Robin Kirk
  • Robin Kirk

  • Executive Director, Duke Human Rights Center
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Bay 5, B183
  • Campus Box Box 90403
  • Phone: 1(919) 668-4129
  • Office Hours: 1-5 pm Mondays, 10-1 Wednesdays or by appointment
  • Homepage
  • Secondary web page
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  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Bio

    Kirk is the author of numerous books, including The Tiger King (fiction), More Terrible Than Death: Massacres, Drugs and America’s War in Colombia (PublicAffairs) and The Monkey’s Paw: New Chronicles from Peru (University of Massachusetts Press). Her essay on Belfast is included in the Best American Travel Writing anthology of 2012 (Mariner Books). She coedits the The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Duke University) and is an editor of Duke University Press’s World Readers series. Kirk is a Faculty Co-Chair of the Duke Human Rights Center @ the Franklin Humanities Institute and is a founding member of the Pauli Murray Project, an initiative of the center that seeks to use the legacy of this Durham daughter to examine the region’s past of slavery, segregation and continuing economic inequality. An author and human rights advocate, Kirk directs the Belfast program for DukeEngage, in partnership with Healing Through Remembering, an extensive cross-community project dealing with the legacy of past conflict and human rights. She directs Undergraduate Studies for Duke’s International Comparative Studies major, where she teaches, and is a lecturer in the Department of Cultural Anthropology. An essayist and award-winning poet, she has published widely on issues as diverse as the Andes, torture, the politics of memory, family life and pop culture. An award-winning poet, Kirk also won the 2005 Glamour magazine non-fiction contest with her essay on the death penalty, available in the November 2005 issue. Her essay, “Best dog ever,” is featured in the Oxford American’s ”Best of the South” issue published in May 2010. She has been widely published; her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Mother Jones, the Washington Post, the American Scholar and Sojourners, among other publications. In the Fall of 2006, she was a Fulbright lecturer at the Human Rights Center at Istanbul Bilgi University in Turkey. In 2005-2006, she was a consultant to the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first-ever truth commission within the United States. Kirk authored, co-authored and edited over twelve reports for Human Rights Watch, all available on-line. In the 1980s, Kirk reported for U.S. media from Peru, where she covered the war between the government and the Shining Path. During that time, she also prepared reports for the U.S. Committee on Refugees, including the first report ever on the plight of Peru’s internally displaced people. Kirk is a former Radcliffe Bunting Fellow and is a past winner of the Media Alliance Meritorious Achievement Award for Freelance Writing.
  • Research Description

    Kirk is the author of three books, including More Terrible Than Death: Massacres, Drugs and America’s War in Colombia (PublicAffairs) and The Monkey’s Paw: New Chronicles from Peru (University of Massachusetts Press). She is the coeditor of The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Duke University) and helps edit Duke University Press’s World Readers series. Her essay on Colombia and human rights appears in Human Rights and Conflict Resolution in Context: Colombia, Sierra Leone, and Northern Ireland (Syracuse Studies on Peace and Conflict Resolution, May 2009), edited by Eileen F. Babbitt and Ellen Lutz. An award-winning poet, Kirk also won the 2005 Glamour magazine non-fiction contest with her essay on the death penalty, available in the November 2005 issue. In the Fall of 2006, she was a Fulbright lecturer at the Human Rights Center at Istanbul Bilgi University in Turkey. In 2005-2006, she was a consultant to the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first-ever truth commission within the United States. Kirk authored, co-authored and edited over twelve reports for Human Rights Watch, all available on-line. In the 1980s, Kirk reported for U.S. media from Peru, where she covered the war between the government and the Shining Path. During that time, she also prepared reports for the U.S. Committee on Refugees, including the first report ever on the plight of Peru’s internally displaced people. Kirk is a former Radcliffe Bunting Fellow and is a past winner of the Media Alliance Meritorious Achievement Award for Freelance Writing. Kirk directs DukeEngage’s Duke in Belfast program. She is the associate director of Duke’s International Comparative Studies program.
  • Recent Publications

      • R. Kirk.
      • (June, 2013).
      • The Quiet Company.
      • In Karen Henderson (Eds.),
      • Tomorrow
      • New South Wales, Australia:
      • Kayelle Press.
      Publication Description

      http://www.amazon.com/Tomorrow-Karen-Henderson/dp/0987565702/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372543812&sr=1-2

      • R. Kirk.
      • (2013).
      • The Dark Army.
      • The Moon Magazine
      • Leslee Goodman (Eds.),
      • .
      • R. Kirk.
      • (10-2-2012).
      • Letter from Belfast.
      • Mariner Books.
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      Some armchair travelers have an entire shelf of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Best American Travel Writing annuals and there is no mystery why. Each year, this trade paperback features superlative writing chosen by a standout editor. Previous editors include Simon Winchester, Frances Mayes, Susan Orlean, and Jamaica Kincaid. In the 13th installment, editor William Vollman presides over an assemblage by standouts including Paul Theroux, Bryan Curtis, Lynn Freed, Robin Kirk, and Kimberly Meyer. Editor's recommendation.

      • R. Kirk.
      • (06/2011).
      • The Body in Pain: What do people of faith have to say about torture.
      • Sojourners
      • .
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      An examination of why American Protestant churches have a higher likelihood to support torture

      • R. Kirk.
      • (2012).
      • Human Rights as a Contest of Meanings.
      • The World & Knowledges Otherwise Project
      • ,
      • Human Rights, Democracy, and Islamic Law
      • ,
      • 1
      • (1)
      • ,
      • 1-5.
      • Center for Global Studies and the Humanities at Duke.
      • [web]
  • View All Publications
  • Specialties

    • South America
    • Europe
    • Politics of Memory
  • Education

      • MFA,
      • Vermont College of Fine Arts,
      • 2014
      • BA,
      • English,
      • University of Chicago,
      • 1982
  • Awards, Honors and Distinctions

      • David L. Paletz Innovative Teaching Funds,
      • Duke,
      • January 2013
      • Essayist, Best American Travel Writing for 2012,
      • Mariner Books,
      • October, 2012
      • Career Development Grant 2012,
      • American Association of University Women,
      • January, 2012
      • Co-Director, BorderWork(s) Humanities Lab,
      • Franklin Humanities Institute,
      • July, 2011-2014
      • Winner, 2010 Independent Poetry contest,
      • The Independent Weekly (North Carolina),
      • January, 2010
      • Fulbright teaching fellowship,
      • Fulbright Commission,
      • August, 2006
      • Best essay ("Murderers I have known"),
      • Glamour Magazine,
      • November, 2005
      • Mary Ingraham Bunting Fellowship,
      • Radcliffe College,
      • January, 1995-1996
  • Teaching

    • HOUSECS 59.17
      • HOUSE COURSE (SP TOP)
      • Keohane 4D 201 SEM
      • Th 07:30 PM-09:00 PM
    • CULANTH 290S.01
      • CURRENT ISSUES (TOPICS)
      • Perkins 059
      • MW 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
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