Grants Support Student Summer Research on Human Rights

Duke Human Rights Institute aids global projects

Anastasia Karklina (left) stands with a friend during her first trip to Ghana for study abroad in Fall 2012.
Anastasia Karklina (left) stands with a friend during her first trip to Ghana for study abroad in Fall 2012.

From studying alternative art networks' impact on citizens' rights in post-revolution Egypt to doing tests for water contamination in El Porvenir, Honduras, Duke students will explore major human rights issues this summer around the world.

Summer 2013 research support from the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute (DHRC@FHI) provide research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students interested in developing projects that focus on human rights. Recipients include five undergraduate and four graduate students exploring a variety of human rights issues.

Anastasia Karklina ('14) will travel to Ghana and Israel to conduct comparative studies of a historically marginalized minority sect, Ahmadiyya Islam, focusing on Islamic theology and non-violent conflict resolution.

For her honor's thesis, Elizabeth Blackwood ('14) will use "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland as a case study for her research on the role of museums in the historical memory of partition and conflict. Her interest in this topic was sparked by her experience in the DukeEngage program in Belfast in summer 2012.

Lucy Dicks-Mireaux ('15) will travel to Washington, D.C., and New York City to interview representatives from the United Nations, World Bank, USAID, the State Department, and human rights and technology NGOs to understand how trends in Intellectual Property Law often conflict with human rights.

Fei Gao ('14) plans to conduct a trans-regional study on organizations working on labor and human rights issues in China.

In cooperation with the DHRC@FHI, the Nicholas School program on human rights and the environment sponsored two research grants.  As a member of the student organization Project HEAL (Health Education and Awareness in Latin America), Nicole Bautista ('16) will travel with other Duke students to El Porvenir, Honduras, to test for contamination in local water sources and raise community awareness about the short and long-term solutions. As part of her master's degree thesis, Alix Blair will travel to Uganda to explore how the empowerment of women to protect the environment can facilitate peace-building in post-conflict areas.  

Other graduate student awardees include Amanda Hughett, Yakein Abdelmagid and Sophie Smith. Their research explores grassroots activism and criminal justice politics in North Carolina between 1968-1994, alternative art networks and citizenship rights in Egypt, and the roles of local residents and humanitarian aid organizations in supporting migration across the U.S./Mexico Border, respectively.

Each student will give a presentation about his or her research during the 2013/14 academic year. The dates will be announced on the DHRC@FHI website.