The Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University

The Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University


The Keohane Professorship recognizes the remarkable contributions of Dr. Nannerl Keohane during her term as President of Duke University, and the unprecedented level of collaboration she and former UNC Chancellor James Moeser created between these two great institutions.  The award was created in 2004 by Chancellor Moeser and is funded by Carolina graduate Julian Robertson and his wife, Josie, of New York (parents of Spencer Robertson ’98) and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.  The Professorship brings outstanding scholars, artists, or practitioners to the UNC and Duke campuses who will promote existing and encourage new collaborations between the two schools.  The Professorship is administered by UNC and is overseen by Carol Tresolini, Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives at UNC and Noah Pickus, Associate Provost and Senior Advisor and Nannerl O. Keohane Co-director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Initially, proposals were accepted on any topic; however, in 2016, the professorship directed its focus on proposals that allow the two universities to work together to extend their capacity in data science, entrepreneurship and innovation, and the arts.   Proposals selected for funding address the three main responsibilities of the professorship:

  1. Promote inter-institutional collaboration and the enhancement of intellectual life at both universities by strengthening established collaborations or encouraging new ones;
  1. Contribute to the teaching missions of both UNC and Duke—in particular to the undergraduate curriculum—through a self-standing course or the co-teaching of one or more courses, or through a carefully planned series of guest appearances in a number of courses;
  2. Share the work of the Visiting Professor widely through public lectures or performances.

Additional information on any presentations or performances by the current recipients will be posted as it becomes available.

Professorships in Data Science, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Arts for the 2016-17 and 2017-2018 academic years are organized as follows:

Data Science
Organizers are Stanley Ahalt, Department of Computer Science, UNC and Director, Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI); Robert Calderbank, Professor of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Mathematics and Director, Information Initiative at Duke (iiD), Duke University; and Tracy Futhey, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Duke University.

This project will establish a new Duke-UNC summer program that incorporates features of two existing Duke initiatives and focuses on mobile application development.  The ten-week program will include a boot camp and hands-on programming.  A Keohane Visiting Professor (to be selected) will be responsible for recruiting students and teaching the summer program.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Organizers are Kip Frey, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy and Law and Interim Director, Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, Duke University; and Ted Zoller, T.W. Lewis Clinical Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Director, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, UNC.

Keohane Visiting Professors will expand educational opportunities in entrepreneurship and innovation by advancing the two universities’ collaborative work in design and systems thinking, entrepreneurial pedagogy (Rebecca White, fall 2017 from the University of Tampa), entrepreneurial leadership (Jim Clifton, fall 2017-spring 2018, from Gallup), and regional entrepreneurial ecosystems and technology commercialization (Tom Byers, spring 2018 from Stanford University).

The Arts
Organizers are Emil Kang, Executive Director for the Arts, UNC; and Scott Lindroth, Professor of Music and Vice Provost for the Arts, Duke University.

To advance existing social engagement and innovation programs at the two campuses and inspire students and faculty to consider how their work can improve the community, the professorship will support artists whose work explores various aspects of social activism:  Jace Clayton, and Nina Chanel Abney.  The resulting activities will encourage new and different approaches to using art to effect social change and will foster further opportunities for collaborations within and between Duke and UNC.


2017 (spring)
Adam Summers, Professor in the Department of Biology and School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences, College of the Environment
University of Washington
Dr. Summers’ research interests include the evolution and mechanical properties of cartilage and tendon, swimming mechanics of sharks, respiratory patterns of sharks and rays and solid-solid interactions in aquatic organisms. As a Keohane Professor, he worked with undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs, and professors at both universities, in addition to interacting with the public.  He gave lectures at UNC and Duke as well as Virginia Tech, North Carolina State University, Ohio University, the University of North Florida, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Ocean Institute. Dr. Summers instigated several new research projects while a Keohane Professor, including making physical models and establishing new imaging methods for a project on trap jaw ants. He also gathered data for a three dimensional exploration of fish movement in collaboration with local scientists.  He applied for and received grants and collaborated on an invited paper for Current Biology.

