Event—Public Programming

The Politics of Conversion

Conference hashtag: #EMCNL17

The third meeting under the general rubric of Politics of Conversion, this three-day conference at the Newberry is sponsored by Early Modern Conversions: Religions, Cultures, Cognitive, Ecologies, a multi-year SSHRC-funded project. The overall goal of the Politics of Conversion series is to develop new understandings within the following three areas of inquiry:

  • the interrelationship among transformation, freedom, and power
  • the centrality of multiple forms of conversion, sacred and secular, in the political world
  • the lines of conversional thinking and practice that connect us with our early modern predecessor

This conference takes place in the penultimate year of the Conversions Project, following two earlier meetings held at the University of Warwick in July 2015 and at McGill University in June 2016. The Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies is sponsoring this conference jointly with the Early Modern Conversions project.

This program is part of Religious Change, 1450 - 1700, a yearlong multidisciplinary project.


Program Schedule (PDF)

Thursday, September 14

3:30 PM Opening roundtable: "Conversion through History" (by invitation only)

5:30 PM Keynote: "Martin Luther and the Invention of the Reformation"
Peter Marshall, University of Warwick

6:30 PM Reception and Exhibition tour of "Religious Change, 1450-1700"

Friday, September 15

9 AM Coffee and continental breakfast

9:30 to 10:30 AM Keynote: "Ethical Conversion: 'I have ta'en too little care of this'"
Regina Schwartz, Northwestern University

11 AM to 12:30 PM Session 1

Session 1A

Judith H. Anderson, Indiana University
Rachel Lacy Boersma, University of British Columbia
Amrita Dhar, University of Michigan
Maria Vittoria Spissu, University of Bologna
Chair: Stephanie Cavanaugh, McGill University

Session 1B

Alejandro Cañeque, University of Maryland, College Park
Randall Martin, University of New Brunswick
Walter S. Melion, Emory University
Brian Sandberg, Northern Illinois University
Chair: Lee Palmer Wandel, University of Wisconsin-Madison

12:30 to 1:30 PM Lunch

1:30 to 3 PM Session 2

Session 2A

Stephanie Cavanaugh, McGill University
Catherine O'Donnell, Arizona State University
Rebecca L. Davis, University of Delaware
Michael Sauter, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE)
Chair: Timothy Harrison, University of Chicago

Session 2B

M. Cooper Harriss, Indiana University
Sean O'Neill, Grand Valley State University
David M. Posner, Loyola University Chicago
Matthew Sautman, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Chair: Marie-Claude Felton, McGill University

3:30 to 5 PM Session 3

Session 3A

Thomas Kselman, University of Notre Dame
Nabil Matar, University of Minnesota
Hagai Rubinstein
Jade Standing, University of British Columbia
Chair: Amrita Dhar, University of Michigan

Session 3B

Robert Clines, Western Carolina University
Kristopher Driggers, University of Chicago
Jose-Juan Lopez-Portillo, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE)
Elizabeth Weckhurst, Harvard University
Chair: Larry Silver, University of Pennsylvania

5:15 and 5:45 PM Exhibition tour of "Religious Change, 1450-1700"

6:15 PM Keynote: "Conversion or Cross-Fertilization? Third and Fourth World Solidarity and the Cultural Politics of Decolonization"
Glen Coulthard, University of British Columbia

Saturday, September 16

9:45 AM Introductory remarks
Peter Garino, The Shakespeare Project of Chicago

10 AM to 12:15 PM U.S. premiere performance of Shakeshafte
A new play by Rowan Williams, presented by The Shakespeare Project of Chicago

12:30 to 2 PM Respondent panel
Simon Goldhill, University of Cambridge
Winnifred F Sullivan, Indiana University
Paul Yachnin, McGill University
Chair: Benjamin Schmidt, University of Washington