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Ethics film series tackles range of issues

Jan. 12, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, the Algerian revolt against the French and the controversy over evolution will come into sharper focus in an upcoming film series sponsored by the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society at Western Michigan University.

All of the films begin at 6:30 p.m. in Room 3025 of Brown Hall and are free and open to the public. Discussion sessions will follow the viewings.

Thursday, Jan. 21
The Public Broadcasting Service film "Citizen King" will be shown as part of annual events on campus celebrating King's life and legacy. The American Experience documentary pushes past the myths that have obscured King's story to reclaim the history of a people's leader. Dr. William Santiago-Valles, WMU associate professor of Africana studies, will lead an after-film discussion.

Tuesday, Feb. 16
Next up is "The Battle of Algiers," an internationally acclaimed film with staggering, newsreel-like authenticity depicting staged street riots. The vital performances of the actors give "Battle of Algiers" a unique dramatic impact that won a Golden Lion award at the 1965 Venice International Film Festival. Dr. Norman Hawker, WMU professor of finance and commercial law, will lead the discussion.

Tuesday, April 20
Evolution will be in the spotlight when "Kansas vs. Darwin" will be screened as part of events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species." Even before they took place, the 2005 Kansas school board hearings on evolution were recognized as a pivotal battle in America's ongoing war over teaching evolution in the public schools.

Organized by believers in intelligent design and convened by creationists, the hearings provided a testing ground for the successful legal and political tactics that drive today's ongoing actions by anti-evolution organizations in the United States and around the world. Dr. Fritz Allhoff, WMU assistant professor of philosophy, will lead the discussion.

For more information, visit the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society online.

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Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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