Graduate Arts Fellowship

Aaron-2-400The Kenan Institute for Ethics offers a fellowship for students enrolled in the MFA|EDA program entering her or his second year. The Graduate Arts Fellowship is meant to encourage a student with interests in the area of ethics, broadly construed, to deepen this connection through engagement with the faculty, fellows, staff, and students at the Kenan Institute for Ethics over the course of an academic year. Responsibilities for the fellowship include curation of an exhibit and associated program during the spring semester; engagement with undergraduates during the fall and spring semesters; and serving as a judge for Team Kenan’s annual What Is Good Art? visual art competition in late spring.

The fellowship comes with a $5,000 stipend (paid in the fall and early spring) that supplements any other funding a student already receives.

For more information, contact Dan Smith at dan.smith@duke.edu.

Responsibilities include:

  1. The Exhibit During the spring semester, fellows will curate an exhibit rooted in at least one of the Institute’s core areas of substantive inquiry: human rights; global migration; rethinking regulation; morality & decision-making; and religion & public life. The exhibit may consist entirely or partially of the fellow’s original work, but the fellow may also curate a show comprised of others’ work. The exhibit should be at least partially displayed in the Keohane-Kenan Gallery at the Kenan Institute for Ethics in the West Duke Building, on-display beginning no later than January 12, 2018.The fellow will also plan and coordinate a lecture, panel, or similar program related to the exhibit. In addition to the fellowship stipend, some funds and assistance will be available for the exhibit, associated program, and a reception.
  2. Student Engagement During each of the fall and spring semesters, the fellow will participate in at least one engagement activity with undergraduates. The parameters of engagement are deliberately broad, and we welcome suggestions for activities from applicants. Possibilities include guest lecturing for an Ethics Certificate Program discussion course session; planning and participating in an experimental and/or documentary arts-themed intervention with Team Kenan; or working with the professor of a course on a component germane to the fellow’s interests.
  3. What Is Good Art? Judging The fellow will sit on the jury of experts in visual art and/or ethics for Team Kenan’s annual visual art competition and show, What Is Good Art? The fellow will be an integral part of the judging dinner, to be held in January, and must be present at the What Is Good Art? opening reception in early April.


2017-2018 Kenan Graduate Arts Fellow

Rachel Jessen-Kenan Graduate Arts FellowRachel Jessen is a proud Iowan, born in Waterloo and bred in Iowa City. She attended the University of Iowa where she received her B.A. in Spanish and Linguistics with a TEFL emphasis, all the while working tirelessly as a photographer and photo editor for the independent university newspaper, The Daily Iowan (minus the year she studied abroad in Madrid).

After graduating, she photographed/photo-edited/freelanced for Little Village magazine, the Corridor Business Journal, The Hawk Eye, The Press-Citizen, and The Des Moines Register. Rachel also worked as an assistant for a couple years for VII Photo’s Danny Wilcox Frazier, a documentary photographer based in Iowa City.

Her exhibition, Yarders, opens on January 12, 2018 and will be on-display through March 19, 2018.

Past Kenan Graduate Arts Fellows

2013-2014: Caitlin Margaret Kelly
Kelly curated an art exhibit in the fall of 2013, The Icon Industry: The Visual Rhetoric of Human Rights and also worked with undergraduates on an interactive project around global migration, #Migrations.

2014-2015: Aaron Kutnick
Kutnick created new works for an exhibition, Docu{rithm} at the Kenan Keohane Gallery examining how algorithms are shaping our narratives.

2015-2016: Alex Cunningham
Cunningham presented Shifting Water: Lenses on Mythology and Environmental Change in India, a multimedia exhibit examining the impact of global climate change on the sacred rivers of India.

2016-2017: Salima Al-Ismaili
Al-Ismaili presented Nests of the Nu Ahong, a multimedia exhibit visiting nusi – women’s mosques – in China’s Henan province and the community of Hui Muslim minorities it serves.