The new class of Duke Alumni Faculty Fellows includes a pioneer in the field of black popular culture, a law school faculty member who has worked on Supreme Court confirmation hearings, a scholar of applied and theoretical ethics, and a biomedical engineer specializing in biomaterials.
Building on the 2012-13 pilot year of the program, this year's fellows will follow in their predecessors' footsteps by speaking to alumni at regional events throughout 2013-13. Beth Ray-Schroeder '83, director of the Duke Alumni Association's travel and education program, says that the new faculty group represents a broad cross section of academic disciplines. "For the pilot program, we drew from Trinity College of Arts & Sciences faculty with the support of Dean Laurie Patton. As part of building the program, we expanded campus engagement by inviting all Duke's deans, institutes, and initiatives to nominate faculty. We were excited to receive such a diverse pool and wide variety of faculty expertise, which made the selection difficult.
Mark Anthony Neal is professor of African & African American Studies. His interdisciplinary research in the fields of AfricanAmerican, cultural, and gender studies draws on literary theory, urban sociology, social history, postmodern philosophy, queer theory, and popular culture. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including New Black Man and Songs in the Key of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation. He also hosts the weekly webcast “Left of Black,” produced by Duke’s John Hope Franklin Center for International and Interdisciplinary Studies.
Neil Siegel ’94, A.M. ’95 is the David W. Ichel Professor of law and professor of political science, codirector of the Program in Public Law, and director of Duke’s D.C. Summer Institute on Law and Policy. His scholarship examines the U.S. Constitution’s federal structure; the constitutional principles governing claims of discrimination based on race, sex, and sexual orientation; and the relationship between constitutional politics and constitutional law. Siegel served as special counsel to then Senator Joseph R. Biden during the confirmation hearings of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court. During the October 2003 term, he clerked for Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is the Chauncey Stillman Professor of practical ethics in the philosophy department and the Kenan Institute for Ethics. He also holds faculty appointments in the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, the Duke Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and the Duke Center for Interdisciplinary Decision Sciences. He has published widely on ethics (theoretical and applied as well as metaethics), empirical moral psychology and neuroscience, philosophy of law, epistemology, philosophy of religion, and informal logic. He is the author of Morality Without God? and Moral Skepticisms.
Jennifer L. West is the Fitzpatrick Family University Professor of engineering and professor of mechanical engineering and materials science. Her research in biomaterials and tissue engineering involves the synthesis, development, and application of novel, biofunctional materials, and the use of biomaterials and engineering approaches to study biological problems.