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Center for Ethics announces spring 2017 programming


Lecture on feminist critique of Just War theory to kick off the semester

Monday, January 23, 2017 00:14 PM

The Muhlenberg College Center for Ethics will continue its exploration of the theme “War & Peacebuilding” during the spring 2017 semester.

The Center for Ethics will host related programming, including lectures and a Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC) conference, from January through April. Events are free and open to the public.

CFE CuomoThe first spring event, a talk by Chris Cuomo (pictured, right), professor of philosophy and women's studies at the University of Georgia, will revisit Cuomo’s feminist critique of Just War theory. The talk will take place on Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. during Common Hour in Moyer Hall’s Miller Forum.

Focusing on how the omnipresence of war or and the preparation for war affects both the construction of gendered identity and the natural environment, Cuomo suggests it makes little sense to consider times of war as distinct from times of “peace.” In the talk entitled, “The Importance of Peace Politics in the Omnipresence of War,” Cuomo will assert that Just War theory, including feminist Just War theory, problematically obscures the way warfare has consequences even during times when combat isn’t being waged.

Cuomo is a professor of philosophy and women's studies at the University of Georgia and an affiliate faculty member of the Environmental Ethics Certificate Program, the Institute for African-American Studies and the Institute for Native American Studies. The author and editor of many articles and several books in feminist, postcolonial and environmental philosophy, Cuomo served as director of the Institute for Women's Studies from 2006-2009. Her book, “The Philosopher Queen,” a reflection on post-9/11 anti-war feminist politics, was nominated for a Lambda Award and an APA book award.

Subsequent spring Center for Ethics events include:

Mark Harris lecture, “Is War Propaganda Ever Good?: American Filmmaking During World War II”

Feb. 7, 7 p.m. in Moyer Hall’s Miller Forum

Journalist and author of "Five Came Back" Harris will examine how, after Pearl Harbor, Hollywood and Washington entered into an unprecedented—and uncomfortable—partnership in which the rules of war and the principles of news and entertainment were all bent for what was considered to be the greater good. Some of Hollywood's greatest directors of fiction were recruited to film—and sometimes to restage—the war, while the filmmakers who stayed in Hollywood were strongly encouraged to include government-approved talking points in their films. What were the lines separating documentaries from entertainment, facts from propaganda and information from what would now be called “fake news”?

Brian Orend lecture

Feb. 20, 7 p.m. in Moyer Hall’s Miller Forum

Brian Orend is the director of international studies and a professor of philosophy at the University of Waterloo in Canada. He is the author of six books, with two more forthcoming. His most acclaimed, and most widely-used, book is “The Morality of War.” The updated second edition was released in Fall 2013, and has attracted expert praise for being “splendid…easily the most important work, in its field, in a generation.”

Pete Giugni presentation and discussion, “Humanitarian Operations in Insecure Environments”

March 14, 7 p.m., location TBD

Giugni, Protection of Civilians Delegate for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the Regional Delegation of the United States and Canada, will give a brief presentation and be part of an open discussion that explores his experience of helping to facilitate humanitarian aid in multiple combat zones around the world. He joined the ICRC in 2004 and has worked in various protection and managerial roles in India (Kashmir), Afghanistan (Kandahar, Khost and Faryab), the Philippines (Mindanao) and Tajikistan (Dushanbe).

Michael Kazin lecture, “Should the U.S. Have Fought in World War One”

March 28, 7 p.m. in Moyer Hall’s Miller Forum

Kazin, author of the recently released "War Against War," will examine the debate over whether the U.S. should prepare for and then declare war on Imperial Germany, which was one of the most contentious and significant in American history. In the early spring of 1917, President Woodrow Wilson reluctantly sided with the pro-war party, and large majorities in Congress endorsed his stand.  A century later, it is difficult to defend what they did.

LVAIC Conference From War to Peace, with presentation by Theatre of War

April 7, 8:30-4, locations around campus
Theatre of War performance at 1:30 in Seegers Union’s Event Space

A talk by Matthew Payne, assistant professor of film, television and theatre at the University of Notre Dame, is being confirmed for the first week of April. Visit the Center for Ethics webpage for up-to-date schedules.

Through thematic lectures and events, the Center for Ethics serves the teaching and study of the liberal arts at Muhlenberg College by providing opportunities for intensive conversation and thinking about the ethical dimensions of contemporary philosophical, political, economic, social, cultural, and scientific issues. In service to its mission, the Center for Ethics hosts special events and programs, provides faculty development opportunities, and provides support for student programming. The Center and thematic programs are directed by full-time faculty members.

Chris Sistare, professor of philosophy and co-director of philosophy and political thought, serves as director; Brian Mello, associate professor of political science, Roland Kushner, associate professor of business, and Jack Gambino, professor of political science, are this year’s program directors.

Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg is a highly selective, private, four-year residential, liberal arts college located in Allentown, Pa., approximately 90 miles west of New York City. With an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2200 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences as well as selected pre-professional programs, including accounting, business, education and public health. A member of the Centennial Conference, Muhlenberg competes in 22 varsity sports. Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.