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Communities and Congregations: a conversation with Gerald Taylor

Please join us for a conversation with Gerald Taylor about organizing at the intersection of churches and other civic groups, and how that organizing interacts with politics in NC. Free and open to the public. Refreshments served. Parking provided in the Bryan Center Garage (PGIV)RSVP on the web form to receive your parking pass and instructions. Email amber.diaz@duke.edu for more information or questions about parking.

Gerald Taylor is one of the most creative experienced organizers and strategic campaign planners and trainers in the country. For nearly 35 years, he was a national senior organizer of the IAF and for 26 of those years the IAF’s Southeast Regional Director. He retired from the IAF in 2014. In 2015, he co-founded Advance Carolina a state-wide 501c(4). Advance is creating a new mechanism for building democratic power and governance by combining the best of social media and respectful relational organizing. He has trained thousands of Clergy, lay leaders, unions’ staff and leaders, government and private sector institutional leaders over the past forty years and lectured at colleges and universities including Duke University, Vanderbilt University, and UNC Chapel-Hill on theories of social change and community organizing.

Hosted by the faculty working group on race, religion, and politics, supported by an Intellectual Community Planning Grant from the Duke University Office of the Provost. Co-sponsored by the Kenan Institute for Ethics and Religions and Public Life at KIE.

Kenan Distinguished Lecture in Ethics: Cornel West and Robert George

The public is invited to the Kenan Distinguished Lecture in Ethics: a conversation with Cornel West (Harvard) and Robert George (Princeton) on friendship and faith across political difference.

Moderated by Joseph Winters (Duke, Religious Studies).

Reception to follow.

 

Parking:

Free Parking in the Lower Allen Lot and Bryan Center Surface Lot (ADA).  Paid hourly parking in the Bryan Center Garage: (map)

  • Free parking in the Lower Allen Lot (map). 

allen lot to goodson

 

  • Free ADA and accessible parking in the Bryan Center Surface Lot (map).

bryan center lot to goodson

 


More about our lecturers:

Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual.  He is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris.  Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. He has written 20 books and has edited 13.  Though he is best known for his classics Race Matters — which celebrates its 25th Anniversary with a new release, Democracy Matters, his memoir, Brother West:  Living and Loving Out Loud, and the critically acclaimed Black Prophetic Fire.  Dr. West is a frequent guest on the Bill Maher Show, Colbert Report, CNN, C-Span and Democracy Now.  

He made his film debut in the Matrix – and was the commentator (with Ken Wilbur) on the official trilogy released in 2004.  He also has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films including Examined Life, Call & Response, Sidewalk and Stand.

Last, he has made three spoken word albums including Never Forget, collaborating with Prince, Jill Scott, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, KRS-One and the late Gerald Levert.  His spoken word interludes were featured on Terence Blanchard’s Choices (which won the Grand Prix in France for the best Jazz Album of the year of 2009), The Cornel West Theory’s Second Rome, Raheem DeVaughn’s Grammy-nominated Love & War: Masterpeace, and most recently on Bootsy Collins’ The Funk Capital of the World.  In short, Cornel West has a passion to communicate to a vast variety of publics in order to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. – a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice.


 

Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is also a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School.

In addition to his academic service, Professor George has served as Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He has also served on the President’s Council on Bioethics, as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and as the U.S. member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Science and Technology.

He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award.

He serves on the boards of the John M. Templeton Foundation Religion Trust, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and the Center for Individual Rights, among others.

Professor George is author of Making Men Moral:  Civil Liberties and Public Morality (Oxford University Press, 1993), In Defense of Natural Law (Oxford University Press, 1999), The Clash of Orthodoxies (ISI, 2001) and Conscience and Its Enemies (ISI, 2013). He is co-author of Conjugal Union: What Marriage Is (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Embryo: A Defense of Human Life (2nd edition, Doubleday, 2011), Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2008), and What is Marriage? (Encounter, 2012). He is editor of several volumes, including Natural Law Theory: Contemporary Essays (Oxford University Press, 1992), The Autonomy of Law: Essays on Legal Positivism (Oxford University Press, 1996), Natural Law, Liberalism, and Morality (Oxford University Press, 1996), and Great Cases in Constitutional Law (Princeton University Press, 2000), and co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to Natural Law (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

Professor George’s articles and review essays have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Review of Politics, the Review of Metaphysics, and the American Journal of Jurisprudence.  He has also written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, First Things, the Boston Review, and the Times Literary Supplement.

