Robin Rodd is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Duke Kunshan University. His research explores the politics of memory in relation to representations and performances of rights and citizenship in Argentina, Uruguay, and Australia. Drawing on the analysis of memorial practices, museums, and diverse forms of civic action, Rodd examines how constructions of the past legitimize specific notions of citizenship, and ways of imagining one’s responsibility to others. Rodd is currently researching the diversity of ways that people imagine shared responsibility for, or implication in, the production of past or ongoing suffering, human and otherwise.
Quinlan Bowman is an Assistant Professor of Ethics and Public Policy at Duke Kunshan University and a political theorist. He investigates the practices, institutions, cultures, and habits of mind that promote – or undercut – meaningful forms of democratic governance at different scales, from the local to the transnational. He is co-author of Deliberative Global Governance (Cambridge 2019). His ongoing research includes two book manuscripts on active citizenship. The first project asks: What might a participatory polity look like, which places citizen participation, dialogue, and deliberation at the heart of policymaking? Drawing on case studies from around the world, Bowman and his co-author (Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley) investigate how direct citizen participation can operate at multiple geographical scales – from the local to the transnational – and illustrate how participation at different levels might be linked up. The second project asks: How might the participants to a nominally democratic process themselves craft decision-making processes that are “inclusive,” or, that best approximate the ideal of treating citizens or members as “free and equal”? And what role might a normative theory of the democratic process play in their real-life efforts to do so?
Christine Folch is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. Her research centers on “environmental citizenship” or “energy citizenship” in South America, concepts which are bounded unevenly by nation-state boundaries as well as hydrological boundaries. Many of the most important sources of electricity in the region are binational hydropower dams that sit on transboundary water sources. Her research has explored how there is an ever-growing body of international law within the region that builds on ideas of obligation and cooperation across national boundaries regarding water and energy. Her ongoing research also investigates climate change and sustainable development on the watery margins of South America, raising questions concerning rights to nature, the rights of nature, and the human rights of marginalized people.
Coraline Goron is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy at Duke Kunshan University and a political scientist. Her current research includes an investigation of the “citizenship” aspect of “citizen science” projects, particularly those that involve young people. More generally, her research explores how lay participation in knowledge production (whether in environmental science or environmental governance) contributes to the formation of citizenship consciousness and shapes citizenship practices beyond the formal institutions of citizenship, particularly in non-democratic contexts like China.
Hyun Jeong Ha
Hyun Jeong Ha is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Duke Kunshan University, a political sociologist, and an ethnographer. Her research lies at the intersection of sectarianism, violence, citizenship, and the daily resistance of religious minorities in the Middle East. Her current research examines how regime transformation and subsequent changes in political and social climate after the 2011 Arab Spring have affected Christian-Muslim relations in Egypt. Egyptian Christians are in a unique situation as citizens. Although the Egyptian Constitution recognizes them as full citizens, they have limited rights in law and its practice. They have been largely underrepresented in various sectors of Egyptian politics and society. Ha’s research expands our understanding of how citizenship works for religious minorities in authoritarian regimes, including how these minorities cope with their limited rights and daily sectarian interactions.
Alexander Kirshner is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Duke University and a political theorist. A question central to his research is: Who is allowed to participate politically and in what sorts of processes, including democratic and autocratic systems? For instance, his first book, A Theory of Militant Democracy: The Ethics of Combatting Political Extremism (Yale 2014), argued that antidemocrats have a right to participate in democratic processes and weighed the implications of that conclusion for the legitimate defense of democracy. A second book, Legitimate Opposition (Yale, Forthcoming) investigates the value of opposition and competition in regimes that fall far short of our democratic ideals. A new project will explore the participatory practices and institutions of non-democratic regimes.
