“Baptism Through Incision”: A Talk by Martha Few

Colloquium with Martha Few, “Baptism Through Incision”

March 2, 7 p.m.

Hood College
Whitaker Campus Commons
401 Rosemont Ave.
Frederick, MD 21701

Martha Few, Ph.D., professor of history and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Penn State University, will give a talk titled “Baptism Through Incision: The Postmortem Cesarean Operation in the Spanish Empire.”

In 1786, Guatemalan priest Pedro José de Arrese published a work instructing readers on their duty to perform the cesarean operation on the bodies of recently deceased pregnant women in order to extract the fetus while it was still alive. Although the fetus’s long-term survival was desired, the overarching goal was to cleanse the unborn child of original sin and ensure its place in heaven. Knowledge about cesarean operations and fetal baptism intersected with local and colonial beliefs, quickly becoming part of the new ideas and scientific-medical advancements circulating broadly among global Enlightenment cultures.

This event is free and open to the public.

Aaron Angello
Libman Professor of the Humanities

Hood College is an independent, liberal arts college, offering 28 bachelor’s degrees, four pre-professional programs, 19 master’s degrees programs, two doctorates and 10 post-baccalaureate certificates. Located in historic Frederick, near Washington, D.C., Baltimore and the I-270 technology corridor, Hood gives students access to countless internships and research opportunities.

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