Ethics/Religion and Society Lecture Series

Imagining the Good: Community, Equality, Environment



Fall 2015

September 10

              The E/RS Interviews: “The American Experience: Community, Equality, Environment”

In the first of six E/RS interviews, Father Graham and Paul Colella (Philosophy) will discuss dimensions of “the American experience” based on both their personal experiences and academic pursuits. The E/RS interviews provide an opportunity for us to get to know in a more informal fashion members of the Xavier community. 

The Cintas Center, Duff Banquet Room, 7 p.m.


September 14

Benjamin Barber: “If Mayors Ruled the World” and “Consumption Justice” Lectures

Benjamin Barber (CUNY, The Graduate Center), in If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations and Rising Cities, argues that cities have, in the age of globalization, “once again become democracy’s best hope.” Barber presents a way of rethinking the challenge of democracy: cities, unlike the limping nation-state, are positioned to connect local democratic participation with social and political power to promote lasting change. In Consumed Barber examines how markets “corrupt children, infantilize adults, and swallow citizens whole” effectively undermining the health of our democracy and the environment. Co-sponsored by the Brueggeman Center and Sustainability Committee.

Dr. Barber will be a part of two events on September 14. The first event is Xavier's Sustainability Day, where Barber will discuss issues of Consumption Justice and his book Consumed. At the the second event he will discuss his most recent book If Mayors Ruled the World.

1. Consumption Justice, Sustainability Day: Kennedy Auditorium in CLC, 3 p.m.

2. If Mayors Ruled the World: The Cintas Center, Duff Banquet Room, 7 p.m.


October 15

              Michael Sandel: What is the Right thing to Do?

Michael Sandel (Harvard University) has been called “the most famous teacher of philosophy in the world” and his Justice: What is the Right Thing to Do? and What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets have reached far beyond academic audiences as international bestsellers. In Justice he shows how the political philosophies of Aristotle, Kant, Mill, and Rawls can help us think about the most pressing ethical issues of our time and in What Money Can’t Buy he argues that we have “drifted from having a market economy to being a market society.” Co-sponsored by the Cintas Institute for Business Ethics and the Brueggeman Center.

The Cintas Center, Duff Banquet Room, 7 p.m.


October 29

              Ross Gay: Poetry, Race, and the Environment

Ross Gay (Indiana University, Bloomington) is a poet, critic, and a gardener. He is the author of Bringing the Shovel Down and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude and the essay “Some Thoughts on Mercy” which critically examines his experiences with racism. He is currently writing a book on African-American gardening and farming. In addition to an E/RS lecture, there will be poetry reading at Evanston’s Community Blend.”

1. Talk, "Saving the Seeds: Loving the Land, Again" in Conaton Board Room, 4 p.m.

2. Poetry Reading, TBA


November 12

              The Cooperative Economy: A Panel on Cooperatives in Cincinnati

In spring 2016, E/RS will host a major conference on cooperative business. As a lead up to the conference, there will be a panel session focusing on the blossoming cooperative movement in Cincinnati. How do we build a more inclusive and cooperative economy? With a shrinking middle class, growing inequalities, and fluctuating global markets what kind of social and economic models can sustainably support communities in need? There are three standard social and economic models available: 1) government models, 2) for-profit models, and 3) non-profit models. But, these models are not meeting the needs of many struggling communities. A fourth additional option is the cooperative model, which is inclusive, compassionate, environmentally sustainable, and collaborative in ways the standard three models are not. The aim of the panel is to investigate the forth model as an option for communities in Cincinnati.

The Cintas Center, Duff Banquet Room, 7 p.m.


November 19

             Dylan Yeats: Yellow Peril and Anti-Asian Fear

Dylan Yeats (NYU) is author and editor (with John Kuo Wei Tchen) of Yellow Peril: An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear. The "yellow peril" is one of the most long-standing and pervasive racist ideas in Western culture—indeed, his book traces its history to the Enlightenment era. While Fu Manchu evokes a fading historical memory, yellow peril ideology persists, animating, for example, campaign commercials from the 2012 presidential election.




Spring 2016

January, TBD

              E/RS Interviews: Sustainability

In the second of six E/RS interviews, Kathleen Smythe (History) and Nancy Bertaux (Economics) will discuss issues of sustainability based on both their personal experiences and academic pursuits. The E/RS interviews provide an opportunity for us to get to know in a more informal fashion members of the Xavier community. 


February 25            

              Roy Scranton: Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene

Roy Scranton (Princeton) is an Iraqi vet and one America’s rising new and critical voices. He’s expanded his widely read and critically acclaimed article “Learning to Die in the Anthropocene” (The New York Times) into a bold new book that examines the age of climate change from the perspective of a veteran. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Boston Review, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, and he is also a co-editor of Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War.


April 21-22

              The Cooperative Economy: Building a Sustainable Future           

Over two days, E/RS will host a conference on cooperative business. Jessica Gordon Nembhard (John Jay) will deliver the conference keynote address on Thursday, April 21. Gordon Nembhard is the author of Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice. Panel sessions, workshops, and a second keynote will follow on Friday, April 22. Co-sponsored by the Brueggeman Center, Community Building Institute, the Eigel Center, and Sustainability Committee.