A graduate of Swarthmore College, Professor George holds M.T.S. and J.D. degrees from Harvard University and the degrees of D.Phil., B.C.L., and D.C.L. from Oxford University. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Swarthmore and received a Frank Knox Fellowship from Harvard for graduate study in law and philosophy at Oxford.  He holds nineteen honorary degrees, including doctorates of law, letters, ethics, science, divinity, humane letters, civil law, law and moral values, humanities, and juridical science.

He is a recipient of the United States Presidential Citizens Medal, the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement, the Philip Merrill Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, the Paul Bator Award of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy, the Sidney Hook Award of the National Association of Scholars, a Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association, the Charles Fried Award of the Harvard Law School Federalist Society, the Irving Kristol Award of the American Enterprise Institute, and Princeton University’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.

He has given the John Dewey Lecture in Philosophy of Law at Harvard, the Guido Calabresi Lecture in Law and Religion at Yale, the Elizabeth Anscombe Memorial Lecture in Bioethics at Oxford, the Sir Malcolm Knox Lecture in Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and the Frank Irvine Lecture in Law at Cornell.

Professor George is general editor of New Forum Books, a Princeton University Press series of interdisciplinary works in law, culture, and politics.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is Of Counsel to the law firm of Robinson & McElwee.

Baylor University has named its new Washington, D.C.-based program the “Robert P. George Initiative in Faith, Ethics, and Public Policy.”

 


The 2019 Kenan Distinguished Lecture is cosponsored by the Duke Divinity School, Department of Religious Studies, American Program in Grand Strategy, Department of African & African American Studies, and Department of Political Science.

2018-2019 Rights Writers Announced

rights writers

 

Congratulations to the 2018-2019 Global Human Rights Scholars Program’s Rights Writers.  These undergraduate students were competitively selected to join the third 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, 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.

The Rights Writers will blog January-May 2019.  Visit the blog

 

Chelsea Jubitanachelsea jubitana

Chelsea Jubitana is a sophomore from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, double majoring in Public Policy and Global Health, and minoring in Psychology. She is interested in a number of human rights issues, but specifically those that impact children and racial/ethnic minorities. As a result, she conducted research over the past year surrounding the socio-economic gap in the United States. This is to be published by the close of the 2018-2019 academic year titled, “Upward Mobility: The Pitfall of the American Dream”. This evaluates the duration of time it will take each race to reach a point in which moving between socioeconomic groups would be equitable. It also evaluates that policy has in determining social mobility. Given that she is interested in issues that impact children and racial minorities, she wishes to do more in-depth research on the human rights implications of mass incarceration in the US in comparative perspective because the issue is equally detrimental to both parties. (Topics:  implications of mass incarceration in the US in comparative human rights perspective)

 

erin mcdermottErin McDermott

Erin McDermott is a junior from Glasgow, Scotland, majoring in Political Science with minors in Economics and Art History. She is passionate about urban policy and the ability of cities in combating global issues. She first got involved in this field after participating in the Governance, Policy, and Society DukeImmerse program, and she currently is in a Bass Connections research team that analyzes the intersections of urban spaces and the creative arts. At Duke, Erin is an International Karsh Scholar, Vice President of the Center for Race Relations, and a podcast producer for Hear at Duke. (Topics:  human rights and urban spaces, especially sustainability, equal protection, and inequality)

 

Kate Watkins kate watkins

Kate Watkins is from Winston-Salem, NC. She is majoring in Biology and History with a concentration in the History of Medicine, Science, and Technology. In addition, she is minoring in Chemistry and writing a thesis based upon vaccine social support research she conducted with Bass Connections in Roatan, Honduras. Her blog posts will focus aging policies in the US and abroad, considering related ethical topics such as elder abuse, the right to die, and patient autonomy. (Topics:  human rights and end of life care in the US in comparative perspective)

