Lecture Series

The Center for the Study of Ethics in Society at Western Michigan University offers lectures each semester. Please check for updates! Download series flier. See current event descriptions.

Current Events


January 22 - Mitchell Winget, graduate student, Department of Philosophy, and Arthur Woodworth, pre-engineering major, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, "Essay Contest Winners on Making Ethics Vital," 4 p.m., 211 Bernhard Center. Download flier.

January 29 - Ron A. Cisler, Dean, College of Health and Human Services, “Does Community-Wide Public Health Prevention Work? From Reducing Teen Births to Addressing Today’s Opioid Epidemic,” 6 p.m., 157-158 Bernhard Center. Co-sponsor: College of Health and Human Services. Download flier.

February 6 - Laura Black, Associate Professor, School of Communication Studies, Ohio University, “Engaging Communities in Difficult Conversations: Dialogue, Deliberation, and Engaged Scholarship,” 5 p.m. 1028 Brown Hall. Co-sponsors: School of Communication, Visiting Scholars and Artists Program, WMU Cooley Law School Center for Civil Discourse.

February 12 - Parker Crutchfield, Associate Professor, Program in Medical Humanities, Ethics and Law, WMU Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, "Making People Better: Saving Us from Ourselves through Moral Enhancement,” 6:30 p.m., 211 Bernhard Center. Co-sponsors: WMU Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, Department of Psychology.

March 12 - Charlie Kurth, Associate Professor, Philosophy Department,“Should Politicians be Anxious?” 6 p.m., 211 Bernhard Center. Co-sponsors: Department of History, Department of Political Science.

March 25 - Susan Benesch, Faculty Associate, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and Director, Dangerous Speech Project, "Social Media and Mass Violence," Winnie Veenstra Peace Lecture, 6 p.m., Brown & Gold Room, Bernhard Center. Co-sponsors: School of Communication, Department of Political Science, Global and International Studies, Haenicke Institute for Global Education, Kalamazoo Non-Violent Opponents of War (KNOW), WMU Cooley Law School Center for Civil Discourse.

Past Events


January 25 - “Where Do You Stand in Times of Trouble?” 7 p.m., 157 Bernhard Center. Panel moderator: Dale Brown, Philosophy graduate student. Part of 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. Co-sponsor: Department of Philosophy. Download poster. Watch video.

February 8 - David Denby, staff writer and former film critic for The New Yorker, “The Humanities in the Age of Demagoguery,” 7 p.m., 3508 Knauss Hall. Part of the Center for the Humanities' “Promise of Education” speaker series. Download poster. Watch video.

February 28 - “Legal Ethics in the Media: How Does Fiction Influence Reality?” 4 p.m., Brown and Gold Room–Bernhard Center. Panelists: Norman Hawker, Professor, Department of Finance and Commercial Law, Haworth College of Business; Tonya Krause-Phelan, auxiliary dean, WMU Cooley Law School; and Victoria Vuletich, professor, WMU Cooley Law School. Co-Sponsors: Haworth College of Business, WMU Cooley Law School and School of Communication. Light refreshments. Download poster. Watch video.

March 29 - Christian Appy, professor of history, University of Massachusetts Amherst, "Why We Don't Have a Peace Memorial: The Vietnam War and the Distorted Memory of Dissent," 7 p.m., 1028 Brown Hall. Winnie Veenstra Peace Lecture. Co-sponsors: Southwest Michigan Educational Initiative on the East Indian Ocean, Haenicke Institute for Global Education, Department of History and Department of Sociology. Download poster. Watch video here and here. Watch guest appearance on "Critical Issues, Alternative Views."

April 2 - "Educational Equity: From the 'Kalamazoo Case' to the 'Kalamazoo Promise' and Beyond," 6 p.m., 204 Bernhard Center. Co-moderators: Kathy Purnell, instructor, Department of Political Science, and Ashley Atkins, assistant professor, Department of Philosophy. Panelists: Jim Robb, general counsel and associate dean of alumni and public relations, WMU Cooley Law School; Cyekeia Lee, director of outreach and partnerships, Kalamazoo Promise; Michael Evans, executive director, Kalamazoo Literacy Council; and Sandra Standish, executive director, KC Ready 4s. Co-sponsors: WMU Cooley Law School and College of Education and Human Development. Download poster. Watch video.

April 12 - Danielle Allen, professor of government, Harvard University, “Inequality, Citizenship, and the Promise of Education,” 7 p.m., 2452 Knauss Hall. Part of the Center for the Humanities' “Promise of Education” speaker series. Download poster. Watch video.

April 18 (rescheduled) - Diane Ravitch, research professor of education, New York University, “Education Reform and the Promise of Public Education,” rescheduled for 7 p.m., Room 2000–Schneider Hall. Part of the Center for the Humanities' “Promise of Education” speaker series. Download poster. Watch video.

September 13 - Stephanie J. Bird, former Vice President for Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "Putting Science in Its Place: Neuroscience and Neuroethics," 5:30 p.m., Auditorium–WMU Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. Part of 2018 WMU Medical Humanities Conference (no need to register for conference to attend). Co-sponsors: WMU Stryker MD School of Medicine, Medical Humanities Workgroup. Download flier. Watch video.

September 25 and 26 - Black History 101 Mobile Museum special exhibit "'68: How Far Have We Come?," 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Atrium–Richmond Center for the Visual Arts. In partnership with the Richmond Center’s exhibition. On the Inside Out and the Center for the Humanities' “TRUTH” speaker series, and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion's Real Talk series. Co-sponsored by the School of Communication, the Department of History, the Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations, Lee Honors College, the College of Arts and Sciences,the College of Education and Human Development, and the Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies. Download flier.

September 25 - Khalid el-Hakim, curator of the Black History 101 Mobile Museum, “The Truth Hurts: Black History, Honesty and Healing the Racial Divide,” 3:30 p.m., Room 2008–Richmond Center for the Visual Arts. Reception to follow in Room 1004.

October 4 - “‘68: How Far Have We Come?” Black History 101 Mobile Museum exhibit follow-up discussion, 3:30 p.m., October 4, Multicultural Center–Trimpe Building. Facilitated by Dr. Candy McCorkle, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, with participation by Lindsey Palar and Mike Ramirez from the Diversity Education unit of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion.

October 24 - Carla Koretsky, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Western Michigan University, "Invisible Salt and Urban Dead Seas: Who Is Responsible?” 4 p.m., 105-107 Bernhard Center. Co-Sponsors: Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. *Please note location change* Download flier.

November 5 - “Integrating Research Ethics into the High School Science Classroom,” 6 p.m., 1710 Sangren Hall. Moderator: Susan Stapleton, Dean of the Graduate College, WMU. Panelists: Cheryl A. Dickson, Associate Dean for Health Equity and Community Affairs at WMU Homer Styker School of Medicine; Carrie Ferrario, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, The University of Michigan Medical School; Luke Perry, STEM Education Director, Battle Creek Area Math & Science Center; and Michael Tanoff, Director of the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center. Download flier. Watch video.

November 9 - Justin C. Clark, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Hamilton College, “Plato's Dialogues of Definition: What is Socrates Looking for?" 3 p.m., 157 Bernhard Center. Part of WMU Graduate Philosophy Conference. Co-sponsors: Department of Philosophy, Graduate Student Association, Visiting Scholars and Artists Program. *Please note time change* Download flier.

Click here for previous lectures and events.