.” He has also collaborated on an edition of Fichte’s Addresses to the German Nation (Hackett, 2013), and two volumes of essays on eighteenth-century political thought and its post-revolutionary legacies: Commerce and Peace in the Enlightenment (Cambridge, 2017), and Markets, Morals, Politics: Jealousy of Trade and the History of Political Thought (Harvard, 2018). His next book, A World Reformed: Liberalism, the Holy Alliance, and the Problems of Global Order, is under preparation for Princeton University Press, and in June 2020 he will deliver the annual Quentin Skinner Lecture at the University of Cambridge.


  • March 1, 2020

James Chappel, Duke University: TBA

James Chappel is the Hunt Family Assistant Professor of History at Duke University. His first book will appear from Harvard University Press in the Spring of 2018: “Catholic Modern: The Challenge of Totalitarianism and the Remaking of the Church.” The book is primarily an intellectual history of European Catholics between the 1920s and 1960s, focusing on their conceptualization of the family, the economy, and the state. It argues that the experience of the 1930s were a watershed in the history of the Church, as the twin threats of fascism and (especially) Communism pushed Catholic thinkers towards a wholly renovated form of social Catholic ethics. Essentially, Catholics ceased struggling against modernity, and began struggling for Catholic forms of modernity — as they do today.

He is at work on two further projects. The first is provisionally entitled “Old Volk: The Invention of Old Age in Modern Germany.” Building on recent interdisciplinary investigations into the relationship between political economy and the family, this book ponders the invention of “old age” as a category of cultural life, social-scientific expertise, and policymaking. The second is provisionally entitled “The Second Reformation: Global Christianity and the Logic of Sanctuary, 1960-1980.” Building on a set of case studies in the United States, Latin America, and Europe, this book integrates Christianity into the rapidly-expanding literature on the global 1960s and 1970s, showing how the New Left and the New Right both capitalized on capitalist expansion, countercultural experiment, and decolonization.


  • April 5, 2020

Capper Fellows Presentation, more info TBA




2019-2020 RPLI Fellows Announced

This year’s Religions and Public Life Graduate Student Working Group focuses on the theme of “Church and State.” Ten master’s and doctoral students were selected out of a competitive application pool, representing nine different departments and degree programs, three schools, and two universities (Duke and UNC). Graduate Fellows will develop their research interests and discuss recent scholarship during monthly meetings. Throughout the year, they will also practice writing for a public audience and take part in an end-of-year symposium. Several scholars are also supported by generous collaborations with the Center for Jewish Studies, the Duke University Middle East Studies Center, and the Program for American Values and Institutions.

Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics explores the role of religions in historical and cultural context as they influence the lives of their adherents, interact with each other across time and geography, and contribute to the formation of institutions that make up the public sphere. A joint endeavor with the Duke Divinity School, it is an interdisciplinary platform that puts scholars, students, and practitioners in conversation with one another through collaborative research, innovative teaching, and community engagement. Funding for the graduate scholars also comes from generous support from the Duke Center for Jewish Studies (CJS).



2019-2020 Fellows:

Matthew Elmore






Matthew is a Doctor of Theology student at Duke Divinity School. His work is focused on consent theory, especially as it pertains to medieval theology, modern political philosophy and medicine.


Isak Tranvik




Isak is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at Duke University specializing in Political Theory with a secondary specialization in Law and Politics. His dissertation, situated at the intersection of political philosophy, religious studies, and comparative political theory, intervenes in ongoing debates about civil disobedience and social and political pluralism. More broadly, his research and teaching interests include modern and contemporary political theory, religion(s) and politics, post-colonial political theory, and civic education. His work has appeared or is forthcoming inPerspectives on Politics and Comparative Political Studies. He also co-authored a chapter in an edited volume on popular education, Awakening Democracy Through Public Work: Pedagogies of Empowerment.


Luke Olsen




Luke Olsen is a masters student at Duke Divinity School. A Theology, Medicine, and Culture Fellow (’17-’18), Luke is interested in theological anthropology, especially as it relates to urgent moral, political, and aesthetic issues at the intersection of technology, medicine, and ecological crises. This Kenan Fellowship supports Luke’s current research on transhumanism as a political and religious movement in the United States.


