The Global 1968 Symposium: Days of Past Present

The Global 1968 Symposium

Along with our many university co-sponsors, the Hank Center was delighted to host its major fall gathering: the Global 1968 Symposium: Days of Past Present. From student riots and papal encyclicals to political convulsions and civil rights battles to the height of the Vietnam War and the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, 1968 is a watershed year of resonating influence. A year not unlike 2018, 1968 saw significant moments in the life of the Church, the Civil Rights movement, and in global politics and culture. 1968 was so impacted by student movements and youth awakening that it is often referred to as the “Year of the Student.”

We are grateful to all those who participated in our 3-day symposium, which viewed the events that shook the world in 1968, and their reverberations 50 years later.

Missed the event? Click here to view our Global 1968 Symposium videos. 



Day 1: Wednesday, October 24th

Resistance and Riots, Murders and Martyrs
4:30-6:00 PM
A discussion on public citizenship, violence, and the psychological tension of power and peacemaking that marked the era. With Firmin DeBrabander, Don Stemen, and Kathleen Belew. Elliot Gorn moderated.
Catholics at a Crossroads 6:30-8:00 PM A panel exploring developments and tensions in the changing church of 1968--from questions of doctrine and style to the lived theologies of peace, justice, and inclusion--questions that remain central. With Susan Ross, Aaron Pidel, S.J., and Miguel Diaz. Michael Murphy moderated.
McCormick Lounge, Coffey Hall
Lake Shore Campus


Day 2: Thursday, October 25th

Chicago in 1968 2:30-4:00 PM A close look at the many events and movements taking place in the city of Chicago--ground zero for so many of the political, cultural, and social convulsions of 1968. With David Farber, Nelson Lichtenstein, and Peter Pihos. Timothy Gilfoyle moderated.
Struggles for Justice: Race, Class, Gender, and Immigration in 1968 4:15-5:45 PM A discussion on issues of justice that are as relevant now as they were in 1968. With Judy Wu, Malgorzata Fidelis, and Alan Shane Dillingham. Ellie Shermer moderated.
Keynote Lecture: The Times and Spaces of 1968 7:30-9:00 PM Fifty years ago in 1968, the world was on fire. Youth protests and civil unrest spread throughout the entire world. Boston College historian Julian Bourg discussed the many times and spaces of 1968, and how the legacies of the Sixties continue to shape our politics and culture today. Suzanne Kaufman moderated.
 McCormick Lounge, Coffey Hall
Lake Shore Campus


Day 3: Friday, October 26th

Day 3 begins with mass in Madonna Della Strada Chapel.

Folk Mass

12:00-12:40 PM

Many thanks to those who joined us for the closing mass of the Global '68 Symposium (featuring folk liturgical music) - a communal celebration in prayer and song that honors the courage and conviction of the prophetic spirit.
The Mexican Spirit of 1968 Lives On / ¡El 2 de Octubre No Se Olvida! 1:00-2:30 PM A discussion of the events and protests in Mexico leading up to, during, and after the '68 Olympics. With Sergio Aguayo and Gema Santamaría. Héctor García moderated.
Years of the Student 2:45-4:15 PM A concluding conversation among students from two very similar years, 1968 and 2018. Loyola students past and present reflected on the power of young people to effect transformational political, social, and spiritual change. With current students Belsy Garcia Manrique, Jaycie Weathers, Paul Campion, and 1968 graduates Kathy Kelly and Peter Gilmour. Ellie Shermer, Michael Murphy, and Michelle Nickerson moderated.
McCormick Lounge, Coffey Hall
Lake Shore Campus


 To find your way around Loyola, consult our Lake Shore Campus map.


Meet the speakers:

Firmin deBrabander


Firmin DeBrabander is professor of Philosophy at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.  He is the author of Spinoza and the Stoics (Continuum 2007), Do Guns Make us Free? (Yale University Press, 2015), and has written social and political commentary pieces for a number of national publications, including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, America magazine and the LA Times. He is currently at work on a manuscript on Privacy and Democracy.



Don Stemen


Dr. Don Stemen is an Associate Professor and Chairperson in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology and a member of the Graduate Faculty at Loyola University, Chicago. Dr. Stemen received his PhD in Law and Society from the Institute for Law and Society at New York University in 2007. Before coming to Loyola, Dr. Stemen was the Director of Research on Sentencing and Corrections at the Vera Institute of Justice, where he worked with state and county governments to reform criminal justice policies. Dr. Stemen's research focuses on sentencing and corrections issues, examining the innovation and diffusion of sentencing and corrections policies across the United States and the impact of those policies on criminal justice agencies, and prosecutorial decision making, exploring contextual factors affecting prosecutorial outcomes.



