Book Groups

The Center for Ethics and Public Engagement facilitates conversations beyond the classroom to examine assumptions, exchange ideas, and encourage responsible action in our world. Sign-up below to read and discuss the following books (books are provided and are yours to keep).

Current Books

Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
Meeting Time: Thursday, 2/15/24 9:45-10:45 AM
Location: The CEPE, Olin 214
Number of Participants: 16

The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison’s 1970 debut novel that follows Pecola Breedlove, an 11 year old Black girl from an abusive household in Ohio, as she navigates beauty standards, acceptance, and a society that values whiteness over her own identity. The book takes place in the early 1940s, and has four sections, each of which are named after the four seasons.

 

This book group is a collaboration between Black Student Union and The Center for Ethics and Public Engagement as part of Luther College’s Black History Month programming.

Toni Morrison was a Nobel Prize winning author and professor, whose work is praised for her insight into the Black, particularly female, experience in mid 20th century America. She attended Howard and Cornell Universities for her Bachelors and Masters, and retired from Princeton University in 2006. Morrison was born in Ohio in 1931, and died in Bronx, NY in 2019. Sign up here to join.

Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Invisible: Theology and Experience of Asian American Women
Meeting Time: Thursday, 2/29/24 9:45-10:45 AM
Location: The CEPE, Olin 214
Number of Participants: 16

The CEPE offers this book group on Grace Ji-Sun Kim’s work so folks can prepare for her campus visit to deliver the 2024 Sihler Lecture.

Invisible: Theology and Experience of Asian American Women is Kim’s 2021 book on how the intersections of racism, sexism, and xenophobia contribute to Asian American womens’ invisibility in society. The book is written through the combination of sociological, theological, and personal lenses.

Grace Ji-Sun Kim is a Korean-American Theologian who has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Victoria University at the University of Toronto, a Master of Divinity degree from Knox College, and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from St. Michael’s College. Kim is currently a Professor of Theology at Earlham School of Religion, and is the author or editor of over 20 books. Sign up here to join

Valeria Luiselli, The Story of My Teeth
Meeting Time: Thursday, 4/25/24, 9:45-10:45am
Location: The CEPE, Olin 214 9:45-10:45 AM
Number of Participants: 16

Following up on The CEPE’s Fall 2023 events with Anne Beate Hovind and the Future Library, this book group is a chance to explore a wonderful and strange novel by the author selected to make the 2024 contribution to the Future Library, Valeria Luiselli.

The Story of My Teeth is Luiselli’s 2013 novel that follows Gustavo “Highway” Sanchez, an auctioneer from Mexico City who is looking to replace his own teeth with those of dead famous people. The novel centers around the value that people assign to various objects and the stories we tell about them. The book was originally published in Spanish, translated to English in 2015.

Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City in 1983 and has lived in Wisconsin, South Korea, and South Africa while growing up. After graduating from the National Autonomous University in Mexico with a degree in Philosophy, she moved to New York City, where she studied contemporary dance and worked as an intern for the United Nations, later getting her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Columbia University. In addition to writing, Luiselli teaches at Bard College and Harvard University. Sign up here to join

Meeting Time: Thursday, 3/7/24, 9:45-10:45am
Location: The CEPE, Olin 214
Number of Participants: Whoever signs up

Associate Professor of English and current Faculty Research Fellow at The CEPE, Lindsey Row-Heyveld, will lead a discussion of the reading in conversation with Luther Disability Alliance work at Luther. People who sign up will get a pdf of the reading emailed to them.

Along with many other things, Lydia XZ Brown is a non-binary educator and activist, who works as an adjunct lecturer at Georgetown University and American University, with specialties in disability studies, women’s and gender studies, and American studies. They also work as work as Director of Public Policy at the National Disability Institute, focusing on advancing financial freedom and economic opportunity for people with disabilities through strategic policy research, development, and implementation.

Lydia X. Z. Brown will give the Price Distinguished Lecture, “Until We All Are Free: Disability Justice Interventions in Queer, Trans, Feminist Movements,” Wednesday, March 13, at 6 p.m. in the Center for Faith and Life’s Recital Hall.

Sign up here to join