Early Modern Theatre and Conversion
Early Modern Theatre and Conversion A Folger 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 will convene members of that project with others, bringing together historians of theatre and historians of religious and political culture with theatrical practitioners, whose work will open other ways of understanding how theatre is able to “convert” conversion. Through discussion and workshop sessions, symposium participants will work 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.
Thursday evening, Friday, and Saturday, November 17 – 19, 2016.
The symposium opens with an evening performance workshop, “Playing Conversion,” during which professional actors will stage themes that will resonate throughout the rest of the symposium. On Friday and Saturday, invited speakers will initiate discussion on a number of relevant topics.
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.
Apply: September 6, 2016 for admission and grants-in-aid.
Sessions and Invited Speakers
Culture & Religion Jeffrey Shoulson (Judiac Studies, University of Connecticut) and Steven Mullaney (English, University of Michigan)
Sexuality & Gender Mario Di Gangi (English, City University of New York) and Merry Wiesner-Hanks (History, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
Race & Nation Jean Feerick (English, John Carroll University) and Coll Thrush (History, University of British Columbia)
Conversion & Islam Jane Hwang Degenhardt (English, University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and Bernadette Andrea (English, The University of Texas at San Antonio)
Reformation & Conversion Peter Lake (History, Vanderbilt University) and David Kastan (English, Yale University)
Theatre & the Conversions of Things Helen Smith (English, University of York) and Julian Yates (English, University of Delaware)