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The Alexander Grass Humanities Institute is a focal point for the 10 world-renowned humanities departments at Johns Hopkins, other dynamic departments in the humanistic social sciences, and related centers and programs. The institute sponsors scholarly meetings, public events, visiting scholars, and student fellowships and research projects.

Upcoming AGHI-sponsored Events

A complete calendar of all humanities-related events, including all AGHI-sponsored events, happening at Johns Hopkins is available on our events page.

AGHI/English/Classics Conference: The Sound of Writing
Mar 8 – Mar 9 all-day Homewood Campus

The Sound of Writing
Shane Butler, Classics, JHU
Christopher Cannon, Classics/English, JHU (Conference Co-Organizer)
Ian Cornelius, English, Loyola University Chicago
Alison Cornish, Italian, NYU
Sean Curran, Music, University of Cambridge
Jeff Dolven, English, Princeton University
Virginia Jackson, English/Comparative Literature, UC Irvine
Eleanor Johnson, English, Columbia University
Steve Justice, English, UC Berkeley (Conference Co-Organizer)
Sarah Kay, French, NYU
Sarah Nooter, Classics, University of Chicago
Emily Thornbury, English, Yale

Presented by the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute and the Departments of English and Classics

Download the Poster

2019 Richard A. Macksey Lecture – Imagining Color by Elaine Scarry
Mar 14 @ 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm Eisenhower Room, Hopkins Club

Elaine Scarry, PhD

Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Thoery of Value, Harvard University

Elaine Scarry teaches at Harvard University where she is the Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value. She lectures both nationally and internationally on nuclear war, law, literature, and medicine, and has been a Guggenheim Fellow as well as a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Studies in Palo Alto, the Getty Research Center in Los Angeles, and the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. She was elected to the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her awards include honorary degrees from Northwestern University in the United States and Uppsala University in Sweden, as well as the Truman Capote Award for literary criticism, and most recently, the Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for a writer “of progressive, original, and experimental tendencies.” In 2005, Prospect Magazine and Foreign Policy named her one of the top 100 leading intellectuals.

Elaine Scarry’s work has two central subjects, the nature of physical injury and the nature of human creation. The Body in Pain brings the subjects of injuring and creating together: it argues that the willful infliction of pain and injury is the opposite of creation, since it apes and inverts the ordinary work of the imagination. On Beauty and Being Just also brings the two together: it argues that beauty and justice are alike in having “injury” or “injustice” as the thing that is their opposite and that they together work to diminish. Her other writings – rather than bringing the two subjects together – emphasize either injuring or instead creating. Her recent book – Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing between Democracy and Doom – shows that nuclear weapons and governance (particularly democratic governance) are mutually exclusive; it specifies the constitutional tools available for dismantling the country’s nuclear architecture. Her writings on the process of poetic creation include Dreaming by the Book and Naming thy Name: Cross Talk in Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

Reception to follow.

To download the event poster, please click here.

AGHI Lecture: Wayne Biddle, the Writing Seminars
Apr 8 @ 5:00 pm Gilman 50

The Alexander Grass Humanities Institute will host Wayne Biddle, Visiting Associate Professor, from the Writing Seminars for a lecture titled: “Dark Side of the Moon: Wernher von Braun and the Space Race, marking the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing”. The lecture will be held in Hodson 210.

Lecture by Andrew Webber, University of Cambridge
Apr 16 @ 4:30 pm Gilman 130D

Andrew Webber from the Department of German at the University of Cambridge will give a talk on the research project Arthur Schnitzler.

Humanities Highlights
Humanities Stories from Across Hopkins

the good breast

Media studies professor produces film that explores various aspects of breast cancer

From The Hub:

Bernadette Wegenstein, a Johns Hopkins professor of media studies and filmmaker, recalls working on her new documentary, The Good Breast, and feeling a bit hesitant to put too much of herself into the film.

Yes, her voice is heard asking questions, since she’s the director. And her considerable research shaped The Good Breast, which is a deep dive into understanding surgical breast cancer interventions in a cultural context. But could she also be more of an onscreen presence shaping the cinematic experience?

News & Events

Undergraduates Fellowship Opportunity

U.S. Public Interest Research Group Job Opportunity Speak Up For The Public Interest When decisions are being made that affect our health, our safety, or our rights as consumers and citizens, U.S. PIRG speaks up on behalf of the public. Whether it’s a decision about how to address the misuse of our life-saving antibiotics in […]

Morgan State University Call for Applications

Religion & Cities Postdoctoral Fellowship: The Center for the Study of Religion and the City (CSRC) within the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Morgan State University (Baltimore MD, USA) invites applications for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship starting in the academic year 2019-2020. This fellowship is generously supported by a Public Theology grant from […]