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 Folger Institute in Washington DC, 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.
Schedule: 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.
Potential participants who wish to apply for travel funding should do so through the Folger website. For details, please see the event page here: http://www.folger.edu/2016-2017-institute-scholarly-programs#Early-Modern-Theatre-and-Conversion
Conversions members (including GSAs) who apply for travel funding should list the Conversions project manager, Dr. Stephen Wittek, as their letter writer and notify Dr. Wittek by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).