Devran Koray Ocal




Devran is a political geographer at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His dissertation research engages with identity formation, citizenship and belonging ties of the Turkish-Muslim diaspora in Germany. His area of interest covers migration, geographies of state, feminist geopolitics and diaspora studies.  


Hannah Ridge




Hannah is a PhD candidate studying the effect of popular understandings of democracy on support for democratization.  Her research focuses on Middle Eastern politics, public opinion on democracy, and religion and secularism politics.  She has a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago.


Shreya Parikh




Shreya is a doctoral student in sociology at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. In her dissertation project, she explores the intersections of race and religion in the immigrant-origin communities in France. Her work has appeared in Maydan and ThePrint.


Elsa Costa


Elsa is an intellectual historian concentrating on Spain and its possessions in the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Her dissertation, a study of the Spanish Empire during the Enlightenment, explores how political economy emerged from moral philosophy during the transition from Habsburg to Bourbon rule. Originally from Chicago, Elsa has a BA in Latin American studies from Bennington College and an MA in Ibero-American history from Duke. Her other interests include twentieth-century French, German and Brazilian philosophy, medieval theories of pedagogy, and women’s writing in contemporary Latin America. She has published or presented papers on all these topics. Her dissertation research took her to Madrid and to Mexico City, where she read the political theories of monks, priests, scientists, lawyers, royal advisors, dilettante scholars, aristocratic women, and others on a Fulbright-Hays grant. Far from the medieval notion it is sometimes assumed to be, the divine right of kings belongs to the Renaissance and early Enlightenment. Elsa has watched it emerge chronologically through these texts. Elsa is also a Humane Studies fellow and is at present involved in the founding of a new literary review. In her spare time, she enjoys watching the new TV series she discovered in Spain, like Élite, The Mysteries of Laura, Madrid is Burning and Just Before Christ


Mao Wei




Mao is an artist currently based in Durham, USA and Shanghai, China. Her artwork creates realms that explore mediation and representation in the real world and critique the functions of various media production approaches through photography, sculpture, installation and mixed media. These artificially include her reflections on the virtual reality, dream and uncertainty. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke.


Anna Holleman




Anna is a second year graduate student in the sociology PhD program at Duke. She is interested in the sociology of religion, specifically the ways that religious organizations function in relation to the larger culture


Armani Porter




Armani is currently a second year master’s student studying Bioethics and Science Policy (concentration: philosophy) at Duke University. He is also a graduate of the University of Notre Dame where he double majored in theology and neuroscience. Armani is currently involved in a collaborative study between Duke and Northwestern University which aims to address the legal and ethical implications of the use of DNA in missing migrant identification. He generally interested in issues at the intersection of immigration policy, international relations, and religion and after finishing his master’s degree, Armani will pursue a JD/PhD as he wishes to pursue a career as a legal academic. 

Exploring Civil Rights from Selma to Montgomery on Kenan’s Alternative Fall Break

This fall Kenan took about a dozen students to Montgomery and Selma to explore the historical and contemporary struggles for civil rights in the US. Students visited The Legacy Museum, the National Peace and Justice Memorial, the Dexter Avenue Parsonage, and the Rosa Parks Museum; they also traced the route from Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma to Montgomery with Aroine Irby who marched that route some 50 plus years ago. Two students who went on the trip last year returned to serve as student leaders, helping this year’s participants reflect on everything they did and saw. Below one of the student leaders, Linda Zhang, shares her thoughts on what it was like to be back in Alabama.

“I feel hopeful and hopeless, heavy and uplifted at the same time.”

“Going to Montgomery for the second time, I focused less on the factual content of the trip (albeit their undebatable significance), but more on the human element that made we feel the way we did: the drive, motivation, fear, and hopes of people fighting for civil liberties.”

