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Call for papers: Conference on the History of Women Religious

Call for papers: Conference on the History of Women Religious

Thirteenth Triennial CHWR: Lives and Archives

University of Notre Dame - June 22–25, 2025

The committee for the Conference on the History of Women Religious (CHWR) invites proposals for papers and panels that address the conference theme, “Lives and Archives,” from scholars in the fields of history, theology, sociology, literature, anthropology, gender studies, visual and creative arts, material culture, religious studies, and communications.

The CHWR was founded in 1988 to assist historians in discovering the historical record of vowed Catholic women and to integrate their stories into larger narratives. Today scholars continue to research and write about these women’s lives, including their commitment to justice, human dignity, care for creation, health care, education, and contemplation. We invite scholars, archivists, and researchers to consider the lives and/or archives of women religious. How can women religious, the archivists who preserve their records, and the researchers who study their lives continue to collaborate as bearers of this vital memory? How should the voices of women religious be recorded and archived? What approaches do scholars take when writing histories of women religious? How can congregations prepare for the future of their archival records? What are the opportunities and challenges when writing biographies of women religious? What gaps still exist in the recorded history of the lives and work of women religious? Papers are invited that consider these and other areas of interest related to the broad theme of “lives and archives” of women religious.

Proposal submissions

The CHWR committee invites individual paper proposals as well as group proposals for multi-paper panels. Standard paper presentations are allotted 15–20 minutes each in the conference’s 90-minute panel sessions. Panel proposals should include three or four papers.

The committee also again welcomes proposals for “1,000 Words in a Picture” papers. These short presentations of up to 1,000 words analyze a single image (such as a picture, an artifact, or a document) relevant to the themes of the conference. These papers are presented in special sessions consisting of up to six 10-minute presentations, each followed by 5 minutes for questions.

Proposals for individual papers and “1,000 Words in a Picture” papers should include a one-page abstract (title and 250-word description) and a one-page curriculum vitae. Proposals for multiple-paper panels should include a one-page abstract for each paper and a one-page curriculum vitae for each author.

Funds are available to assist graduate students, early career scholars, and contingent faculty in attending. When submitting your proposal, please indicate that you would like to be considered for such support. Proposals should be submitted by August 15, 2024, using the appropriate form.

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