Lecture| Heather Blair Presents “Affecting Religion: Picturebooks and the Configuration of Childhood Virtues”

Date: Friday, Dec. 4,2015clip_image002_006
Time: 12:00 PM-1:30 PM
Location: UL 4115P

Heather Blair, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at IU-Bloomington presents, “Affecting Religion: Picturebooks and the Configuration of Childhood Virtues.” Postwar Japanese picture books often appropriate elements with recognizably religious pedigrees—characters, plots, visual imagery—for use in the education and entertainment of young children. Working against conventional interpretations of mainstream picturebooks as wholly secular and therefore un-religious, I argue that they in fact promote a transformed and acculturated form of religiosity. In this talk, focus on the affective and ethical dimensions of picturebooks by identifying and analyzing the childhood virtues they promote.

This event is sponsored by the IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society and by the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute.

WONDER AND THE NATURAL WORLD: A Call for Grant Proposals

Logo for CSRES courtesy of News.iupui.eduCALL FOR GRANT PROPOSALS: Symposia, workshops, performances, and seminar series for departments, institutes, and research centers at all IU campuses
Deadline for submission: June 15, 2015
Awards announced by mid-July 2015

The IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society (CSRES) announces a grant competition on the theme of Wonder and the Natural World. Departments, research centers, and institutes across all IU campuses may apply for funds to support or supplement symposia, workshops, seminar series, performances, or small conferences during the 2015-2016 academic year that align with the Consortium’s two-year theme of Wonder and the Natural World. This call for proposals is part of a two-year thematic initiative sponsored by CSRES.

Wonder has been framed as a key moral disposition, as well as an aesthetic, emotional, or cognitive response; depending on its objects and orientation, it may display both salutary and sinister dimensions. Wonder at nature is prompted by the odd and uncanny, the strange and novel, the transcendent and sublime, as well as encounters with the monstrous and horrific. It has variously been associated with, or dissociated from, curiosity, awe, intimations of divinity, infinity, the sublime, the miraculous or supernatural, feelings of astonishment and puzzlement. We welcome projects that explore wonder or its cognate terms in relation to nature or the natural, broadly construed. Proposals should clearly relate the project to the announced theme.

Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $2500, $5000, and $7500 depending on the scope of the proposed project. Funds can be used for travel and honoraria for external speakers, as well as hospitality expenses in keeping with university regulations. IU faculty may not receive honoraria. Applications for funding should include:

• summary of the project (750 words max.)
• a list of invited presenters
• a detailed budget
• letter of support from department chair or school/unit dean (included with the application or emailed separately)
• evidence of other funding obtained or requested (for requests over $2000)

Questions about the grant competition, and complete grant proposals may be emailed to CSRES Director Lisa Sideris at lsideris@indiana.edu.

The Indiana University Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society is an interdisciplinary association of scholars, academic programs, and research centers from the eight campuses of Indiana University. Their mandate is to aid in the development of research and scholarship to better understand religion, ethics, values, and spirituality in society. An initiative of the IU Vice President for Research Office, CSRES is also supported by the Office of the President, The Office of the Executive Vice President and Chancellor, IUPUI, and the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington.

Dr. Stephen Selka presents “Mapping the Moral in African Diaspora Tourism in Brazil”

Photo courtesy of Dr. Stephen Selka At 12:00pm on April, 30th the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute will host Dr. Stephen Selka.  His lecture will explore African diaspora tourism in Bahia, Brazil, particularly African American “pilgrimages” to the Afro-Catholic festival of Our Lady of the Good Death (or simply Boa Morte) celebrated every August by women of African descent involved with the Afro-Brazilian religion of Candomblé. Although recognized as part of the official heritage of Bahia, Boa Morte occupies a complicated position on the Afro-Brazilian moral landscape. To evangelical Christians, for example, Boa Morte and Candomblé are diabolical; from this perspective, Afro-Brazilian religion is something to leave behind. By contrast, to the extent that the festival of Boa Morte is understood as a celebration honoring the ancestors, it is particularly appealing to African Americans seeking to “recover” their ancestral past. Nevertheless, ancestors are understood to be dangerous and morally unpredictable in Candomblé; therefore Boa Morte is something morally ambiguous for many Candomblé practitioners, contrary to what most African American visitors might expect. Accordingly, this talk focuses on the contested links between heritage, personhood, and morality that are enacted at the festival of Boa Morte.

