New Faculty-Led Seminar Series

Congratulations to Assistant Professors Stephen Buttes (Spanish) and Andrew Kopec (English and linguistics) whose seminars on Moral Thinking in Artworks of Economic Success and Economic Failure were chosen as one of six in Indiana University’s Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society inaugural selection of Religion and Ethics Seminars. This yearlong series of six faculty-led seminars will take place on a number of IU campuses.

Each team will construct their seminars purposefully. As the consortium’s director Brian Steensland shared, “Some are oriented toward public engagement. Others are oriented toward scholarly development and academic research. Some involve students, and others involve community partners. The mix of goals and activities matches the diverse ways in which religion and ethics impact society.” For a full list of the topics, see the consortium’s seminar page.

Kopec and Buttes’ seminar “explores the relationship between ideas about morality and portrayals of economic success and failure in artworks from the United States and Latin America.”

  • Kopec and Buttes have organized the first seminar as a reading group centered on the seminar topics. They invite faculty and students to engage in conversation about specific works of art (films, novels and poetry) as well as philosophy and criticism. The reading group’s discussion will take place March 14, 2017 from 12pm–1pm in Liberal Arts Building, Room 160.
  • The second seminar features the lecture, “The Poverty of Literature,” by Bruno Bosteels, professor of romance studies at Cornell University and visiting professor in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University. Professor Bosteels’ lecture is free and open to the public and will be held on April 5, 2017 at 7pm in Neff Hall, Room 101.
  • The third seminar will feature an additional meeting of the reading group and/or the circulation of a working paper for discussion. This third seminar will take place April 18, 2017 at 12–1pm in Liberal Arts Building, Room 160.

Each seminar will be led by the sponsoring faculty pair, meeting six times over two consecutive semesters. Each seminar will set its own schedule and format (panel discussion, public speaking, faculty-student projects). Details will be available through the consortium’s website.

IU’s Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society “is an interdisciplinary group of scholars, academic programs and research centers from all eight Indiana University campuses. The consortium’s goal is to connect faculty, incubate research and creative activity, and promote awareness of IU scholarship in areas relating to religion, ethics, and values.”

For more information on the seminar series, see the consortium’s website. For information about the seminar at IPFW and access to reading materials for the seminar’s reading group, contact Kopec ( and Buttes (

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