Associate professor of history Victoria Christman was named Director of the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement starting August 2016.
The Center for Ethics and Public Engagement exists to enhance the liberal education Luther promises its students. Overall, the Center helps students learn what it means to live a meaningful life by encouraging deep reflection about ethical matters and responsible citizenship. As the director, Christman will guide on-campus and external initiatives in keeping with these purposes. She succeeds Greg Jesson, Luther professor of philosopher, who has served as the Center’s director since 2012, and founding director John Moeller, Luther professor of political science.
Founded in 2006 as the Center for Ethics and Public Life, the Center was renamed in 2015 as an outcome of a re-visioning process that examined its mission, structure, and outreach to outline a vision for the future. The revised name highlights the intellectual orientation of the Center’s work and its focus on fostering student engagement with civic life.
The Center for Ethics and Public Engagement supports public lectures, reading groups, campus conversation, and research about the challenging issues confronting society and the role ethics should play in making public choices. It helps encourage others to hold conversations among those who study shared problems from different perspectives.
Christman joined Luther’s faculty in 2005 after earning both her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Arizona. In addition to teaching History and Paideia, Christman has served as the Director of International Studies and co-led the semester program in Münster, Germany. The courses she teaches focus on topics of early modern Europe, low countries, reformation, and inquisition, as well as specialized topics in African, Asian, European, and U.S. history. Her research focuses on the early modern Low Countries ad has been supported by fellowships from Fulbright, the Belgian American Education Foundation, and the Marie Curie Initiative of the European Union, among others. In 2015 she published a monograph titled, “Pragmatic Toleration: The Politics of Religious Heterodoxy in Early Reformation Antwerp, 1515-1555.”