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Previous Ethics Education Events

by Rob Peeler Mar 17, 2015

Colloquium: Morality in Language

When: Feb 24, 2017 at 1:15 PM
Where: 127 Moore Building, University Park, PA 16802

When things go wrong, people ask, “Who made it happen?” “Who was responsible?” and often, “Who will pay?” That is, moral judgment engages causal cognition. How much of this process is influenced by higher-level factors such as people’s moral values and political ideology, and how much is influenced by stimulus-bound factors, such as the language used to describe the event? This talk will cover research combining individual differences measures with vignette-based and psycholinguistics tasks. Collectively, the research demonstrates: (1) moral values aimed at protecting group cohesiveness predict a shift in attributions of blame to victims; (2) altering the focus of language can reduce victim blame; and (3) values and ideology influence extraction of causal relationships from the most basic event descriptions. That participants’ behavior across these tasks systematically maps onto beliefs about the nature of right and wrong indicates that studying language can bring precision to our understanding of the unruly domain of morality, and also that our understanding of language is incomplete without consideration of moral psychology. Colloquium: Morality in Language - Read More…

How do we learn peace?

When: Feb 24, 2017 at 9:00 AM
Where: 129 Waring, University Park, PA 16802

Since 2009, the Outward Bound Peacebuilding has worked with partners around the world to design programs that integrate the Outward Bound educational model of learning by doing and reflecting, with peacebuilding skills and practice. Executive Director Ana Patel will present on the work and approach of Outward Bound Peacebuilding in an interactive session that explores this innovative approach to supporting and creating communities of peacebuilding leaders. How do we learn peace? - Read More…

Making Good: Can We Realize Our Moral Aspirations?

When: Feb 23, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Where: Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park, PA 16802

Is moral improvement possible? If so, how? Recently, philosophers have suggested that virtue is a skill that can be acquired much as skills in other areas, like chess and music, are acquired. Philosophical proponents of this “skill analogy,” unfortunately, have paid limited attention to the science of human performance, science which may illuminate pathways and impediments to moral development. Here, I canvass some of the science, and assess some prospects for moral improvement. Making Good: Can We Realize Our Moral Aspirations? - Read More…

What if you could walk to peace?

When: Feb 23, 2017 at 3:15 PM
Where: 808 Ford Building, University Park, PA 16802

Outward Bound Center for Peacebuilding and Penn State University invite you to attend a workshop. Experiential Peacebuilding is an approach that applies experiential learning or "learning by doing and reflecting" to the challenge of building relationships between people on different sides of conflict. The theory behind this work is that the experiential learning can build common language, accelerate trust and facilitate positive experiences among adversaries. The workshop will offer participants a unique opportunity to explore this approach and consider its application as a powerful tool for creating transformational experiences for individuals and groups. What if you could walk to peace? - Read More…

Brown Bag Series - Beyond White Privilege: Geographies of White Supremacy and Settler Colonialism

When: Feb 16, 2017 at 12:00 PM
Where: 133 Sparks Building, University Park, PA 16802

This presentation builds from scholarship on whiteness and white privilege to argue for an expanded focus that includes settler colonialism and white supremacy. Specifically, Dr. Inwood will argue that engaging with white supremacy and settler colonialism reveals the enduring social, economic, and political impacts of white supremacy as a materially grounded set of practices that continues to frame the making of space and place in the United States. As a result, he will situate white supremacy not as an artifact of history or as an extreme position, but rather as the foundation for the continuous unfolding of practices of race and racism within settler states. Finally, he will illustrate this framework through a recent example of a land dispute in the American West. Brown Bag Series - Beyond White Privilege: Geographies of White Supremacy and Settler Colonialism - Read More…

Job Talk - Stripped to the Bone: Sequencing Queerness in the Comic Strip Work of Joe Brainard and David Wojnarowicz

When: Feb 16, 2017 at 9:30 AM
Where: 216 Willard Building, University Park, PA 16802