Hau-Tieng Wu, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics
Toronto University
Dr. Wu has an MD with a specialization in radiology, and a PhD in mathematics.  As the Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professor he was involved in teaching, mentoring, and collaborative research.  He taught a jointly listed course on massive data analysis and bio-medical applications, developed a research project with Wake Forest Hospital, and was involved in collaborative research projects applying an innovative signal processing technique to improve EEG signal extraction when the artifacts contaminate the signal and on enhanced signal processing of non-contact measures of autonomic function.

2016 (fall)
Ariel Knafo, Professor, Department of Psychology
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dr. Knafo’s research focuses on the development of pro-social behavior and empathy in the context of genetics and the family environment, and on the development of values in the contexts of culture and the family.  Professor Knafo’s activities during his professorship included:  co-chairing the organizing committee for the semester-long symposium of the Carolina Consortium on Human Development; co-teaching the weekly seminar that followed each meeting of the symposium on empathy and generosity; delivering a public lecture; co-organizing a speaker series of distinguished developmental scientists from North American universities; and participating in multiple seminars at Duke and UNC.

2016 (spring)
Torsten Fransson, Educational Director – selected, but cancelled
Knowledge Innovation Center, InnoEnergy

Susan Lederer, Chair, Department of Medical History & Bioethics and Robert Turell Professor of Medical History and Bioethics
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
Professor Lederer’s visit contributed to interdisciplinary curricular initiatives in medical humanities and social studies of science on both campuses and reinvigorated longstanding inter-campus conversations around history of science and medicine.  She co-taught an undergraduate honors seminar, conducted faculty seminars, and served as a guest lecturer in several classes.

2015 (spring)
Don Fullerton, Gutgsell Professor of Finance
University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign
Professor Fullerton’s nomination was supported by a number of intellectual units at both schools who used his presence as a catalyst for a national conference and generated a jointly written and edited collection of published research.  He participated in graduate and undergraduate courses to help students learn tools for analyzing policy questions.  He also gave a public address to the Duke-UNC communities on the economics of climate change.

2014 (fall)
Mohsen Kadivar, Visiting Research Professor, Department of Religion
Duke University
Professor Kadivar’s appointment to the Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorship  added to the collaboration between UNC and Duke University in the field of Islamic studies.  The two universities have complementary strength in this field, and a long history of good relations and collaboration over the past two decades.  Professor Kadivar’s  appointment enabled  students on both campuses to study with one of the most important intellectual figures in the Islamic world and permitted the formation of new initiatives, such as conferences and publications aimed at rethinking the resources offered by the Islamic tradition for facing the critical issues of the contemporary world.

2014 (spring)
David Pizarro, Associate Professor of Psychology
Cornell University
Professor Pizarro is a moral psychologist whose groundbreaking research on disgust, its influence on moral judgments, and its importance for political controversies is of particular interest to his sponsors at Duke and UNC. He taught a course on moral psychology at UNC with students from both institutions. He participated regularly in MAD Lab (Duke’s research laboratory on moral attitudes and decisions) as well as activities in the Center for Advanced Hindsight. He gave many talks in labs and classes at each institution as well as a very well-received Keohane lecture on “How Emotions Shape Our Beliefs”. Building upon both universities’ expertise in moral psychology, Professor Pizarro helped to bring together researchers at both institutions. Other long-term impacts of his visit included invigorating on-going research, helping with a successful grant application to fund an annual training program in Neuroscience and Philosophy, and stimulating a new research group on disgust.

Jeffrey McDonnell
Professor of Hydrology, Global Institute for Water Security
National Hydrology Research Centre, University of Saskatchewan
Duke and UNC have both recognized the centrality of water as a research, education and outreach focus and have been building steadily in these areas.  As a well recognized leader in the fields of watershed hydrology and ecohydrology, Professor McDonnell enhanced these efforts by contributing to a shared graduate seminar on watershed hydrology and environmental water availability as well as other events that included guest lectures in undergraduate classes, research and public talks, and strategic planning and collaboration with faculty.

