Fall lecture series taps international ethics experts

Contact: Sandra Borden

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—From controversies surrounding fictionalized historic dramas to problematic trends that have shaped policies in Latin America, Western Michigan University's Center for the Study of Ethics in Society launches its fall lecture series with national and international experts discussing topics that are relevant and timely. All events are free and open to the public.

Scheduled talks

  • Thursday, Sept. 21, at 4:30 p.m. in Room 2213 of the WMU Student Center, Dr. Lucia Krämer, professor of English cultural and media studies at the University of Passau in Germany, will speak on  “From The Crown to All Quiet on the Western Front: The Notion of Adaptation as Violation.” Krämer examines controversies around historical dramas that fictionalize real events or that reinterpret prior literary and cinematic works. The event is co-sponsored by the Haenicke Institute for Global Education (HIGE) and Department of English. Western is hosting Krämer as part of its faculty exchange with the University of Passau.
  •  Thursday, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m. in the Putney Auditorium of the Fetzer Center, Dr. Edgar Franco-Vivanco, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan, will address how colonialism and U.S. foreign policy have shaped problematic trends in Latin America, including the erosion of democracy and the prevalence of violent crime. The lecture will also shed some light on the efforts of Indigenous groups and civil society to explore solutions to climate change, resist the encroachment of organized crime, and codify women’s rights. The Winnie Veenstra Peace Lecture, “Between Violence and Resistance: The Challenges of Latin America in the 21st Century,” was rescheduled from spring 2023. It is co-sponsored by HIGE, the Department of Spanish, Department of Political Science, WMU Native American Affairs Council and Kalamazoo Nonviolent Opponents of War (KNOW).
  • Thursday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. in Room 2452 of Knauss Hall, Reginald Dwayne Betts, executive director of Freedom Reads, will speak about the non-profit organization's work that is radically transforming access to literature in prisons through the installation of Freedom Libraries in prisons across the United States. This talk is part of the University Center for the Humanities’ 2023-24 Rescuing Humanity speaker series.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 14, at  6 p.m. in Room 2211 of the WMU Student Center, Dr. Lusike Mukhongo, associate professor in the School of Communication, will talk about “Decolonizing Digital Hegemonies: Reframing, Disrupting and Occupying Online Spaces.” The talk looks at how media users from the Global South and African diaspora are re-imagining and ingeniously harnessing digital tools to negotiate identity and create a global consciousness and resurgence to counter mechanisms of global media hegemony. This event is co-sponsored by the School of Communication and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Friday, Dec. 8, at  3 p.m. in Rooms 2209/2211 of the WMU Student Center,  Dr. Tommie Shelby, Caldwell Titcomb professor of African and African American Studies and of philosophy at Harvard University, will speak on “The Idea of Prison Abolition: Slavery and Its Legacy.” Shelby examines the case for prison abolition, building on the work of Angela Davis and other Black activists and prison reformers. The center is hosting a book club on Shelby’s book "The Idea of Prison Abolition" starting Monday, Nov. 13. Visit the center’s website for more information and to register. This talk is co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, Institute for Cultural and Anthropological Studies, Department of Political Science, University Center for the Humanities and WMU Minorities in Philosophy.

The center also will announce two artificial intelligence-themed talks soon.

 All Ethics Center events are eligible for WMU Signature credit. Learn more about the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society and its lecture series.

About the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society

In August 1985, the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society was created after WMU faculty across the curriculum met to discuss their common interests in studying and teaching ethics. Each academic year, the center sponsors a number of public presentations addressing a wide range of ethical issues.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.