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Hershey Lecture in Medical History Grand Rounds Lecture

December 4, 2023, 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm

"Secrets of the Wild Child" coverJoin the Department of Humanities at Penn State College of Medicine, on Dec. 4, 2023, from noon-1:15 pm for our Hershey Lecture in Medical History Grand Rounds Lecture titled: “Disciplining Futures for the Feral Child.” This lecture is free and open to the public and will take place simultaneously in person in Room C2860 (700 University Drive, Hershey, PA,) and via Zoom ( Passcode: 544801).

Our featured speaker, Mary Zaborskis, PhD will explore filmic representations of “Genie”—the 1994 documentary “Secrets of the Wild Child” and the 2001 independent film “Mockingbird Don’t Sing”—to consider how experimenting on vulnerable children has been a twentieth- and twenty-first century institutional strategy to secure “universal” childhood as a white, able-bodied, bourgeois, asexual construction. Examining Genie’s story helps to uncover a larger historical pattern that draws our attention to the ways that the state and its institutions treat vulnerable children in order to manage which persons and populations get access to a future and under what conditions.

Dr. Zaborskis is an assistant professor of American Studies and Gender Studies at Penn State Harrisburg and works at the intersections of queer, critical race, and childhood studies in twentieth-century and contemporary American literature and culture. Her forthcoming book “Queer Childhoods: Institutional Futures of Indigeneity, Race and Disability” (New York University Press, 2024), explores how children’s genders and sexualities were managed in boarding schools for marginalized populations.

CME credits are available to Penn State Health and College of Medicine employees.

For more information, visit us under the events tab at: or email Lori Ricard at


December 4, 2023
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
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Room C2860 – Penn State College of Medicine
700 HMC Crescent Road
Hershey, PA 17033 United States
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