April 6 Post The Ethics Of Apologies
April 6 Post The Ethics Of Apologies
What is the goal of this Project?
The goal of the Final Project is to create a space for students enrolled in “Forgiving the
Unforgivable? The Ethics of Apologies” to apply what they have learned over the course of this semester
to the context of the twenty-first-century in the United States.
What is the Project?
General. The President of the United States (POTUS) must apologize for something that the
American government has done to a particular group of people at some point in the country’s past. You are
directing the committee advising POTUS and must convince POTUS that your group’s idea is the thing
POTUS needs to apologize for. (You do not need to take into account who the current president is. For the
purposes of this activity, the president is generic, per se.)
1. Choose a situation where the US government is responsible for doing something.
2. Develop a thesis argument defending why this group needs to be apologized to.
3. Determine how best to present this to POTUS in a presentation (e.g., ppt, pdf, google slides).
4. Fine-tune the presentation.
5. Submit the presentation.
Note the following when developing your idea:
– In deciding upon what issue to focus on, keep in mind the apology situations we covered this semester
that you think succeeded and/or failed, worked and/or did not work. Remember to consider the
“Lessons Learned” from these other situations and consider whether or not (and how) to apply these
lessons to the situation your group is focusing on.
– There are three core temporal (i.e., elements related to time) components of collective apologies that
should be incorporated into your presentation:
a. Past—What happened? In other words, what situation connected to twenty-first-century
America do you think the US government needs to apologize for? (It could’ve happened in the
1800s or last year. Either way, it needs to have a direct and explicit connection to the present…
or why else would it be important to do this now?)
b. Present—How is this past event being recognized and acknowledged today, right now, in
POTUS’s apology? What needs to be present in this apology? In terms of a script that needs to
be delivered, who needs to deliver it? When should it be delivered? Where should it be
delivered? And what words should be present in the script? If it entails something that is not a
speech, what does it include? Is there a particular ritual involved? (Think of the various rituals
surrounding PM Rudd’s speech on February 13, 2008.) For example, are they any pre-event
things that need to take place in preparation for a central event?
c. Future—Now what? What is going to happen hereafter, post-apology? How is the community
going to move forward? In other words, are there long-term pieces to this collective apology?
– Whatever issue you choose, there are many people opposed to collective apologies generally (no matter
what is being apologized for) and specifically (i.e., opposed to apologizing for specific things). Though
you cannot please everybody with a political act, especially one ostensibly representing the collective
American people, make sure to include two oppositional arguments in your apology (e.g., make sure to
address two oppositional arguments in your apology, not in a defensive way but in a sophisticated
manner, similar to what PM Rudd did in his speech).
In terms of elements your presentation should have, see below, under “Evaluation.”
What is the Timeline for this Project in terms of things to hand-in?
– April 6—Post document titled “Final Project – Description.”
– This document requires you to explain the
topic you will be focusing on in detail. This will take some serious thought, consideration, and group
discussion. Make sure to use references for all quotes, all images, and all outside materials used in your final
There will be documents attached to for the guidelines
FINAL PROJECT I. Description What is the goal of this Project? The goal of the Final Project is to create a space for students enrolled in “Forgiving the Unforgivable? The