On April 22, 2011, The Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University hosted a symposium in honor of the recent publication of Stanley Cavell’s autobiography, Little Did I Know. It is our great pleasure and honor to present some of the contributions to this symposium here, along with the usual selection of articles and reviews.
The engagement with Cavell’s work among faculty and students in The Humanities Center, the Departments of Philosophy, Anthropology, English, German and Romance Languages, Political Science, and even Economics, has been a defining characteristic of the intellectual life in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins. As the chair of The Humanities Center, Hent de Vries, stated in his opening remarks at the symposium: “Rare are the thinkers that allow us to come together, in intellectual companionship and often friendship, while precisely inviting, indeed, forcing us to articulate and acknowledge our differences—that is to say, our disciplinary background and limitation, argumentative style and understanding of rigor, our major themes and systematic blind spots—all the more clearly.” Stanley Cavell is unquestionably one of these rare thinkers. We dedicate this volume to a celebration of the many conversations he has initiated and sustained, between disparate fields in the humanities and beyond.
The Editors [End Page vii]