“Baptism Through Incision”: A Talk by Martha Few
Colloquium with Martha Few, “Baptism Through Incision”
March 2, 7 p.m.
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.
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