Book Clubs on Ethics

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

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 the WMU Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, will facilitate a book club on The Remedy: Queer and Trans Voices on Health and Health Care by Zena Sharman, a health researcher and advocate. This is an anthology of essays by queer and trans people relating their own health-care experiences, as well as by health-care providers and activists. Multiple discussion leaders will guide small groups in discussion of the ethical issues raised by the book, such as barriers to care issuing from bias against sexual minorities, the marginalization of trans individuals seeking gender-affirmation surgery in the current medical-legal framework,  and institutionalized heteronormativity in reproductive medicine. The club will meet a single time from 6-7:30 p.m. on Sept. 26 in the auditorium on the main floor of the WMU Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, 300 Portage Street, downtown Kalamazoo.

William Santiago-Valles, associate professor emeritus of Africana Studies, will be leading discussions of The Debt Resister's Operations Manual (2014). Since 2012 over two-thirds of college students in the United States have graduated with a debt in excess of $35,000. More than 6 million U.S. students are in default of their loans (nearly two-thirds of whom are women and over half of whom are people of color). University students in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Canada have effectively challenged this form of social control; that has not been the case here. The Debt Resister's Operation Manual, written by the Strike Debt Project, is both a political and historical analysis of how debt organizes daily life and a guide for collective actions against this regime: credit cards, student loans, payday loans, check-cashing services, medical and housing debt, as well as predatory lending, bankruptcies, and government debt (in the United States, $22 trillion as of April 2019). This book raises ethical questions of social justice in its examination of the use of debt as an institution that reproduces unequal decision making in a for-profit society. Meetings will be at 5:30 p.m. at Water Street Coffee Joint, 3037 Oakland Drive in Kalamazoo, on the following Thursdays: Oct. 3, Oct. 10 and Oct. 24.


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