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Postponed:"Who Wants to Live Forever?: Henrietta Lacks and the Biopolitics of Immortality"

When Sep 25, 2014
from 04:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Where 202 Carpenter Building (by the Nittany Lion Inn)
Contact Name

 

Professor Tim Dean (University of Buffalo) will deliver a lecture which examines the case of Henrietta Lacks, a black woman whose cervical tumor cells were taken without permission by Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1951, and subsequently cultured as the first "immortal" human cell line.

How might a humanities perspective illuminate this quandary of medical ethics by way of historical immortality?  In his talk, Professor Dean will disentangle the different forms of immortality--biological, religious, and literary--at work in various accounts of the Lacks case, showing how immortalization in the symbolic realm of culture (beginning with ancient cultures of the gods) both resembles and differs form immortalization in tissue culture.

Professor Dean will lead a workshop which will continue and build on topics connected to his lecture.