Ethics book clubs catching on across campus

Teju-Book-Club-400About a year ago, the Kenan Institute for Ethics began a staff book club, modeled after a club begun by the Political Science departmental staff. Our group—made up of several Kenan staff members—meets monthly to discuss works of fiction and non-fiction that relate, broadly, to ethics. The clubs are designed to foster an informal and fun conversational space for Duke employees, and have in the past allowed engagement with authors such as John Green, Teju Cole, and Eula Biss. You can read more about the ethics book club model in a recent Duke Today article.

If you are interested in in starting your own department or school book club and would like a sample list of books or information on our model, please contact Bear Postgraduate Fellow Michaela Dwyer. In addition to our own staff book club, the Kenan Institute is able to partially sponsor additional staff books clubs throughout the university. While we are no longer accepting funding proposals for the current academic year, we will begin taking requests for 2015-2016 in July. Stay tuned to our website for more details! In the meantime, you might consider submitting a Campus Grant application (next round due February 15).


While we are not currently accepting new funding proposals for staff book clubs, please keep in mind the following specifications must be met and addressed in all proposals:

  • Clubs are open only to staff members from Duke departments and schools; clubs must be comprised entirely of Duke staff members
  • Clubs must engage issues surrounding ethics through their book selections and group conversations (sample book list available upon request)
  • Clubs should meet approximately monthly and meet on-campus, preferably during work hours
  • Clubs should be interested in convening with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Political Science, and Sanford School groups for occasional large-group discussions
  • Clubs should submit a report of activities by the end of the year