Lecture series abstracts

Ethics by the Book: Current Issues in Medicine and Climate Policy

Panelists: Fritz Allhoff, Professor of Philosophy; Sandra L. Borden, Professor of Communication; and Ron Kramer, Professor of Sociology, Western Michigan University

This event will feature a panel of several WMU professors who have recently authored books on timely ethics topics. Allhoff and Borden have edited Ethics and Error in Medicine containing contributions from top scholars and practitioners working in bioethics, communication, law, medicine and philosophy. Coverage includes preventable causes of medical error, disproportionate impacts of errors on vulnerable populations, disclosure and apology after discovering medical errors, and ethical issues arising in specific medical contexts.

Kramer’s forthcoming Carbon Criminals, Climate Crimes analyzes the looming threats posed by climate change from a criminological perspective and addresses the failings and detrimental actions of the fossil fuel industry, the US government, and the international political community in relation to global warming, integrating research and theory from a wide variety of disciplines. It also reviews policies that could mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to a warming world, and achieve climate justice.

This event will consist of a brief presentation by each of the authors followed by a Q&A segment.

Fritz Allhoff, J.D., Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Western Michigan University and Community Professor in the Program in Medical Ethics, Humanities, and Law at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School. Following law school, he clerked for the Honorable Chief Justice Craig F. Stowers of the Alaska Supreme Court and was a Fellow in the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford Law School. His bioethics work has been published in the American Journal of Bioethics, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, and Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. His monographs have been published by Oxford University Press, University of Chicago Press, and Routledge.

Sandra L. Borden, Ph.D., is Professor in the School of Communication and Director of the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society at Western Michigan University. Her work has been published in several scholarly books and journals, including The Handbook of Mass Media Ethics, the Journal of Media Ethics, Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, Communication Monographs, and Communication Theory. Her book, Journalism as Practice: MacIntyre, Virtue Ethics and the Press, won the2008 Clifford G. Christians Ethics Research Award and the National Communication Association’s 2008 top book award in applied ethics. She has served as a member of the executive board of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics and as associate editor of the journal Teaching Ethics. Borden, who teaches ethics and media criticism, earned her Ph.D. in Mass Communications from Indiana University, her M.A. in Journalism from The Ohio State University and her B.J. in Journalism from the University of Missouri.

Ron Kramer, Ph.D., is a professor of sociology and former Director of the Criminal Justice Program (1992-2017). He received his PhD in sociology (specializing in criminology and law) from the Ohio State University in 1978. His research specialties within criminology are corporate and state crime, international law and crime prevention and control strategies. He also does research on the sociological history of the sport of baseball.

Kramer is the co-author of "Crimes of the American Nuclear State: At Home and Abroad" (Northeastern University Press, 1998), "State-Corporate Crime: Wrongdoing at the Intersection of Business and Government" (Rutgers University Press, 2006), and co-editor of "State Crime in the Global Age" (Willan Press, 2010). His new book, "Carbon Criminals, Climate Crimes", which analyzes climate change through the lens of state-corporate crime, will be published by Rutgers University Press in early 2020.

Formerly the Co-Producer and Host of the community access television program "WMU Forum" (1987-1995), Kramer is currently part of the collective that produces the award winning television program "Critical Issues, Alternative Views" which airs on the Public Media Network in Kalamazoo (available on You Tube). He is one of the founding co-chairs of the Working Group on Climate Change at the WMU Center for the Humanities.

In 1981, Kramer was awarded the WMU Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Award. He is also the 2004 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Criminology's Division on Critical Criminology. In 2012 he received the Larry T. Reynolds Award for Outstanding Teaching of Sociology from the Michigan Sociological Association and in 2017 the Charles Horton Cooley Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Sociology, also from the Michigan Sociological Association.

The Menace and Ethics of Fake News: Imaginary Outlaws, Exalted Heroes and the Death of Ned Christie

Devon Mihesuah, Professor, Department of Humanities, University of Kansas

On the spring evening in 1887 that he arrived in Tahlequah, the capital of the Cherokee Nation, U.S. Deputy Marshal Dan Maples was fatally shot in the chest by an unknown assailant hiding in dense brush. ... Within hours of receiving the telegraphed news of [the accused killer’s] death, hundreds of newspapermen across the country began creating fantastical, unsubstantiated, and often absurd stories about the deceased "notorious outlaw and terror of the Indian Territory"who "possessed a deadly hatred for Deputy Marshals."

Devon Mihesuah is the Cora Lee Beers Price Teaching Professor in International Cultural Understanding. She holds a Ph.D. in American History from Texas Christian University. She served as Editor of the American Indian Quarterly for nine years, and she regularly speaks nationally and internationally about issues pertaining to empowerment of indigenous peoples.