2015-2016: The Ethics of Citizenship

In the 2015-2016 academic year, the Mudd Center theme will be "The Ethics of Citizenship." This theme has a double meaning, insofar as we aim to investigate both the ethics of conferring or withholding citizenship status as well as the ethical rights and responsibilities that attach to those who are granted such a status. Some questions we will ask include the following: Should our central understanding of citizenship remain state-based, or should we adopt more global or cosmopolitan conceptions of citizenship? How should liberal democratic states determine who is to be included in the political community? What are the virtues that define, or ought to define, the good citizen? What are the fundamental rights and responsibilities that attach to citizenship? What role, if any, should educational institutions play in cultivating ideals of citizenship? When, if ever, are citizens morally justified in engaging in civil disobedience or governmental whistleblowing? May citizens in a liberal democracy justifiably appeal to religious arguments in debates over public policy? The main goal of this year-long interdisciplinary investigation is to explore these complex ethical questions about the nature and value of citizenship.

Below is a list of upcoming theme-related events and activities. To receive information about these and other Mudd Center events, please join our mailing list.

2015 - 2016 Speakers and Events

Danielle S. Allen Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and Professor of Government, Harvard University

Talk Title: Participatory Readiness: On the Liberal Arts and the Ethics of Citizenship
Thursday, September 24, 5:00 p.m.
Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons

Melissa Lane Class of 1943 Professor of Politics, Princeton University

Talk Title: The Democratic Ethics of Communicating Climate Change: Insights from Aristotle
Thursday, October 8, 5:00 p.m.
Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library

Seth Michelson Assistant Professor of Spanish, Washington and Lee University

Poetry Reading: The Ethics of Citizenship
Monday, October 26, 12:15-1:20 p.m.
Hillel Multipurpose Room
Lunch provided; please RSVP to mudd-center@wlu.edu by October 19, 2015

Joseph Carens Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto

Talk Title: Immigration and Citizenship
Friday, November 6, 4:30 p.m.
Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons

Claudia Rankine Aerol Arnold Chair of English, University of Southern California

Talk Title: The Creative Imagination and Race: The Making of "Citizen"
Wednesday, January 20, 4:30 p.m.
Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons

Quentin Skinner Barber Beaumont Professor of Humanities, Queen Mary University of London

Talk Title: How Should We Think About Freedom?
Monday, April 4, 5:30 p.m.
Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library

Susan James Professor of Philosophy, Birkbeck College London

Talk Title: Freedom and Nature: A Spinozist Invitation
Thursday, April 7, 5:00 p.m.
Huntley Hall 221