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50th Anniversary Conference

March 24–25, 2016
Levering Hall, Glass Pavilion

On March 24 and 25, 2016, the Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University will hold a celebratory conference marking its 50th anniversary. Our aim is not to indulge in nostalgia, much less in a vain attempt to replicate the famous 1966 conference on “The Language of Criticism and the Sciences of Man” with which the earliest beginnings of the Humanities Center are now identified. Rather, while we wish to measure the distances that our intellectual fields have travelled since that inaugural moment, together with an eminent group of distinguished invited plenary speakers, we hope to explore new avenues of thought under current conditions (as the speakers at the 1966 conference undeniably did for their times).

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Morning Session 9:00 am–12:00 pm

Hent de Vries (JHU, Director, Humanities Center)
“A Word of Welcome”

Sharon Marcus (Columbia University, Dean of Humanities, English)
“Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis and the Value of Scale” 

Lorraine Daston (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin)
“Modernity and the History of Science”
Introduced by Michael Williams (JHU, Philosophy and Humanities Center)

Lunch Break

Afternoon Session 2:00–4:30 pm

Ruth Leys (JHU, Humanities Center and History)
“The Chameleon Effect”
Introduced by Gabrielle Spiegel (JHU, History and Humanities Center)

Antonio Somaini (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle—Paris 3, Cinema and Media Studies)
“The Medium as Milieu”
Introduced by Anne Eakin Moss (JHU, Humanities Center)

Coffee Break

Evening Session 5:00 pm

Jeff Wall (Photographer)
“Depiction, Object, Event”  
Introduced by Michael Fried (JHU, Humanities Center and History of Art)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Morning Session 9:30 am–12:00 pm

Samuel Moyn (Harvard University, Law and History)
“The Political Origins of Global Justice”
Introduced by Sharon Achinstein (JHU, English and Humanities Center)

Toril Moi (Duke University, Program in Literature, Romance Studies)
“Reading as a Practice of Acknowledgment:  On the Text as Action and Expression”
Introduced by Yi-Ping Ong (JHU, Humanities Center)

Lunch Break

Afternoon Session 2:00–4:30 pm

Robert Pippin (University of Chicago, Committee on Social Thought, Philosophy)
“Moral Suspension in Hitchcock's Vertigo
Introduced by Leonardo Lisi (JHU, Humanities Center)

Michael Puett (Harvard University)
“Creating Worlds:  Imagination and Interpretation in the Chinese Tradition”
Introduced by Paola Marrati (JHU, Humanities Center and Philosophy)

Coffee Break

Evening Session 5:00 pm

Michael Fried (JHU, Humanities and History of Art)
“Guercino's Anni Mirabiles, 1619–20”
Introduced by Robert Pippin (University of Chicago, Committee on Social Thought, Philosophy)

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