 

margo armbrusterMargot Armbruster

Margot Armbruster is a first-year from Wisconsin prospectively studying Political Science or Global Cultural Studies. She’s excited to be writing this semester on rhetoric in the conversation about migration to Germany, focusing on the real consequences that language has in migrants’ lives. In addition to this Kenan Institute Program, Margot is involved on campus in the Classics Collegium, Something Borrowed Something Blue, American Grand Strategy, and the Duke International Relations Association. (Topics:  political rhetoric and migrant outcomes in Germany)

 

Phil Ma phil ma

Phil Ma is a sophomore from Beijing, China, majoring in Political Science and Mathematics. His interests include international human rights law and ethics as a field of philosophy. In addition to writing with the Global Human Rights Scholars Program, Phil is also on the American Grand Strategy Council and works as a research assistant to Professor Bruce Jentleson on the changing dynamics of relations with China in the 21st century. Last summer, he helped with Duke’s interests involving domestic climate policy in DukeEngage D.C. In his free time, Phil likes swimming and watching stand-up comedy. (Topics:  human rights violations in China, and the strategic and economic pressures that limit international responses)

 

sonali mehtaSonali Mehta

Sonali Mehta is a junior studying Public Policy and Human Rights. She is an advocate for the use of restorative justice in university cases of sexual violence. Sonali has been involved with Kenan since participating in Project Change her freshman year, later participating in the Kenan FOCUS and as a member of Team Kenan. She enjoys photography, drinking tea, eating hummus, and re-reading Harry Potter.  (Topics:  comparative human rights approach to sexual violence in the US)

Arete High School Summer Seminar in Ethics, Philosophy, and Religion

July 9-14, 2019 | Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
a seminar to intellectually prepare high school students for college

 

Arete High School Seminar 2019The “Arete Summer Seminar in Ethics, Philosophy, and Religion at Duke University” will aim to prepare high school students with a “tool kit” for approaching these subjects in college, offering them a roadmap of sorts. Plato and Aristotle will be primary interlocutors along with a number of other great minds. The seminar will examine the meaning of virtue, the substance of human nature, the question of human flourishing, the metaphysics of reality, and the nature of “truth.” Students will also discuss the ideas of natural law, the relationship between philosophy and theology, and the relationship between science and religion. These topics will be taken up in the context of assigned literature, works of theology, and some readings from modern analytic philosophers. Students will receive a reading packet by mail prior to the seminar and will be expected to have read the material beforehand.

 

Faculty

John Rose, Kenan Institute for Ethics
Thomas Pfau, Professor of English at Duke
Jed Atkins, Professor of Classics at Duke
Warren Smith, Professor of Theology at Duke

Eligibility

This seminar is open to current high school students entering their junior or senior years.

Registration Fee and Facilities

There is no fee associated with applying or attending. Students will be housed in Duke dormitories and provided with meal cards.

Application Requirements and Instructions:

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

  • A one-page cover letter explaining why they wish to attend the seminar
  • Copies of high school transcripts
  • A 400-word essay in response to Meno’s question, “Can Virture be Taught?”

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until April 26th, 2019.

 

Learn more about the Arete Initiativearete initiative

Arete Medical Ethics Summer Seminar

June 24 – June 28, 2019 | Duke University, North Carolina
a seminar for students of medicine and nursing

 

Medical Ethics Summer 2019This 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.

Faculty

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

Eligibility

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, 2019.

 

Learn more about the Arete Initiative

arete initiative

 

 

Emma Davenport, Kenan Graduate Fellow, Presents Research to Victorianists

Illustrated London NewsIn October, with support from the Kenan Institute for Ethics, I attended the annual conference of the North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA) to present research I completed last year as a Kenan Graduate Fellow in Ethics. This conference represents the largest annual gathering of interdisciplinary scholars working on mid-to-late-nineteenth-century British literature and culture. In addition to enjoying brilliant panels and plenary talks, consulting with a former advisor, and networking with colleagues, I presented a paper to my fellow Victorianists and gathered valuable feedback for use in revising my first dissertation chapter.