Walter D. Mignolo
Walter D. Mignolo is a William H. Wannamaker Professor of Literature at Duke University and a literary theorist. He has published numerous books, most recently On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analysis, Praxis, co-authored with Catherine Walsh, and The Politics of Decolonial Investigations. Mignolo’s concept of the coloniality of power brings epistemic relations to bear on geopolitics to understand the invention of the idea of Latin America, and the “dark side of modernity.” He has developed sustained conversations with other thinkers who advocate for delinking from Western epistemic and structural forms to allow for the emergence of new ways of imagining being, justice, and community. His notion of the Colonial Matrix of Power, an analytic that sees patriarchy, racism, and the invention and exploitation of nature as “the dark side of modernity,” has become a central axis of decolonial struggles and imaginaries around the world.
Geneviève Rousselière is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Duke University and a political theorist. She works on the transformation of citizenship around the time of the Revolution in France and develops its normative implications for thinking citizenship today. She is particularly interested in the universalist paradox of the French republican conception of citizenship: while French republicanism claims to be based on a universal (all inclusive) type of citizenship disregarding differences, it historically generated a host of arguments for restrictions and exclusions (including an impressive series of arguments justifying exclusions of specific categories of individuals, as opposed to mere de facto exclusions.) Most of these arguments relied on the social, psychological, and economic conditions necessary to form independent and free judgment. In this way, her work contributes to the study of the boundaries of political communities by classifying historical justifications for limiting or expanding active citizenship.
Miguel Rojas-Sotelo is an Adjunct professor in International and Global Studies at Duke University, a cultural theorist, filmmaker, visual artist, and media activist. Working with a decolonial framework, his current research involves an in-depth exploration of how diverse democracies in Latin America and the Caribbean suffer from complex crises of citizen representation, and how citizens are responding. Exercising their right to protest, so-called minority groups—consistently ignored and mistreated by their elected governments—are organizing themselves, taking to the streets and social media platforms to counteract deep social and political inequities. Despite widespread police repression, their civic engagements and social protests sometimes genuinely advance issues of public concern, such as access to public services; labor, health, and land rights; gender equality; the legalization of abortion; the redistribution of income and wealth; and environmental protection.
Keping Wu is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Duke Kunshan University. Her research concerns issues of civic space and citizenship through case studies of ethnic interactions, civil society, religious diversity, state, and personhood from Southwest and Southeast China. Working on China-Myanmar-Tibetan borderlands, for instance, she explores issues of gender and racial equality, governance, ethnogenesis and citizenship. Her current project explores dynamics of creativity and resilience through an ecological lens, drawing attention to new human/non-human imaginaries implicated in urbanization processes in contemporary China.
Qian Zhu is an Assistant Professor of History at Duke Kunshan University, a historian of modern China, and a theorist of everyday life. Zhu is particularly interested in how Chinese leftists understood the world and people’s everyday life regarding human emancipation, modernization, democracy, and mass politics in the first half of the 20th century. Her publications have analyzed the new village movement in China, women’s singleness in China, histories of migration in East Asia in the first half of the 20th century, and the mass education movement of 1930s China. Zhu’s first book addresses how anti-fascism and grassroot social movements responded to global capitalism and the Chinese revolution’s anti-colonial and nation-state building project. Her second book project focuses on the new village movement and how it related to the state policy of urbanization, governance, citizenship, and socialist and post-socialist urbanism in 20th century China.
Elena Lopez is a PhD candidate in anthropology at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. Her research interests include political philosophy, social- environmental and multispecies justice, conflict, nationhood, and understandings of citizenship. In her doctoral thesis, Elena disturbs current understandings of political community, aiming to learn something new about the conditions that can make living together possible and for decolonial ecologies to flourish. Launching an ethnographic investigation into the White settler and her understandings of shared responsibility, Elena explores the creative processes of political struggle to examine decolonial thought in relation to temporality, citizenship, and notions of white Australian identity.
Semin Kim is from the class of 2024 at Duke Kunshan University majoring in Molecular Bioscience with a track in Cell and Molecular Biology. She joined the Citizenship Lab as an administrative/research assistant in February 2022. Her primary responsibilities include advertising and coordinating events, communication with lab affiliates and guests, and website maintenance. She is delighted to support the lab’s upcoming activities!