Fall 2022 Gauss Seminar to Explore Ethics with Hortense Spillers

October 9, 2022
Photo Credit: Ashley McCabe

The Humanities Council is pleased to host American literary critic and Black feminist scholar Hortense J. Spillers, who will deliver the Fall 2022 Gauss Seminars in Criticism. Her two-day visit to Princeton University, under the general title “Criticism in Times of Stress,” will include a public lecture and a lunch seminar.

How can we be ethical in a world where many think of ethics as a joke? Spillers will explore this question in her open lecture, titled “Ethics and the Everyday” on Tuesday, October 25 at 5 p.m. in Betts Auditorium.

Her lunch seminar, “Women and the Laws” will focus on Le Code Noir (the Black Code), an infamous edict by King Louis XIV that established the terms of enslavement in the French colonies. The event will be held on Wednesday, October 26 at 12 p.m. RSVP is required for this discussion, which is open only to members of the University community.

Spillers, a scholar of the African diaspora, is known for her essays on African American literature, collected in Black, White, and In Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2003, and Comparative American Identities: Race, Sex, and Nationality in the Modern Text, a collection edited by Spillers published by Routledge in 1991. She is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor and Distinguished Research Professor, Emerita at Vanderbilt University.

Instituted in 1949 in honor of Dean Christian Gauss, the Gauss Seminars in Criticism provide a forum for discussion, study, and the exchange of ideas in the humanities. Visit the Humanities Council website for more information about upcoming events, including a Spring 2023 Gauss Seminar with literary theorist and feminist critic Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Columbia University).  

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