Event—Public Programming

Reading the Ministry in the Americas, 1492-Present


This conference explores the development, use, and afterlife of religious libraries in the Americas. Through scholarly talks, roundtables, discussions, and a collection presentation, this conference examines two key aspects of religious book collections in North and South America: 1) the Indigenous experience and use of religious libraries from the colonial period onwards, and 2) the historical transition of these libraries from active seminary collections into “rare book collections” maintained at institutions like the Newberry Library. In this way, the conference will provide the opportunity to share stories of conversion, resistance, and syncretism that have shaped the experience of Christianity in the Americas from the fifteenth century to the present day.

Co-sponsored and co-organized by the The D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies and the Centre for Early Modern Studies at the University of Aberdeen.


Thursday, October 10

5 pm Welcome and Opening Remarks

5:15 pm Keynote Address

The Journeys of Native American Books: Archives, Readers, and Relations
Kelly Wisecup, Northwestern University

6:30 pm Opening Reception

Friday, October 11

9:30 am Conversation 1: Indigenous Readers, Collectors, and Bookmakers

Mike Kelly, Amherst College
Marina Garone Gravier, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Heather Bruegl, Stockbridge Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians

10:30 am Coffee Break

11 am Collection Presentation

Organized by Will Hansen and Analú Lopez, Newberry Library

12 pm Lunch Break (on your own)

1:30 pm Conversation 2: Becoming Rare Books

Roger Ferlo, Bexley Seabury Seminary Federation
Kenneth Sawyer, McCormick Theological Seminary
Colin Pope Barr, University of Aberdeen

2:30 pm Break

3 pm Conversation 3: Seminary Collections at the Newberry Library

4 pm Final Conversation

Michael Brown, University of Aberdeen
Rose Miron, Newberry Library
Christopher Fletcher, Newberry Library