“I talked to a guide at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy people terrorized by lynching. He is a retired marine who served in the military for more than 20 years and now gives tours to visitors at the memorial. While our conversation started with a Q&A about the memorial, it naturally drifted to his person life. It turns out he was born and raised in the very land on which the memorial was built. He said, “they built the museum on my backyard but it’s better this way, the story is finally being told.””

“At the freedom rides museum, a wall was covered with pictures of student protestors who went on the bus ride: they were our age, Black and White, male and female. They boarded the bus knowing they could lost their lives but they had a larger cause and belief that’s bigger than life itself.”

“The common question at Duke centers around what we want in life, but the trip with Kenan anchored my thinking in what we can’t live without.”

“The museums and sites force a confrontation”

“From the civil war artifacts to the soil of thousands of lynched African-Americans – this trip showed the students the undeniable truth of our history. More importantly, it showed the students how the preservation of memory is interpreted by the south.”

“Throughout the trip, it became clear how the preservation of memory differed between the historical sites and museums in Alabama. The Equal Justice Initiative and the First White House of the Confederacy have stark differences in their presentations and interpretation of history. As a result, we are challenged to come to terms with the balance between cultural pluralism and historical fact.”

Global Human Rights Scholars seeks “Rights Writers,” apply by Oct. 23


Application for Rights Writers

The Global Human Rights Scholars Program at the Kenan Institute for Ethics is accepting applications from undergraduates interested in human rights issues to join the fourth year of the Institute’s “Rights Writers” team, where participants use a shared blog platform to explore in-depth and thoughtful analysis across a range of diverse human rights issues, shaping discussions at Duke and beyond.
The project provides a public space for students to offer their insight as well as develop analytical and writing skills, particularly with regards to writing for a general public. Global Scholars 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 Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics and its network of scholars and practitioners.

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. A collection of work from the 2018-19 Scholars can be found on the Kenan Institute’s website.

Opportunities and responsibilities for the 2019-20 Kenan Global Human Rights Scholars include:

  • Scholars will receive an $850 honorarium in support of their participation in the program.
  • Scholars will blog! November 2019 – April 2020 (total 5 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 each other’s writing, their own global human rights interests as well as current events.
  • The Program will include invitations to attend events and meet with human rights scholars and practitioners visiting the Kenan Institute for Ethics.



How to Apply

  • Download the application form: PDF or Word Doc.
  • Completed applications should be sent to Amber Díaz Pearson (amber.diaz@duke.edu) by 11:59PM Wednesday, October 23. Please put “Global Scholars Application” in the subject line.

Admission is selective: five to six students will be chosen for 2019-20. Candidates may be asked for an interview and applicants will be notified of the selection decision around October 30. Please note that a welcome meeting for the selected Scholars and discussion of the first blog prompt will be held the first week of November. Questions about the application process should be directed to Amber Díaz Pearson, Research Scholar at the Kenan Institute for Ethics (amber.diaz@duke.edu).


2019-2020 Kenan Graduate Fellows Announced

Congratulations to the 2019-2020 Kenan Graduate Fellows!

The Kenan Institute for Ethics has selected 15 Duke doctoral students as its 2019-20 Graduate Fellows. This year’s cohort represents five schools and ten different departments in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The students bring a vast array of methodological tools and experiences – from literary and biblical scholarship to psychological and policy analysis. As Graduate Fellows at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, all are exploring topics with tightly interwoven empirical and ethical concerns, and will work together to identify and analyze the difficult normative issues engaged by their dissertations.
As part of the fellowship with Kenan, the group will meet regularly for seminars throughout the academic year to hear from scholars in a variety of fields who study normative topics in novel ways. The program also gives Graduate Fellows opportunities to cultivate their speaking and writing skills across disciplinary boundaries, with fall and spring end-of-semester research presentations modeled after “TED talks.”

Read more about the Kenan Graduate Fellowship
Read the Kenan Graduate Fellows blogs

Bobby Bingle


Bobby is a PhD student in the Philosophy department. His research concerns theories of agency, moral responsibility, and their link to the reactive attitudes. He is especially interested in the moral status of anger as a response to wrongdoing. As part of his research, Bobby seeks to address the challenge raised by some philosophers that anger is never a morally appropriate response to injustice. Bobby received a BA in mathematics from Saginaw Valley State University, and an MA in philosophy from Georgia State University.


