The Early Modern Conversions project will develop an historical understanding that will enlighten modern debates about corporeal, sexual, psychological, political and spiritual kinds of transformation. The project will study how early modern Europeans changed their confessional, social, political, and even sexual identities. These subjective changes were of a piece with transformations in their world—the geopolitical reorientation of Europe in light of emerging relations with Islam and the Americas; the rethinking and the translation of the knowledge of Greek and Latin Antiquity, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam; changes in and changing uses of the built environment; the reimagining of God.
Led by McGill’s Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI), the project is partnering with eighteen research centres in Canada, USA, England, and Australia. The partners will work together toward a rethinking of early modern Europe as an “age of conversion.” The project will involve younger scholars, other scholars, artists, and members of the public. The four artistic partners will develop creative programs in collaboration with the project and take part in workshops that will inspire audiences to think creatively and historically about the possibility that we might be entering a new great age of conversion. The project’s ability to engage with multiple public audiences will depend first of all on the coherence of the story it has to tell about conversion as an agent of historical change.
Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI) - http://www.mcgill.ca/iplai
David Loach, Website Administrator