Stephen Selka is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and American Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. A cultural anthropologist, he researches religion, politics, and cultural heritage tourism in Afro-Brazilian communities in northeastern Brazil, where he has conducted ethnographic fieldwork since 1999. His first book, Religion and the Politics of Ethnic Identity in Bahia, Brazil (University Press of Florida, 2007), explores the various ways that Afro-Brazilians in both Christian and African-derived religious communities construct their ethnic identities and struggle against racism.

This public program is part of the Religion and Ethics Roundtables series of the IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society. Religion and Ethics Roundtables highlight the work of scholars at IUB, IUPUI, and beyond, with the goal of engaging the IU community and the public in dialogue about important issues at the intersection of religion, ethics, and society.

Consecrating Science Wonder, Ethics, and the New Cosmology: a Roundtable with Dr. Lisa Sideris

Lisa Sideris

Lisa Sideris

What is the role of wonder in contemporary environmental discourse? Come join Dr. Lisa Sideris on Friday, December 5 at 1:30 p.m. in the IUPUI University Library, Room 4115P, as she examines a constellation of movements referred to as the New Story/Universe Story/Epic of Evolution/Big History—forms of science-based ecospirituality that have emerged in recent decades. One of her central claims is that these narratives encourage awe and wonder at scientific information and expert knowledge as that which is most “real,” over and above lived encounters with the natural world. She questions whether these new myths are likely to engender the environmental values and ethics they seek to cultivate. This privileging of abstract information is pronounced in iterations of the new cosmology that take inspiration from the work of E. O. Wilson and Richard Dawkins—who promote a mythopoeic rendering of science as a superior rival to religion—but many of the same criticisms can be made of the new cosmology as it has come to dominate the broad discipline of “religion and ecology.” Dr. Sideris’s talk will draw comparisons between the forms (and objects) of wonder celebrated in these movements and accounts of wonder as an enduring orientation, such as Rachel Carson defends in The Sense of Wonder and other writings.

LISA SIDERIS is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society (CSRES) at Indiana University Bloomington. Her research interests include environmental ethics, religion and nature, and the science-religion interface. She is author of Environmental Ethics, Ecological Theology, and Natural Selection (Columbia, 2003) and editor of Rachel Carson: Legacy and Challenge (SUNY, 2008). Her current research focuses on the role played by wonder in discourse at the intersection of science, religion, and nature, and the turn to science for a common sacred narrative.

This is a public program open to all. An RSVP to Abby Gitlitz agitlitz@indiana.edu is appreciated but not required. Religion and Ethics Roundtables highlight the work of scholars at IUB, IUPUI, and beyond, with the goal of engaging the IU community and the public in dialogue about important issues at the intersection of religion, ethics, and society.

Ebola: “Over There”…Now “Over Here” An Urgent Conversation About Ethics, Law, Public Health, and Practice

Ebola Virus

Ebola Virus

The initial outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EBV) in West Africa presented many ethical, legal, logistical and clinical challenges for first responders, clinicians, politicians and researchers. These challenges have been magnified now that EBV has crossed the Atlantic transforming the public conversation from a worrisome public health challenge over there, to one we need to address over here. A group of experts in the ethical, legal, public health and clinical care implications will discuss several key issues facing patients, practitioners and the public. Following short presentations, an open dialogue will allow for exchange of perspectives.

