Early Modern Theater and Conversion (symposium)

For more past programming from the Folger Institute, please see the article Folger Institute scholarly programs archive.

This was a fall 2016 symposium.

How did the crisis of conversion in the early modern world open up a space for dramatists and others to play with one of the key questions of their time? How, that is, did early modern theatre and other kinds of theatrical practice adopt, repurpose, transform, and multiply forms of religious conversion? Offered in partnership with the SSHRC-funded project, “Early Modern Conversions: Religions, Cultures, Cognitive Ecologies,” this symposium convened members of that project with others, bringing together historians of theatre and historians of religious and political culture with theatrical practitioners, whose work opened other ways of understanding how theatre is able to “convert” conversion. Through discussion and workshop sessions, symposium participants worked across differences of discipline and archive in order to reach toward a greater understanding of the social creativity of theatre in an age of political and religious upheaval.

Organizers: Professor Paul Yachnin and Dr. Stephen Wittek of McGill University represent the “Early Modern Conversions” project. They have developed this symposium in collaboration with Drs. Kathleen Lynch and Owen Williams of the Folger Institute.