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

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.

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.

2022-2023 Keohane Professor

Pawan Dhingra is the Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank ’55 Professor of U.S. Immigration Studies as well as the associate provost and associate dean of the faculty at Amherst College. He is a renowned scholar of Asian American studies, inequality, immigration, race, identity and culture. In addition to engagement with students and faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke, Dhingra will offer three public lectures:

Let’s Not Celebrate Asian Americans, Let’s Fight for Them (October 27, 2022, The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill)

A Symphony, But With What Audience? On the Need to Broaden the Reach of Asian American Studies (January 19, 2023, Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center, Duke)

Title TBD (March 31, 2023, Nasher Museum of Art, Duke)


Previous Keohane Professors:

Titles appear as they were at the time of the selection

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

Paavo Honkakoski, Professor of Biopharmacy
University of Eastern Finland 

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

2011 -2012
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