While much of my work at Bryn Mawr moves my research on Catholic women and girls into the larger world of women’s education history — with a particular focus on the Seven Sisters colleges — this week I’ve been enjoying a return to my American religious history roots. With #PopeinPhilly just a few days away, I’ve been tweeting glimpses of the Catholic public culture I’ve been seeing around town (while carrying my Pope Tote, of course) and following Philadelphia-area colleagues who are using the occasion of the Papal Visit in their college classes.
As the trailer teases, “Urban Trinity” is a terrific film, and I’m proud to have had a (very small) part in its making! I’ll update this space when the film and additional educational materials go online, but if you’re in Philadelphia’s 6ABC viewing area, the first two parts will air tonight, Tuesday, September 22, at 7pm (and the third on Sunday, September 27 at midnight) before a sold-out World Premiere at the World Meeting of Families film festival Wednesday, September 23. For more information, visit the Urban Trinity website here, or follow the latest news from the production team on Facebook.
With the support of two weeks paid research leave from Bryn Mawr College Special Collections, I was able to participate in two research seminars over the past month that will help me move forward my dissertation research into new projects (more on those soon!)
For the moment, I’m using Storify to share the conversations started in Worcester and New York:
As I wrote in my dissertation acknowledgements (coming soon to a ProQuest database near you), my research is indebted to the interdisciplinary circles of scholars working on American Catholic history in Chicago and beyond, and I have benefited from the friendship and community of a terrific group of young scholars in Catholic Studies, one of whom, Mary Beth Fraser Connolly, was kind enough to talk with me recently about her new book on the Sisters of Mercy.
Spring Quarter is here, and with it comes my dissertation defense and move to Philadelphia so this space will be pretty quiet for the next two months or so. In the meantime, I’m happy to have some new writing out in the world:
” ‘Have You Ever Read?’ Imagining Women, Bibles, and Religious Print in Nineteenth-Century America,” in U.S. Catholic Historian 31.3 (Summer 2013): 1-21 [link to Project Muse]
“Demystifying Catholic Sisters in a Digital Age” for Sightings [link]
This conference takes design as an object and a theme to gain new perspective on the study of race in American consumer society. How has racialized imagery sustained the work of capitalism and American dreams of the “good life”? Considering design in relation to problems of self-fashioning, material culture, immigration, urban and suburban development, and decorative commodities, we will engage with the latest scholarly conversations about race and capitalism and explore paths for future inquiry. Ultimately the conference aims to uncover the otherwise “invisible” cultural logics and historical processes that have woven racial difference into the fabric of American life.
I’ll be presenting some preliminary research on first communion portrait photography and the material culture of Nuyorican migration as part of the panel “Life Design” on Thursday morning, October 24. The conference and related exhibition, “Race and the Design of American Life,” will take place at Special Collections Research Center at Regenstein Library.
View the full schedule and register online. [link]