The Center for Research on Global Catholicism is delighted to announce plans for a major conference, entitled "Translations, Transgressions, and Transformations: the Global Movement of Objects in Catholic Cultures," to be held at Saint Louis University October 20-21, 2023.
This interdisciplinary conference examines the cultural mobility of Catholicism through the physical movement of Catholic objects from the European Middle Ages into the twenty-first century. Building on recent scholarship that integrates analysis of objects into religious studies, attends to the agency of things, and engages movement as a heuristic for making sense of dynamics of historical change, the conference interrogates the place of material items as Catholicism has moved into new spaces and returned into familiar ones, attending to the role played by objects in mediating meanings at the nexus of Catholicism and cultures.
One of the hallmarks of Catholicism throughout its long history has been its inherent portability and its protean assimilation across the visual cultures of societies, peoples, and landscapes around the world. Catholicism has entangled with cultures over time in such diverse ways that distinct innovations and transformations are readily on display through the arts and material culture at Carnevale in Italy, Día de los Muertos in Mexico, Celtic pilgrimage sites in Ireland, Candomblé healing rituals in Afro-Caribbean communities, the feast of the Black Nazarene in the Philippines, as well as countless other popular expressions. Material objects, including refined artworks, textiles, and books, as well as mundane, everyday objects, have long been at the center of encounters between Catholicism and local cultures. Diverse media of exchange can work to transfigure both Catholicism and local cultures in surprising and unpredictable ways. This conference brings leading scholars from various disciplines into conversation to break new ground and open new lines of inquiry into the translation, transgression, and transformation of Catholicism as it has circulated globally across cultural spaces through the traffic and transfer of material cultures.
Calls for papers have been posted on the conference website here: https://www.crgcbiennielconference.com/call-for-papers.html
Please circulate and consider submitting a proposal!