Eric M. Meslin, PhD-
Director, Indiana University Center for Bioethics, Associate Dean and Professor of Bioethics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Professor of Law and Bioethics, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Chad Priest, JD, MSN, RN- Assistant Dean for Operations & Community Partnerships, Indiana University School of Nursing, Co-Director, Disaster Medicine Fellowship, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine
Ross D. Silverman, JD, MPH- Professor and Acting Chair, Department of Health Policy & Management Indiana University, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health Professor of Public Health & Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Nicolas P. Terry, LL.M.- Hall Render Professor of Law & Director, Hall Center for Law and Health, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Co-sponsored by the Indiana University Center for Bioethics, Fairbanks School of Public Health, School of Nursing, and Robert H. McKinney School of Law

David Craig and The Public Ethics of Healthcare Reform: A Religion and Ethics Roundtable


David Craig, associate professor of Religious Studies at IUPUI

The national debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act is understandably divisive. It is divisive because nothing less is at stake than competing visions of a just society. Yet we can understand the competing visions and their associated public ethics of health care obligation by listening to the moral, economic and religious concerns that people bring to the debate and interpreting the underlying values charitably. Surprisingly, neither the reigning conservative nor liberal vision of health care justice fits how health care has been organized in the United States. This talk illustrates that discrepancy with lessons learned from interviews with leaders of religious hospitals and religious activists lobbying for reform. It calls on scholars to do ethics in public—and with the public—to advance the cultural change required for the Affordable Care Act to succeed.

About the speaker
David Craig is associate professor of Religious Studies at IUPUI and author of Health Care as a Social Good: Religious Values and American Democracy (Georgetown University Press, 2014). He has convened conversations about how religious congregations and partner organizations can support a shift toward a more affordable, community-based health care system. He is also the author of John Ruskin and the Ethics of Consumption (Virginia, 2006), along with articles on virtue ethics, ritual studies, philanthropic studies, and environmental, economic and health care ethics.

When: Friday, September 26, 4:00-5:30 pm
Where: The Poynter Center, 618 E. 3rd St., Bloomington IN
This is a public program open to all. An RSVP is appreciated; however it is not required to attend.

Religion and Ethics Roundtables highlight the work of scholars at IUB, IUPUI and beyond, with the goal of engaging the IU community and the public in dialogue about important issues at the intersection of religion, ethics, and society. For more information, contact CSRES director, Lisa Sideris.

NSF Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM (CCE STEM) Application Now Available

NationalScienceFoundationThe National Science Foundation accepts proposals for innovative research projects to foster ethical STEM research in all of the fields of science and engineering that NSF supports, including within interdisciplinary, inter-institutional and international contexts. CCE STEM research projects will use basic research to produce knowledge about what constitutes responsible or irresponsible, just or unjust scientific practices and sociotechnical systems, and how to best instill students with this knowledge.

Proposed research should seek to provide answers to the following: What constitutes ethical STEM research and practice? Which cultural and institutional contexts promote ethical STEM research and practice and why? Do certain labs have a culture of academic integrity? What practices contribute to the establishment and maintenance of ethical cultures and how can these practices be transferred, extended to, or integrated into other research and learning settings?

Factors one might consider include: honor codes, professional ethics codes and licensing requirements, an ethic of service and/or service learning, life-long learning requirements, curricula or membership in organizations (e.g. Engineers without Borders) that stress social responsibility or humanitarian goals, institutions that serve under-represented groups, institutions where academic and research integrity are cultivated at multiple levels, institutions that cultivate ethics across the curriculum, or programs that promote group work, or do not grade.

Successful proposals will include a comparative dimension, either between or within institutional settings that differ along the factors suggested or other factors, or Institutional Transformation (IT) awards, where the comparison is over time– before and after an intervention. For IT, investigators are expected to gather and report baseline data in the first annual report. (See the reporting section of this solicitation for additional reporting requirements for both types of awards).

