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JHU Anthropology Fall Colloquium Series
Sep 4 @ 4:00 pm – Nov 27 @ 6:00 pm Mergenthaler 439
JHU Anthropology Fall Colloquium Series
Sep 11 @ 4:00 pm – Dec 4 @ 5:00 pm Mergenthaler 439
JHU Anthropology Fall Colloquium Series
Sep 18 @ 4:00 pm – Dec 11 @ 5:00 pm Mergenthaler 439
Medical Bondage Deirdre Cooper Owens
Sep 19 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Barnes and Nobles Johns Hopkins


The accomplishments of pioneering doctors such as John Peter Mettauer, James Marion Sims, and Nathan Bozeman are well documented. It is also no secret that these nineteenth-century gynecologists performed experimental caesarean sections, ovariotomies, and obstetric fistula repairs primarily on poor and powerless women. Medical Bondage breaks new ground by exploring how and why physicians denied these women their full humanity yet valued them as “medical superbodies” highly suited for medical experimentation.

In Medical Bondage, Cooper Owens examines a wide range of scientific literature and less formal communications in which gynecologists created and disseminated medical fictions about their patients, such as their belief that black enslaved women could withstand pain better than white “ladies.” Even as they were advancing medicine, these doctors were legitimizing, for decades to come, groundless theories related to whiteness and blackness, men and women, and the inferiority of other races or nationalities.

Exploring Hapticity, Slavery and the Emergence of American Gynecology
Sep 20 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm East Baltimore Campus, Welch 3rd fl

Deidre Cooper Owens, Queens College CUNY [pre-circulated paper]

Colloquium – Ian Phillips
Sep 20 @ 4:15 pm – 6:15 pm Gilman Hall

Colloquium with Ian Phillips (Princeton University)

What’s Wrong with Worldly Discrimination Theory?

Behavioural and neuroimaging data often indicate that a stimulus has been registered and processed by a subject’s brain. But when does such evidence allow us to infer that the subject themselves saw the stimulus? And when that they saw it consciously? According to Worldly Discrimination Theory both perception and perceptual consciousness are to be inferred whenever a subject exhibits a better-than-chance capacity to detect or discriminate a stimulus. Worldly Discrimination Theory finds little favor in the literature. It is commonly dismissed on the grounds that: (i) it implies systems as simple as photocells are conscious; (ii) it entirely leaves out the essential subjectivity of consciousness; (iii) it fails to take subjects’ reports seriously; (iv) it does not offer an exclusive measure of consciousness uncontaminated by unconscious influences; (v) it is inconsistent; and (vi) it cannot handle illusions. In this talk, I argue that, when properly understood, Worldly Discrimination Theory survives all these familiar objections, and remains a compelling operational approach to perceptual awareness.

Sponsored by Department of Philosophy

Colloquium – Ian Phillips
Sep 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm TBA

Colloquium with Ian Phillips (Princeton University)

Can Sight Be Blind? Untangling the Tale of Blindsight and Unconscious Vision

Blindsight is a neuropsychological condition in which residual visual capacity survives destruction of a corresponding region of primary visual cortex. No other phenomenon has had greater influence on contemporary thought about the relation between consciousness and perception. Blindsight is invoked to end arguments, close-down otherwise promising proposals, and refute heretofore conceptual truths. Above all blindsight is held by many to establish decisively that voluntary perceptual discrimination, and so subject-level perception, can occur outside awareness. On the basis of a more circumspect consideration of the neurophysiology, psychophysics and phenomenology of blindsight, I suggest a much more sober account. On this account, damage to primary visual cortex abolishes all but the most rudimentary capacities to register sharp spatio-temporal changes in luminance, i.e. salient ‘visual events’. But, crucially, such damage does not abolish consciousness. In other words, there is no compelling reason to think that blindsight involves unconscious perception. What is puzzling about blindsight is why subjects exhibit such conservative and unstable response criteria in detection tasks. I end by offering some speculative thoughts on this critical issue.

Sponsored by Psychological and Brain Science

AIA Baltimore Society Lecture: Lissette M. Jimenez
Sep 21 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Gilman 50 (Marjorie Fisher Auditorium)

“Harm is what befell me, when I was but a child!”: Commemorating Children in Greco-Roman Egypt

Ludlow Hopkins Baldwin Memorial Lecture by Lissette M. Jimenez, San Francisco State University

Sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, Baltimore Society

Refreshments will be served at 4:30 p.m., followed by the lecture at 5:00 p.m.

The Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum (Gilman Hall, Room 150) will be open from 4:00-5:00 p.m. today. Be sure to stop by to see the new exhibition, “Who Am I? Remembering the Dead Through Facial Reconstruction,” and other artifacts related to this lecture.

Download the Poster

Download the AIA-Baltimore Society lecture schedule for 2018-2019

Poetry Reading and Discussion – Douglas Kearney
Sep 21 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

The English Department presents a Poetry Reading and Discussion by Douglas Kearney.

Unpacking Hateful Things & Contemporary Practices
Sep 22 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Reginald F. Lewis Museum

Johns Hopkins University Center for Africana Studies: Unpacking Hateful Things & Contemporary Practices

Saturday, September 22, 1pm

This race conversation will trace the legacy of Jim Crow as revealed in objects used to dehumanize African Americans and will then connect this legacy to contemporary circumstances in Baltimore and beyond. This event is in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Africana Studies.

In conjunction with the Jim Crow Black Memorabilia exhibition, Hateful Things.

For more information and to register for this event: Please click here