York College gets serious about superhero ethics


Batman, Superman and Captain America this week will be the focus of a local talk about ethics at York College.

The college is hosting "Batman's Dilemma," a discussion about ethics and superheroes by professor Mark White from the College of Staten Island.

The event is part of York College's First-year Experience, which "focuses on engaging students in learning experiences outside of the classroom," according to Diane Creagh, director of the First-year Experience.

Creagh said the event will allow people to better understand ethics and philosophy by integrating the superheroes theme.

"They come because they want to talk about superheroes and want to learn about superheroes," she said.

Superhero expert: The discussion and lecture will be done by White, a philosophy professor who writes and blogs about superheroes and applies ethics to them, Creagh said.

She said his writing is intended for everyday readers, not necessarily those who are well-versed in ethics.

"He's going to make it really accessible and really interesting," she said.

White will discuss characters and stories from comics and movies to illustrate ethical dilemmas in the real world, such as Batman's refusal to kill the Joker and Superman's reliance on moral judgment more than his power, the news release said.

The discussion is the first campus-wide event that the First-year Experience is promoting. These larger events will happen once a semester.

The event is from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Weinstock Lecture Hall, Willman Business Center on the York College campus, 441 Country Club Drive.

The event is free and open to students and the public. The lecture and discussion begins at 4 p.m. and goes until 5 p.m. A book signing with White will run from 5 to 6 p.m.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at