Danbee Chon

Danbee is a Ph.D. candidate in the Management & Organizations department at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Northwestern University. As a doctoral candidate, Chon is interested in phenomena related to the self in the context of organizations. In particular, her primary stream of research considers the theoretical and empirical examination of self-awareness in order to better understand how individuals recognize themselves, especially in the context of power and leadership. Within this stream, Chon has explored achieving a better understanding of the construct of self-awareness through facets of review, theory, and measurement projects. A related, second stream of her research examines self- and other-interest as distinct constructs and in interaction with each other. Current projects within this stream focuses on the theoretical and empirical consideration of self- and other-interest through the dual process model lens, as well as potential interventions that could be developed through this framework. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, playing tennis, and exploring new restaurants in RTP area with her friends!


Ajenai Clemmons


Ajenai is a Ph.D. Candidate in public policy with a concentration in political science at Duke University. Her academic research focuses on the most important factors that help and harm the police-community relationship, focusing especially on African Americans and European Muslims. Ajenai’s dissertation uses comparative in-depth interviews between young Black men in the U.S. and young Muslim men of Bangladeshi background in the U.K. to answer research questions about civilian preferences in policing, civilian assessment of police performance, and civilian responses to policing. In her other research, she has conducted a national survey experiment to test the effect of perceptions of African Americans on civilian preferences for police reforms, and she has examined police fatalities of civilians in the United States and systemic barriers to accurate reporting of deaths.


Rachel Gevlin

Rachel is a Ph.D. candidate in English as well as a candidate for the certificates in Feminist Studies and College Teaching. Her dissertation, Divorcing the Rake: Male Chastity and the Rise of the Novel, 1753-1857, examines depictions of male sexual conduct in narratives of marital disunion. She argues that the emerging genre of the novel reproduced the gendered biases increasingly practiced in English divorce law, refiguring sexually profligate male characters to make them not only palatable but desirable in ways that the law could not. Before coming to Duke, Rachel earned her B.A. in literature and mathematics from Bennington College and served as a math teacher for the United States Peace Corps in Burkina Faso from 2011 to 2013.


Nathan Hershberger

Nathan is a third year PhD student in Christian Theological Studies (Graduate Program in Religion). His work focuses on the relationship between scripture and ethics in the Christian tradition, particularly around issues of suffering and religious violence. He also has interests in Jewish and Islamic studies. Prior to coming to Duke he volunteered for three years in northern Iraq with a relief and development organization. He has an MA from the University of Virginia and a BA from Eastern Mennonite University.

Alberto La Rosa Rojas

Alberto is a fourth year ThD student at Duke Divinity School, working in the fields of Christian moral and political theology. When he was 10 years old, Alberto emigrated with his family from his hometown of Callao, Peru to Midwestern United States, where he lived until moving to Durham, NC to begin his doctoral work at Duke. His experience as an immigrant informs and drives his doctoral research which aims to give a rich account of the conditions and possibilities for the flourishing of migrants. This entails engaging conflicting cultural, theological, and political assumptions about the human as either fundamentally oriented toward settling and rootedness in a place or as fundamentally oriented toward movement, border-crossing, and mestizaje.  Alberto is interested in engaging this conversation by fostering a dialogue between voices from Latin America culture and history, political theory, and Christian theology. Alberto received a MDiv from Western Theological Seminary and a BA from Trinity Christian College in Theology.

Elliot Mamet

Elliot is a Ph.D. candidate in political science, with research interests in political philosophy, the history of political thought, and American political development. His dissertation focuses on the relationship between incarceration and democracy. He is a graduate of Colorado College and previously worked on the staff of the American Political Science Association, in Washington, D.C. His website is elliotmamet.com.


Songyao Ren

Songyao is a fourth-year PhD student in the Philosophy department. She holds a BA in journalism and philosophy from the University of Hong Kong and an MA in East Asian Cultures and Languages from Columbia University. Her current research focuses on whether a good life is one with dispassion. In particular, she discusses two models of dispassion, the Stoic one and the Zhuangist one, and examine the ethical outlooks they each reflect. 


