Devotion, Artistry, and the Cult of St. Joseph

Joseph Sciorra's picture
September 15, 2019
Louisiana, United States
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Ethnic History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology

Devotion, Artistry, and the Cult of St. Joseph  


March 19–21, 2020


New Orleans, Louisiana


This international interdisciplinary conference proposes to explore the historical and contemporary devotion to and depictions of Saint Joseph from a global perspective. We are looking for papers of original research that encompass different disciplinary fields (e.g., biblical studies, religious studies, art history, cinema studies, literary criticism, anthropology, folklore and folklife) and that address a wide range of possible topics including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The development of the cult of St. Joseph
  • Written (e.g., biographies) and oral narratives about St. Joseph
  • Devotional and votive practices
  • Visual depictions (e.g., paintings, cinema, pop culture)
  • St. Joseph iconography concerning age, masculinity, skilled labor
  • Music and sonoral (e.g., prayers) practices
  • St. Joseph altars
  • St. Joseph in New World African-derived religions
  • St. Joseph in non-European contexts
  • Culinary traditions associated with St. Joseph
  • Pilgrimage sites and St. Joseph-dedicated churches, schools, and other intuitions

The official language of the conference is English. All presentations are to last no longer than twenty minutes, including audio and visual illustrations.


The goal of this conference is to produce an edited, peer-reviewed anthology, so we are looking specifically for unpublished material.


The conference will take place on the campus of Xavier University, New Orleans. The conference is organized in partnership between Cabrini University; John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Queens College, City University of New York; and Xavier University of Louisiana.

NOTA BENE: There are no available funds for travel, accommodations, or meals. There is no conference registration fee. The conference will not make arrangements with local hotels, so participants are responsible for booking their own accommodations.


The Conference

The first day of the Conference—Thursday, March 19, 2020—will be dedicated to visiting sites of St. Joseph devotions in New Orleans. Friday and Saturday—March 20 and 21, 2020—will be dedicated to conference paper sessions as well as discussions with community members.




Abstracts for scholarly papers (up to 500 words, plus a note on technical requirements) and a brief narrative biography should be emailed as attached documents by September 15, 2019, to Leonard Norman Primiano (, and Joseph Sciorra (, where other inquires may also be addressed.

Contact Info: 

Leonard Norman Primiano ( and Joseph Sciorra (