Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorship

The Keohane Professorship brings prominent faculty to serve as visiting professors at UNC and Duke for a one-year period, during which they deliver a lecture series and engage students and faculty around areas of shared interest to both institutions. Ultimately, the program is designed to energize new scholarly connections between Duke and UNC. 

This professorship recognizes the remarkable contributions of Nannerl Keohane during her term as president of Duke University, and the unprecedented level of collaboration she and former UNC Chancellor James Moeser facilitated between these two great institutions.

The award was created in 2004 by then-Chancellor Moeser and was funded by the late Julian and Josie Robertson (parents of Spencer Robertson, Duke ’98, and Alex Robertson, UNC ’01) and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.


2023-24 Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professor

Brett Ashley Kaplan directs the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies at the University of Illinois, where she is a professor of comparative and world literature.

Read the announcement

Goals of the Professorship

1. Promote inter-institutional collaboration and the enhancement of intellectual life at both universities by strengthening or encouraging new collaborations

2. Contribute to the intellectual life of both campuses, and enrich curricular experiences through a carefully planned series of engagements with students

3. Deliver a series of three original public lectures that delve into the most promising directions of research in the scholar’s field, with attention to a broad audience

Structure and Activities of the Professorship

Keohane professors will work closely with faculty leadership on both campuses to identify dates for three visits to the Triangle, each anchored by one of the public lectures, across a one-year period. These visits will include sessions with undergraduate and graduate students, visits to relevant classes, and other types of engagement with intellectual communities on both campuses. Recipients will also work with either Duke University Press or UNC Press to explore publishing revised versions of the lectures. 


Keohane professors receive a payment of $50,000, from which they are responsible for covering travel expenses for their three visits. 

Selection Process

Every year, the offices of the Duke and UNC provosts meet with relevant deans to discuss areas of important intellectual ferment where a visiting professorship would deepen intellectual ties between the two campuses. The offices then invite faculty leaders in a selected area to put forward potential invitees who can speak to the most exciting avenues of research in that scholarly domain, and do so in a way that engages broader audiences. The provosts from both institutions jointly make the final selection. The humanities, arts and interpretive social sciences are current areas of particular focus.

Previous Keohane Professors

Titles appear as they were at the time of selection


Pawan Dhingra, Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank ’55 Professor of U.S. Immigration Studies
Amherst College


David Rueda, Professor of Comparative Politics, Department of Politics and International Relations
University of Oxford


Paavo Honkakoski, Professor of Biopharmacy
Sherry Magill, former President and Executive Director
Jessie Ball DuPont Fund 


Jim Clifton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Rebecca White, James W. Walter Distinguished Chair of Entrepreneurship
University of Tampa


Tom Byers, Faculty Director, Stanford Technology Ventures Program
Stanford University


Nina Chanel Abney, Visual Artist and Muralist
Jace Clayton, Artist, Writer, DJ
Ariel Knafo, Professor, Department of Psychology
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Adam Summers, Professor, School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences, College of the Environment
University of Washington
Hau-Tieng Wu, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics
Toronto University


Susan Lederer, Chair, Department of Medical History & Bioethics and Robert Turell Professor of Medical History and Bioethics
University of Wisconsin


Don Fullerton, Gutgsell Professor of Finance
University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign
Mohsen Kadivar, Visiting Research Professor, Department of Religion 
Duke University


David Pizarro, Associate Professor of Psychology
Cornell University


Jeffrey McDonnell, Professor of Hydrology, Global Institute for Water Security, National Hydrology Research Centre
University of Saskatchewan


Elaine Lawless, Alumni Distinguished Professor of English and Women’s Studies 
University of Missouri


Christine Bachrach
Chief, Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch, Center for Population Research
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development 
Carlos Peres
Professor of Tropical Conservation Ecology, School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia


Klaus Armingeon, Director, Institute of Political Science
University of Berne


Patricia Uberoi, Honorary Director, Institute of Chinese Studies
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies


J. Lawrence Aber, Professor of Applied Psychology and Public Policy
New York University
Peter Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister 
Harvard University


Gerd Jürgens, Developmental Genetics
University of Tubingen


Dr. Geoffrey Brennan, Professor of Social and Political Theory 
The Australian National University