CFP (Conference): European Religious Orders and Empire in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, 29 March 2018, UK (Deadline 15 December 2017)

Sophie Cooper Discussion
Call for Papers
December 15, 2017
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Childhood and Education, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, European History / Studies, Indigenous Studies, Religious Studies and Theology

Papers are invited from researchers of European religious orders, both male and female, for a symposium at Northumbria University, Newcastle. This one-day symposium will explore the ways that religious orders participated in, responded to, and critiqued Empire during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Religious orders were instrumental in spreading ideas of belonging, civilisation, and faith. While officially separate from the tools of the state, these men and women had daily contact with both immigrants and indigenous peoples throughout the Empire, and therefore should be the focus of studies into both their missionary and imperial influence abroad.

Although religious orders from across Europe were vital cogs in imperial institutional machines, there has been a lack of collaborative exploration into their varied roles. Using pre-circulated papers, this symposium presents an opportunity for cross-institutional and transnational discussions into the religious, social, and moral influences of religious missionaries on migrant and indigenous peoples within Empire during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Debates continue to be had on the lasting impact of residential schools and “mother and baby” homes on society. This symposium’s focus on the modern role of religious orders presents a new opportunity for comparison and collaboration on how transnational institutions like religious orders operated, learned from each other, and affected today’s worlds.

Possible topics of discussion include:

  • Taking the homeland with you.

  • Critiques of Empire.

  • Transnational connections.

  • Education, humanitarian, and caring work in Empire.

  • Religious orders and implementing imperial racial ideas.

This one-day symposium will take place at Northumbria University in Newcastle on Thursday 29 March 2018. Scholars from every stage of their careers are very welcome.

Abstracts of 250 words that relate to this theme are sought along with a brief biography. Please send enquiries and abstracts to organiser Sophie Cooper ( by 5pm on 15 December 2017. This symposium is organised with the support of the British and Irish Worlds Research Group at Northumbria University.

Contact Info: 

Sophie Cooper (Northumbria University)