Award Amount: The anticipated funding amount each year is $3,050,000 for an estimated 6-8 Standard Grants. The maximum award duration is 5 years. Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.
Cost Sharing Requirements: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.
Eligibility: NSF expects project teams to include persons with appropriate expertise. This might include expertise in the domain or domains of science or engineering on which the project focuses, in ethics, values, evaluation, and pedagogy.
Limitation: One per University
IU Internal Deadline: 11/12/2014
NSF Proposal Deadline: 2/17/2015

Limited Submission

For consideration as an institutional nominee, submit the following documents electronically to limited submission by November 12, 2014 for internal coordination.

  • 1-2 page Project Narrative (limitation does not include references)
  • A Letter of Nomination from Chair or Dean
  • Abbreviated CV for the PI (not to exceed 3 pages)

IUPUI applicants must copy Etta Ward on submissions. Although not required, it is recommended that you contact Donna Carter indicating your interest in this program to help expedite the review process.

New IU ethics consortium announces funding for research projects

The Indiana University Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society is offering funding for research proposals from IU faculty that explore the theme of wonder, especially as it intersects with nature and the environment.

The IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society is an interdisciplinary association of scholars, academic programs and research centers from the eight campuses of Indiana University. The consortium was launched in January 2014 to leverage IU’s strengths in the interdisciplinary study of religion and advance research in key thematic areas.

This is the first call for research proposals from the new consortium. The research proposals are part of the first phase of a two-year thematic initiative — “Wonder and the Natural World” — sponsored by the consortium.

rachel carsonThe approaching 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s book “The Sense of Wonder” in 2015 makes the IU consortium’s theme especially timely, said Lisa Sideris, associate professor of religious studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington, who is also the inaugural director of the consortium.

“Wonder has played a key role in the environmental movement since that movement’s inception,” Sideris said. “We’re seeking proposals that ‘push the envelope’ in exploring the intersecting themes of wonder and nature, such as war and nature (‘shock and awe’), children’s natural spirituality, cinematic or fictional representations of wonder, even areas such as genetic engineering and wonder in artificial environments, like theme parks.”

Funding of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for teams is available. Full-time, tenure-track IU faculty members from any IU campus are eligible to apply, with proposals that cut across disciplines, units or campuses especially welcome.

The deadline for proposals is Sept. 1, 2014. Funding awards will be announced at the end of October. Recipients will present their preliminary findings and works-in-progress at a daylong symposium at IU Bloomington in May 2015.

The full call for proposals may be found online on the Department of Religious Studies website. Proposals should be emailed to Abby Gitlitz. For additional information on the consortium or the funding awards, contact Lisa Sideris.

Sarah Banks to discuss ethical challenges in research partnerships

Thursday, April 24th, 2014
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Education/Social Work (ES) Building, Room 2126, Global Crossroads Classroom

Dr. Sarah Banks, Durham University, UK, will deliver a lecture entitled “Tackling Ethical Challenges in Community-based Participatory Research.”

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) often involves community organizations and universities working together. The work of CBPR can help build community capacity in a time of austerity, generate new perspectives on social and economic issues and result in better implementation of research findings. CBPR is growing in popularity yet, both practically and ethically challenging are present in the work of CBPR.

In the work of CBPR, it is not always clear:

  • When people are in the role of researchers and/or research subjects;
  • When people’s work should be credited and when anonymity is important;
  • Who owns and has rights to the data/findings;
  • How to navigate the institutional ethical review process;
  • How to guard against exploitation of one party by another;
  • How to be open about unequal power relationships; and
  • How to achieve greater equality and mutual respect.

During the session, Dr. Sarah Banks will discuss the types of ethical issues that arise in CBPR, the practical challenges that community organizations and universities confront when they collaborate on research projects, and useful strategies for tackling these issues in practice. Reference will be made to Community-based Participatory Research: A Guide to Ethical Principles and Practice (2012) and accompanying case materials, films, podcasts, and exercises for promoting ethical awareness, reflection and action. More information about CBPR can be found on the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement website (UK).

Register for this event here.

Co-sponsored by the IUPUI Center for Service and Learning, IUPUI Department of Anthropology, IUPUI Solution Center, IUPUI Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP), IUPUI Office of External Affairs.