Hannah Ridge

Hannah is a PhD candidate studying the effect of popular understandings of democracy on support for democratization.  Her research focuses on Middle Eastern politics, public opinion on democracy, and religion and politics.  She has a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago.


Elia Romera Figueroa

Elia is a third-year PhD student in Romance Studies (Spanish track). She is also a fellow at the Social Movements Lab (Franklin Humanities Institute). She completed her BA in English and French Language and Cultures at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (2014). She was awarded a one-semester stay at the Universidade de Sâo Paulo (Centre for Latin American Studies Award) and a one-semester stay at UMASS Lowell (Convenios Internacionales Award). She holds an MA in Spanish and Latin American Literatures and Cultures from the University of Wyoming (2017). Her dissertation focuses on protest music during the 1960s and ‘70s in the Spanish state. Her research draws on studies in cultural studies, musicology, memory studies and affect theory to gain a framework for understanding the relationship between musical collective practices in repressive contexts and the formation of experiences and narratives of resistance. In particular, she studies the creation of networks of solidarity among singer-songwriters during concerts, collective LPs, and tours. Her approach challenges dominant regionalist and individualistic methods, offering a counter-story about the communities of protest, memory, and affect created among the singers, and among the audience, during the period known as “late Francoism” (1956-1975), and in the “Transition” (1975-1978) to democracy. 


Muye Ru

Muye is a PhD candidate in Earth and Ocean Science, Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. Her study focuses on the interactions among air quality, climate, and the economic system. She studies the mental health burden related to air pollution, and the associated the morbidity and economic impacts. Muye has finished a Master of Environmental Management from Duke university, and received a BS in Environmental Studies and a BA in Economics from Peking University in China.


Elizabeth Schrader

Elizabeth is a doctoral candidate in Early Christianity in the Graduate Program in Religion. Her research interests include the New Testament Gospels, the Nag Hammadi corpus, Mary Magdalene, textual criticism, and feminist theology. She holds an M.A. and an S.T.M. from the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. Her work has been published in the Harvard Theological Review and her research has been featured by both the Daily Beast and Religion News Service.


Brian Spisiak

Brian  is a PhD candidate in Political Science, specializing in Political Theory. He grew up near Chicago and received his B.A. in political science from Carleton College. His academic work is focused on liberal theories of education, rhetoric and persuasion, and political ontology. His dissertation explores the political and ethical implications of the structure-agency debate in the social sciences. Purely structuralist explanations for social phenomena, while allowing us to recognize and address macro-level problems and systemic inequalities, also run the risk of undermining our agency as we come to view the ourselves and others as objects at the whim of impersonal forces rather than subjects. His work, then, is aimed at examining the roots of the fatalism produced by a “politics of inevitability” and identifying potential ways to reinvigorate democratic political agency.


Adam Stanaland

Adam is a joint-degree doctoral student in psychology and public policy in the Duke ID (Identity and Diversity) Lab and Sanford School of Public Policy. He attended Davidson College, earning a B.S. in Psychology with a concentration in Intercultural Communication Studies. Between Davidson and Duke, he worked for the NYC Department of Education, researching low-income students’ barriers to success. From this grew his interest in how social norms shape self-concept, behavior, and outcomes. His research now explores the origins and consequences of the pressure that children and young adults feel to conform to norms, particularly those related to hegemonic masculinity and its intersections with race and SES


Matthew Stanley

Matthew graduated from Wake Forest University with a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in philosophy. He is now a PhD student in Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University who entered through the Cognitive Neuroscience Admitting Program. Matthew works with Elizabeth MarshRoberto CabezaFelipe De Brigard, and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong to answer questions involving memory, morality, truth, and reasons from computational, behavioral, and philosophical perspectives. His current work specifically examines how and why people remember and forget their past moral and immoral actions. Other current research interests include investigating how people evaluate and use reasons for action in moral dilemmas.