In the last thirty years, the study of early modern religious, especially women, has flourished. No longer reserved to historians of religion and spirituality, the field attracts scholars in multiple disciplines: women’s and gender studies, literature, history of art and music, social history, etc.—so much so, in fact, that we lose sight of its full interdisciplinary potential. Sessions at conferences typically concentrate on a single geographical area: usually Italy, France, Iberia, the overseas empires of the latter two, and occasionally Germany and the Low Countries.
This conference will move beyond the usual focus on single language areas, on single orders, or on religious communities of one sex. We hope to facilitate crossing national boundaries, to compare male and female orders, and perhaps even to examine the frontier between the religious and lay life. Broad comparisons between these poles and between periods within the early modern era will allow us to take stock of the research that has been done in the last thirty years and identify avenues for future work. Taken together, the presentations will produce novel, useful comparisons and suggest agendas for the next decade.
This conference also celebrates a midpoint of the five-year Gannon Initiative, which promises to make the Newberry one of the nation’s premier centers for research on early modern religion by cataloging and conserving some 8,000 titles, many donated by institutions in the Chicago area.
Sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Buckner W. Clay Endowment for the Humanities at the University of Virginia.
Download a printable PDF flyer.
Download a printable PDF of paper abstracts.
Thursday, March 21
5:30 pm: Introduction
“Early Modern Monasticism: A Dual-Gender Phenomenon”
“Mainstreaming Monasticism: Master Narratives”
“Charisma and Routinization: Monastic Reform, Womens Monastic Literature, and the Road Ahead”
Friday, March 22
8:30-9 am: Coffee and continental breakfast
9-10:45 am: Session 1. Before Trent and Beyond
Chair/discussant: Marilyn Dunn, Loyola University Chicago
“How Male and Female Franciscans Used Prints before 1500, Compared”
“The Lateran Canons Regular in Sixteenth-Century Bologna”
10:45-11:15 am: Coffee break
11:15 am-1 pm: Session 2. Authority and Identity
Chair/discussant: Alison Weber
“How Do You Solve a Problem Like Luisa? Re-thinking Categories of Religious Authority with Luisa de Carvajal”
Please note: This presentation contains material about incest and sexual abuse that can potentially reactivate traumatic response in survivors of either one. Please prepare special measures of self-care and support, if to do so is appropriate for you.
Elizabeth Rhodes, Boston College
“Alonso de la Madre de Dios (1568-1636): A ‘Prodigal Son’ Remembers John of the Cross”
“Hagiography and Monastic Identity: An English Poor Clare’s Life of Sainte Euphrosina”
1-2:30 pm: Catered lunch
2:30-4:30 pm: Session 3. Conflict and Negotiation
Chair/discussant: Colleen Baade, Creighton University
“‘In the old days musicians washed the dishes!’ Music as a Source of Convent Conflict”
“Commitment, Conversion, and Conflict: Convent Foundation and Urban Development in Renaissance Venice”
“Indians in the Church: Petitions for Religious Communities in Eighteenth-Century Mexico”
Saturday, March 23
8:30-9 am: Continental breakfast
9-10:45 am: Session 4. Crossing Borders
Chair/discussant: Daniella Kostroun, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
“Male Outsiders: The Agents of Female Monastic Reform in Transregional Perspective”
“Alonso de Benavides, María de Ágreda, and the Spanish Missions of Latin America”
“Carmelite Poetry after Teresa of Avila: France and the Low Countries”
10:45-11:15 am: Coffee break
11:15 am-1 pm: Session 5. Missions and Institutional Identities
Chair/discussant: Thomas M. Carr, Jr.
“Catholic Militants in France’s Protestant Heartland: The Capuchins of Languedoc”
“The Holy Land, the Friars, and the Reinvention of the Catholic Tradition, 1517-1700”
“In the Footsteps of Sanvitores: German Jesuits and the Colonization of the Mariana Islands”
1-2:45 pm: Catered lunch and discussion
Faculty and graduate students of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend CRS programs or to do research at the Newberry. Each member university sets its own policies and deadlines; contact your Representative Council member in advance for details.
Learn more about Center for Renaissance Studies programs.
Registration is now closed.