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Short story discussion launches new ethics series

Sept. 14, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Starting this fall, Western Michigan University's Center for the Study of Ethics in Society is sponsoring a discussion group that will focus on a variety of readings chosen by those who attend. Short works of fiction and nonfiction will provide a springboard for consideration of ethical issues, quandaries and complexities.

The first session is at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, on the 10th floor of Sprau Tower and will tackle the short story "The Curse" by contemporary American author Andre Dubus. This narrative of a bartender who does nothing to stop a rape that takes place in his bar raises questions about ethical choice and agency, heroism and masculinity and guilt and responses to the guilt of others, while also subtly exploring the relation between religion and ethics. The session will be led by Dr. Jil Larson, associate professor of English.

The story may be found in Dubus' 1995 book "Selected Stories," 2nd edition, pages 376-382. The story is also on electronic reserve at WMU Libraries. To access the reserves, library users must create an account at www.wmich.edu/library/reserves/ and add English 1000 (instructor Jil Larson) to their list. Contact the Ethics Center via e-mail at ethicscenter@wmich.edu for the password. Non-WMU users should e-mail Larson at jil.larson@wmich.edu for further instructions. Once accessed, the story can be read online or printed from a PDF file.

In addition to discussing the text at the first meeting, attendees will choose a reading for the second meeting of the group. All meetings will be at 4 p.m. on Thursdays on the 10th floor of Sprau Tower. Light refreshments will be served.

Subsequent discussions will be on Nov. 1 and Dec. 13.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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