In this talk, I develop a queer theory of comics strip form by exploring the comics work of mixed-media artists Joe Brainard and David Wojnarowicz. Both New York residents of lower Manhattan at key moments in the development of contemporary U.S. queer culture—gay liberation and the AIDS crisis respectively—Brainard and Wojnarowicz showed artistic affinity with the comics medium throughout their short-lived but prodigious careers in the 1970s and 1980s. In the early 1970s, Brainard adopted the classic comic strip character Nancy in a series of paper works that functioned as enlarged comic strips; in these panels, Brainard depicted Nancy in a variety of radical sexual and social positions (as transgendered, high on drugs, performing in a pornographic movie, and much more) that allowed viewers to imagine a traditionally American icon as a potentially queer one inhabiting multiple, non-synchronous identities. Little more than a decade later, in David Wojnarowicz’s graphic memoir, 7 Miles a Second (1988-1993), the artist and his collaborators James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook, used the visual disjoint between comic strip panels to formally dramatize the experience of social alienation and physical pain associated with being a queer person with AIDS. Through a historically situated close reading of these two works, I show how Brainard and Wojnarowicz each deployed the formal codes of the comics medium to articulate emergent affective orientations towards transformations in alternative sexual cultures; consequently, I argue for an understanding of comic strip sequence as a formal expressions of modern queer sexuality as an unpredictable unfolding of countless erotic possibilities. Job Talk - Stripped to the Bone: Sequencing Queerness in the Comic Strip Work of Joe Brainard and David Wojnarowicz - Read More…

Job Talk - Queer Intimacies: Visualizing Black Lesbian Desire in Contemporary South Africa

When: Feb 14, 2017 at 9:30 AM
Where: 216 Willard Building, University Park, PA 16802

This talk examines visual art produced by lesbian human rights activists in South Africa that is emerging to contest racialized and gendered constructions of black lesbian vulnerability within global humanitarian advocacy. Through an analysis of the work of South African visual activist, Zanele Muholi, the talk considers how black queer theories of vulnerability and precarity challenge second-wave feminist understandings of women’s human rights grounded in freedom from gender violence and the pursuit of sexual autonomy. By reframing and recontextualizing black queer vulnerability in terms of the erotic—or the body’s proximity to both pleasure and pain—Muholi’s work opens up a space for visualizing black lesbian desire in contemporary South Africa. In doing so, Muholi’s mobilization of erotic vulnerability as the basis for lesbian human rights activism constitutes an ethical provocation to rethink the kinds of sexual rights claims that are imagined as possible. Job Talk - Queer Intimacies: Visualizing Black Lesbian Desire in Contemporary South Africa - Read More…

Czech Turistika and Outdoor Education in Czech

When: Feb 13, 2017 at 5:00 PM
Where: 808 Ford Building

Brown Bag Series: The Ethics of Yoga: - Walt Whitman’s Spiritual Democracy

When: Feb 02, 2017 at 12:00 PM
Where: 133 Sparks Building, University Park, PA 16802

The yoga world has been rocked by a number of scandals in recent years. It seems that many teachers of yoga have not heeded the basic ethical guidelines found in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, especially the imperative to practice ahimsa, non-harming of others. One might be excused in wondering if yoga has any ethics at all. I believe that yoga can represent an important contribution to contemporary conversations about ethics. Brown Bag Series: The Ethics of Yoga: - Walt Whitman’s Spiritual Democracy - Read More…

Job Talk - The Injustice of the “Migrant Journey” to the United States

When: Feb 01, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Where: 401 Steidle Building, University Park, PA 16802

Political philosophers have rather recently begun assessing immigration as a philosophical problem. While most of this philosophical attention has occurred in the context of the “open borders debate” about justice in immigrant admissions, a few philosophers have provided important normative analyses of particular injustices that undocumented/unauthorized migrants endure while living and working in their “new society”. In this paper I aim to take these recent philosophical explorations a step further by focusing on the difficult experiences that many people have while en route to the country to which they intend to migrate without legal authorization. More specifically, I shall argue that the perilous journey undertaken by many Mexicans, Central Americans, and other Latin Americans wishing to enter the United States without legal authorization (to which I shall refer as “the migrant journey”) plays a key role in what I call “illegal identity formation” within the United States. Because of this, and relatedly, I argue that the migrant journey also perpetuates certain aspects of anti-Latina/o and anti-Native American racisms within U.S. borders. Approaching this issue via a relational egalitarian perspective, I ultimately argue that the United States is required, as a matter of immigration justice, to render the journey to the U.S. of “unauthorized” Latin American migrants less perilous, violent and inhumane. I also argue that other “migrant journeys” across the globe may present similar injustices, and I call for more philosophical/normative attention to human movement itself in the migration process. Job Talk - The Injustice of the “Migrant Journey” to the United States - Read More…