CFP Deadline: Oct 31, Conference, “Colonial Christian missions and their legacies,” Denmark

An international conference on “Colonial Christian missions and their legacies” will be held at the University of Copenhagen, 27-29 April 2015.

Confirmed speakers: Laura Stevens (University of Tulsa), Julie Evans (University of Melbourne), Kirsten Thisted (University of Copenhagen), Alan Lester (University of Sussex), Rebekka Habermas, (University of Göttingen)

Over the past decade the entanglement of mission work and colonialism has become central to representations of Christian missions and their legacies. Indeed, discussions over the role and legacy of both Catholic and Protestant missions are currently taking place both in the global historiography on European missions, and in more localized discussions of missions in a diverse range of post-colonial, and not-yet-post-colonial contexts. Despite disagreement on the precise nature of missions’ legacy, most commentators seem to agree that in social, religious, linguistic and educational terms, histories of Christian missions still have a significant impact on post- and not-yet-post- colonial societies today. This conference aims to take a global look at these histories, their legacies and representations.

How are colonial Christian missions remembered or memorialised in different contexts and spaces? How are they forgotten? What voice do indigenous people (Christian and non-Christian) have in these representations? And how can academics, artists, museum directors and educators, move towards representing them in more multifaceted, nuanced, and thought-provoking ways?
Any types of representations may be considered including historical, artistic, literary, musical, sculptural, filmic, and papers comparing two or more contexts, or taking a global or transnational approach, are welcomed.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to: the history and legacy of relationships between Christian missions and colonial states; the influence of different aspects of colonial rule (economic, social, intimate, etc), on the ways in which Christian mission was articulated; the legacy of Christian missions for past and continuing relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous Christians within social, cultural and religious institutions; the legacy of Christian missions’ constructions of gender; the legacy of Christian missions’ influence on language and translation practices; the influence of Christian missions on indigenous political or artistic expressions; continuities of ideas, discourses, or emotions associated with mission, from the colonial era until now; efforts to reclaim / rewrite / re-represent mission histories by indigenous or non-indigenous peoples and their reception; issues around dramatization or fictionalization in representations of mission histories; vested interests in the representation of Christian missions.

Please send an abstract of 300 words, along with a short biography (max. 200 words) and CV to Claire McLisky at by 31 October 2014.
Help with travel funding is available on application to postgraduate students and early career researchers.

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