2011 (fall)
Elaine Lawless, Alumni Distinguished Professor of English and Women’s Studies
University of Missouri
Professor Lawless is a leading scholar in the fields of Folklore, Religious Studies, and Women’s Studies. As an innovative documentary methodologist, her work has focused on veterans of historic and recent conflicts. Students from both UNC and Duke were involved in her veterans documentation project, which links to the Veterans Oral History Project, housed at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.

2011 (spring)
Christine Bachrach, Chief, Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch, Center for Population Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Professor Bachrach enhanced collaboration between social science and health scholars at the Duke Population Research Institute and UNC’s Carolina Population Center – as well as more broadly – by teaching an advanced undergraduate course in population health.  She also  participated in a seminar series that brought in external speakers who integrated the social, behavioral, and health sciences. In addition, Professor Bachrach gave a lecture in honor of J. Richard Udry, UNC Kenan Professor Emeritus.

Carlos Peres, Professor of Tropical Conservation Ecology, School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
Professor Peres was to give a course on tropical ecology and global change and participate in a workshop involving faculty from other local institutions.

2010 (spring)
Klaus Armingeon, Director, Institute of Political Science
University of Berne (Switzerland)
An expert on European politics and political economy, Professor Armingeon has published extensively on the comparative politics of Europe.  He taught a course for advanced undergraduate students, wrote a paper on the political economy of Switzerland and the responses of national governments to the crisis of 2008/2009 (the latter of which was presented in April, 2010 at the Conference of Europeanists), and worked on an exchange program between UNC and the University of Bern.

2009 (spring)
Patricia Uberoi, Honorary Director, Institute of Chinese Studies, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (Delhi, India)
As Keohane Professor for the Spring term of 2009, affiliated with the Anthropology Department of the University of North Carolina, Professor Uberoi co-taught a course on “Gender and Sexuality in India” with Professor Sumathi Ramaswamy of the Department of History, Duke University.  The interdisciplinary course, which was video-conferenced across the two campuses, introduced students to issues of gender and sexuality in India reflected, in particular, through visual media.  Professor Uberoi delivered the Nannerl O. Keohane lecture on “Chicks, kids and couples:  Icons of Indian modernity” and presented papers at two international conferences held at Duke University:  the conference on “India, Sexuality and the Archive”, hosted by the Women’s Studies program and the conference on “M.F. Husain: Barefoot across the Nation”, hosted by the History Department.  She also used the opportunity provided by the Keohane Professorship to compile materials for a Reader on Intimacy in Asia.  Additional details are available at the NC Center for South Asia Studies website

2008 (spring)
Peter Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister
Harvard University
Dr. Peter Gomes, who delivered the 2005 commencement address at Carolina, was the Plummer professor of Christian morals and Pusey minister in the Memorial Church of Harvard University since 1974. Dr. Gomes taught an undergraduate course that was open to students from both Duke and Carolina, and a course in the Duke Divinity School.

2007 (fall)
J. Lawrence Aber, Professor of Applied Psychology and Public Policy
New York University
Dr. J. Lawrence Aber, is a child development specialist. His research examines the influence of violence and poverty in families and communities as it relates to child development. He taught a joint undergraduate course for Carolina and Duke students, and conducted research with the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy and the UNC Center for Developmental Science.

Gerd Jürgens, Developmental Genetics
University of Tubingen (Germany)
Dr. Gerd Jürgens is the founding director and research group leader for the Center for Plant Molecular Biology and a professor of developmental genetics at the University of Tübingen. A respected authority on the developmental biology of plants and animals, Jürgens taught one undergraduate and one graduate course open to students from both Carolina and Duke, and delivered a major address in April of 2006 at UNC as part of the Distinguished Seminar in Molecular Biology.

Dr. Geoffrey Brennan, Philosophy Program
The Australian National University
Geoffrey Brennan is a professor in the Social and Political Theory group in the Research School of Social Science at Australian National University in Canberra. Noted for his work in public choice theory, welfare economics, public finance and political philosophy, Brennan split the spring 2005 semester between Carolina and Duke, where he taught two undergraduate classes and worked with faculty on both campuses to develop a cross-campus undergraduate Program in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.