Kathleen Belew


Kathleen Belew is Assistant Professor of U.S. History and the College at the University of Chicago. Belew has held postdoctoral fellowships from Northwestern University and Rutgers University. She specializes in the recent history of the United States, examining the long aftermath of warfare. Her first book, Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America (just published by Harvard University Press, April 2018), explores how white power activists wrought a cohesive social movement through a common story about warfare and its weapons, uniforms, and technologies. Belew’s disturbing history reveals how war cannot be contained in time and space. In its wake, grievances intensify and violence becomes a logical course of action for some. Bring the War Home shows that although the present moment feels to many like a time of cataclysmic change, current concerns about resurgent white supremacy should be understood as part of a long history.



Susan Ross


Dr. Susan A. Ross is a Professor of Theology and a Faculty Scholar at Loyola University Chicago. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago. From 2006–08 she served as the Director of the Ann Ida Gannon, BVM, Center for Women and Leadership at Loyola. Dr. Ross is a Past President of the Catholic Theological Society of America. She is a Vice-President and member of the Board of Editors of Concilium, the international theological journal, and has co-edited three of its recent issues; she has also written numerous journal articles and book chapters. She is the recipient of a Louisville Institute Sabbatical Grant, the Book of the Year Award from the College Theology Society in 1999, an Honorable Mention for Best Gender Issues Award from the Catholic Press Association in 2007, and the Ann O’Hara Graff Award from the Catholic Theological Society of America.



Aaron Pidel, S.J.


Rev. Aaron Pidel, S.J. (Ph.D. University of Notre Dame, 2017), is a Jesuit from U.S. Central-Southern Province of the Society of Jesus. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in Systematic Theology. His dissertation is titled: The Ecclesiology of Erich Przywara, S.J., advised by John Betz. His interests include Ecclesiology, Theological Hermeneutics, and the Jesuit Theological Tradition. He is currently working on articles on Erich Przywara's Ignatian ecclesiology and his position on the relationship between nature and grace.



Miguel Diaz

Miguel H. Díaz is the John Courtney Murray University Chair in Public Service and was selected by President Barack Obama as the 9th U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. Prof. Díaz obtained his doctorate in Systematic Theology from the University of Notre Dame. He is a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) and member and former President of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS).  In 2013, Prof. Diaz was the recipient of the prestigious Virgilio Elizondo Award from ACHTUS, given in recognition for distinguished achievement in Theology. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from a number of universities, including Fordham University and Portland University. Among his scholarly interests include Trinitarian theology, theological anthropology, political theology and Latino/a theology.



David Farber


David Farber is the Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas. His books include Chicago ’68, The Sixties: From Memory to History, Everybody Ought to be Rich, and The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism. His history of the American Sixties, The Age of Great Dreams, has been taught in over 1000 college classrooms. He has lectured on American political history all over the United States and in China, Russia, Lebanon, Indonesia, Japan, Germany, France, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.



Nelson Lichtenstein


Nelson Lichtenstein is Distinguished Professor in the Department of History at UCSB, where he directs the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1966 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1974. He is the author or editor of 16 books, including a biography of the labor leader Walter Reuther and State of the Union: A Century of American Labor (2002, 2013 revised). He has served on the editorial board of numerous journals and now is a member of the editorial board of the University of Illinois Press series in working-class history. Professor Lichtenstein has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations, the University of California, and from the Fulbright Commission and the Oregon Center for the Humanities.


Peter Pihos


Peter C. Pihos is an Assistant Professor of History at Western Washington University, where he teaches courses on African American history and modern U.S. history. He has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from New York University. In 2006-2007, Pihos worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Diane P. Wood on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Over the past five years he has taught in the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University and as Visiting Assistant Professor of African American History at Williams College, as well as in more experimental settings at Deep Spring College and the Arete Project. Pihos’s scholarly work focuses on the relationship between race, criminal justice, and urban politics. His book manuscript-in-progress tells the story of liberal criminal justice reform politics during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s through a history of Chicago’s Afro-American Patrolmen’s League.



Judy Tzu-Chun Wu


Judy Tzu-Chun Wu is a professor and chair of the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She received her Ph.D. in U.S. History from Stanford University and previously taught for seventeen years at Ohio State University. She authored Dr. Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards: the Life of a Wartime Celebrity (University of California Press, 2005) and Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era (Cornell University Press, 2013). Her current book project, a collaboration with political scientist Gwendolyn Mink, explores the political career of Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color U.S. congressional representative and the co-sponsor of Title IX. Wu also co-edited Women’s America: Refocusing the Past, 8th Edition (Oxford 2015), Gendering the Trans-Pacific World (Brill 2017), Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies (2012-2017), and Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 (Alexander Street Press).



Malgorzata Fidelis


Malgorzata Fidelis Malgorzata Fidelis is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2006. She teaches courses on Modern European, Eastern European, Polish, and Gender history. Her research focuses on social and cultural issues, particularly everyday life and the relationship between individuals and state power in post-1945 Eastern Europe. Her first book, entitled Women, Communism, and Industrialization in Postwar Poland (Cambridge University Press, 2010; Polish-language edition, WAB, 2015), is a study of female workers and communist policies in Poland. The book's central theme explores how communist leaders and society reconciled pre-communist traditions with radically new norms imposed by the communist ideology. Her new research project concerns the social and cultural history of the “Global Sixties” in Poland, with a particular emphasis on youth and student cultures in a transnational context.



