Book Clubs on Ethics

The Center for the Study of Ethics in Society at Western Michigan University is sponsoring reading groups during the spring 2019 semester. Join us for spirited discussions about ethics. Download series flier.

Ethics Between the Lines

Books are provided free of charge for the first 10 people who sign up for each group. Students who attend all of the meetings for their book club receive Signature credit.

Tyler Gibb, Co-Chief of the Program in Medical Ethics, Humanities & Law at WMU Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, will be leading discussions of Parasite by Mira Grant. This dystopian fiction novel, the first in the Parasitology series, imagines a world in which medical experimentations have rendered most common illnesses obsolete by creating a genetically engineered parasite that lives inside almost every human body. However, lifelong health comes at a high price. This book raises ethical questions about the costs of medical innovations, both human and financial. Meetings will be on the following Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. at Central City Tap House, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall: January 17, 24, and 31.

Philosophy in the Islamic World: A History of Philosophy without Any Gaps by Peter Adamson will be led by WMU philosophy graduate student Alex Hoffman. This book is the third volume in the series A History of Philosophy based on the podcast of the same name. It not only provides a comprehensive understanding of Islamic culture and religion, but also tells the story of how Jewish, European and Islamic cultures have influenced each other over the centuries. By understanding the debt that European culture owes to the great thinkers of the Islamic world, we might also better understand contemporary ethical questions, such as, Do groups have rights to preserve their culture?, as well as timeless ethical questions, such as, How should we approach suffering? Book club meetings will be on the following Mondays: February 11, 18, 25, and March 11 at 5:30 p.m. in the Ethics Center (2072 Moore Hall).

The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail by Jason de Leon will be led by WMU graduate student Coral Cervantes. This anthropological work details the lived experiences of undocumented migrants in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona as they attempt to cross the Southern border into the United States. De Leon’s interdisciplinary approach presents a foundation for thinking about on-the-ground consequences of U.S.-Mexico relations in an era of globalization. Discussions will use a two-pronged strategy: a focus on the ethics of a scholarly approach to examining immigration policy, and the research ethics of De Leon himself as he worked with vulnerable migrant populations. Book club meetings will take place on the following Wednesdays: February 27, March 13 and 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the Ethics Center (2072 Moore Hall) .


All groups are open to everyone. To sign up, send an e-mail to no later than one week before the first group meeting.


Schedule and updates