My research contests political liberalism’s conventional presumption that a social system organized around contractual relationships among individuals ensures the self-sovereignty of its members. According to an influential nineteenth-century narrative of political progress, societies evolve from a foundation in status-based, group relations to a system based on freely-willed agreements between individuals. This understanding of progress privileges a particular kind of political subject, the “liberal individual,” who is said to exercise rational decision-making procedures to form consensual agreements with others. I argue that while Victorian political theory was conceiving and disseminating this narrative, the Victorian novel was revealing the concept of the liberal individual’s autonomous consent to be a powerful political fiction. In our contemporary society, we remain Victorian in our reliance on a model of individual consent as the underlying justification for our political system; my interest in the Victorian novel thus lies in its ability to reimagine and critique the political conditions that we take for granted today.

My experience as a Kenan Graduate Fellow introduced me to the wider community of Duke graduate students working on the same ethical issues that my dissertation seeks to address, in disciplinary fields only apparently far-removed from literary studies. I met economists, public policy scholars, political scientists, theologians, historians, sociologists, and philosophers, all working from different perspectives on aspects of the ethical implications of constructing our democratic institutions around the concept of the agential rational actor. Learning about my peers’ research on seemingly far-flung issues—abortion rights in Ireland, the psychology of climate change, the interaction of self-help rhetoric and perceptions of inequality, among many others—revealed to me how interconnected our research actually was. By engaging in interdisciplinary dialogue that put into conversation the expertise and perspectives of a diverse set of scholars, I was able to better articulate what I research and why it matters. My experience as a Kenan Graduate Fellow enabled me to contextualize my own work in a wider set of issues while introducing me to a group of smart, engaged, fascinating people with whom I continue to collaborate. The continuing support of KIE made it possible for me to share these insights with my fellow Victorianists at the 2018 NAVSA Conference.

My conference paper, entitled “Contractual Cannibalism in Great Expectations,” discussed an 1884 incident of cannibalism amongst the survivors of the wrecked yacht Mignonette. The “case of the Mignonette,” as it was popularly referred to at the time, caused a sensational public response, much of which centered on the (legally irrelevant) question of whether the men should be held accountable for their failure to observe the “custom of the sea.” This norm sanctioned cannibalism by starving castaways, but also loosely prescribed that the appropriate procedure to follow in determining a victim was to draw lots. The centrality of lot-drawing to the popular understanding of the distinction between licensed survival and illegitimate brutality, I argue, places consent at the center of the determination of who eats whom, rendering an agreement to draw lots a kind of contractual cannibalism. Lotteries make survival cannibalism legible to liberalism by transforming an act performed under extreme duress into the natural consequence of an agreement entered into by willing individuals. I contend that it is the durability of this liberal fiction of consent that the Mignonette Court was invested in maintaining when it found the survivors guilty of murder.

I further argue that more than twenty years before the sinking of the Mignonette, Dickens had anticipated and theorized in Great Expectations (1861) the issues that the law would soon be forced to confront. I contend that in Great Expectations, Dickens employs an association between cannibalism and shipwreck to allude to the era’s preoccupation with castaway criminality and the problems of consent it raises.  Through this historical referent, Dickens suggests that the violent process of individuation that protagonist Pip willingly undergoes in becoming a modern liberal subject resembles a species of self-cannibalism. Pip’s attempts to distinguish himself from the “coarse and common” mass—to exercise individual autonomy under conditions of constraint in order to enter a larger modern civil society—have the outcome of destroying Pip’s agency, apparently by his own consent. In a liberal society, implies Dickens, the act of agreeing to a social contract is an exercise in self-cannibalism, a violence committed against the individual by that same individual. This contractual mechanism resides at the core of civil society in the cases of shipwreck castaways and ordinary citizens alike.

My experiences as a Graduate Fellow in the richly interdisciplinary environment of the Kenan Institute helped me conceptualize how the historical phenomenon of survival cannibalism, the theoretical concept of the social contract, and a literary representation of individual development and social collectivity were in conversation with one another. I’m grateful to my colleagues for their discerning feedback, their ingenious insights, and their lively engagement with the ethical issues that matter in our world today.

Emma Davenport is a fifth-year PhD student in the English Department.