Senior Lecturer of Cultural Anthropology
Kirk is the Faculty Co-Chair of the Duke Human Rights Center at 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 is a lecturer in the Department of Cultural Anthropology and directs the Human Rights Certificate. Kirk has written three books, including More Terrible Than Death: Massacres, Drugs and America’s War in Colombia (Public Affairs) and The Monkey’s Paw: New Chronicles from Peru (University of Massachusetts Press). She is a co-editor of The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Duke University) and co edits Duke University Press’s “World Readers” series. 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. Her essay on Belfast, “City of Walls,” is included in the Best American Travel Writing anthology of 2012 (Mariner Books). 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. She continues to write for US media, and has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, Sojourners, The American Scholar, the Raleigh News and Observer, the Boston Globe, the Durham Herald Sun and other media.
Degrees & Credentials
M.F.A., Vermont College 2014
B.A., University of Chicago 1982
David L. Paletz Innovative Teaching Funds. Duke. January 2013
Pauli Murray Project-Anti-Oppression/Community Building Programs awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2016
Straight Up Queer Truth LGBTQQ Youth Resource Guide awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2015
Weaving a Net of Accountability: Taking on Extraoridinary Rendition at the State and Regional Level awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2010
Kirk, R. More Terrible than Death: Massacres, Drugs and America’s War in Colombia. PublicAffairs, 2003.
Kirk, R. The Monkey’s Paw: New Chronicles from Peru. University of Massachusetts Press, 1997.
Kirk, Robin. “Drugs, Thugs, and Diplomats: US Policymaking in Colombia by Winifred Tate.” Anthropological Quarterly, vol. 89, no. 4, Project Muse, 2016, pp. 1271–75. Crossref, doi:10.1353/anq.2016.0080. Full Text Open Access Copy
Kirk, R. “Drugs, Thugs and Diplomats: US Policy in Colombia.” Anthropological Quarterly, Institute for Ethnographic Research.
Kirk, R. “The Quiet Company.” Tomorrow, edited by Karen Henderson, Kayelle Press, 2013.
Kirk, R. “Letter From Belfast.” Best American Travel Writing 2012, edited by William T. Vollman, Mariner Books, 2011.
Kirk, R. “Colombia: Human rights in the midst of conflict.” Human Rights and Conflict Resolution in Context, 2009, pp. 23–45.
Kirk, R. “Reflections on a silent soldier.” American Scholar, vol. 88, no. 4, Sept. 2019, pp. 30–40.
Kirk, R. “When the shooting stops: How transitional justice turns knowledge into acknowledgment.” World Policy Journal, vol. 33, no. 3, Sept. 2016, pp. 39–44. Scopus, doi:10.1215/07402775-3712993. Full Text
Kirk, R. The Quiet Company. Edited by Karen Henderson, Kayelle Press, June 2013.
Kirk, R. “The Body in Pain: What do people of faith have to say about torture.” Sojourners, June 2011. Open Access Copy
Kirk, R. “The Lessons of Mapiripán: A response to Lesley Gill.” Transforming Anthropology, vol. 13, no. 2 (Fall), American Anthropological Association, 2005, pp. 116–18.
"For one terrible moment, she saw the thing that lived in his eyes when he thought no one but Allison was looking."
A group of high schoolers discovers that the dividing line between humans and monsters can be as thin as a casual scratch on the arm or an unwanted embrace.