UTS Transforming Cultures is thrilled to invite you to the 2014 Annual Lecture:
Who Wants to Live Forever?
Professor Tim Dean, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
WHEN: Thursday 9 October 2014
TIME: Drinks from 6.00pm for a 6.30pm start
WHERE: University of Technology, Sydney. Lecture Theatre CB02.04.10 – UTS Building 2, Level 4 – access is via the UTS Tower, with Level 4 of both buildings accessed via the Broadway entrance level MAP
RSVP: Essential, please RSVP HERE
This lecture examines an infamous case of failure to obtain medical consent—that 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. Henrietta Lacks’ husband later described the non-consensual harvesting of his wife’s cells as “rape.”
In an analysis of the biopolitics of immortality (as well as the biopolitics of race, gender, and sexuality that the case raises) Tim Dean shows how immortalization in the symbolic realm of culture both resembles and differs from immortalization in tissue culture. Further, he looks at where the Henrietta Lacks story has been told and retold, and disentangles the different forms of immortality—biological, religious, and literary—at work in it.
Dean asks: ‘What are we to make of this non-consensual bodily act that founds the most important human cell line in modern scientific history?’ and ‘How might a humanities perspective illuminate this quandry of medical ethics by way of a history of immortality?’
Tim Dean is Professor of English and Director of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis & Culture at the State University of New York at Buffalo, USA. He is the author or editor of 6 books, most recently Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections on the Subculture of Barebacking (University of Chicago Press, 2009) and Porn Archives (Duke University Press, 2014).
Please feel free to pass this onto anyone who might be interested in coming along to Who Wants to Live Forever