Alan Shane Dillingham


Alan Shane Dillingham is an assistant professor of Latin American history at Spring Hill College, in Mobile, Alabama. His scholarly interests include race and indigeneity, labor and youth movements, and the history of education and development. He is the author of "Indigenismo Occupied: Indigenous Youth and Mexico's Democratic Opening (1968–1975)," awarded the Antonine Tibesar Prize for Most Distinguished Article Published in The Americas (2016). Dr. Dillingham is completing a book manuscript, Insurgent Oaxaca: A History of Indigeneity, Development, and Inequality in the Twentieth Century, which examines the intersection of 1960s anticolonial politics and policies of indigenous development. Dr. Dillingham’s work has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and American Council of Learned Societies, the Inter-American Foundation, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Smithsonian Institution.



Julian Bourg


Professor Bourg’s teaching interests include courses on nineteenth and twentieth century European intellectual history, intellectuals and politics, the history of terrorism, history and film, modernism and postmodernism, and biopower. His first book, From Revolution to Ethics, winner of the 2008 Morris D. Forkosch book prize from the Journal of the History of Ideas, examined the revival of the theme of ethics among French intellectuals in the wake of the student and worker revolts of May 1968. He has also translated and introduced a book by famed political philosopher Claude Lefort on the meaning of the collapse of communism. Professor Bourg is currently writing a book on the history of the relationship between terror and democracy since the eighteenth century. His continuing interests include French theory, especially the thought of Michel Foucault; the relationship between ethics and aesthetics; and twentieth-century French Catholic intellectuals.



Sergio Aguayo


Sergio Aguayo has been a full professor at El Colegio de Mexico since 1977. He has taught at various universities in Mexico, the United States, and Europe. Since 2014 he has been affiliated with the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health. He has written dozens of books and scholarly articles. He writes a weekly column in Reforma, as well as 14 other newspapers. Since March 2001, he has been a member of Primer Plano, Canal 11's weekly TV talk show. In 2014, he founded the influential Seminar on Violence and Peace that conducts research, organizes courses for public officials and victims’ organizations, and has a monthly public discussion with the protagonists of war and peace.



Gema Santamaría


Gema Santamaría (PhD, New School for Social Research) is assistant professor of Latin American history at Loyola University, Chicago. Her research analyzes the history of Latin American processes of state building across the 20th and 21st centuries, with a particular attention to questions of violence, crime, justice, and the rule of law. Dr. Santamaría is working on the book manuscript “In the Vortex of Violence: Lynching, Extralegal Justice, and the State in Post-Revolutionary Mexico,” which traces the social and historical motives behind the persistence of lynching. She has also authored numerous articles and chapters, as well as reports for the United Nations Development Program, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, and the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center (NOREF). In addition to her PhD, she holds a master’s in gender and social policy from the London School of Economics.


Belsy Garcia Manrique


Belsy Garcia Manrique is a fourth year medical student at Loyola Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She was born in Guatemala, but grew up in Georgia. In 2013, Belsy received her Bachelor of Science from Mercer University with a major in Biology and minor in mathematics and chemistry. Belsy is applying for a Family Medicine residency and hopes to practice in an underserved area providing care for the marginalized and low socioeconomic populations.  A DACA student, she has written several articles, done interviews, panel discussions, and appeared in various short videos advocating for undocumented immigrants, and finds this work to be of high importance given the current political situation. 


WeathersHSJaycie Weathers

Jaycie Weathers is a senior from Iowa City, Iowa (go Hawks!) studying Environmental Policy with a minor in Political Science as part of a five-year dual degree program. She is looking forward to earning her Masters of Public Policy in spring of 2020. On campus, Jaycie is involved with Student Government of Loyola Chicago where she serves as the Chief Sustainability Officer. She loves working on initiatives, with the help of student organizations and senators, to make Loyola more sustainable. SGLC recently passed the important legislation urging the University to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2019. In addition, Jaycie works as the communications intern at the Environmental Law & Policy Center, the Midwest’s leading public interest environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation nonprofit. She has previously worked for other local nonprofits such as the Illinois Environmental Council and the Sierra Club Illinois Chapter, where she found her passion for environmental advocacy.



Paul Campion


Paul Campion hails from Silver Spring, Maryland, where he grew up as the fourth of 5 awesome siblings. He is a senior, majoring in Environmental Science, at Loyola University Chicago. He also has minors in Philosophy and Sustainability Management. He serves as Co President of Loyola’s Student Environmental Alliance, where he is engaged in environmental activism that works towards inter-sectional justice. This past year, Paul has been active in the Poor People’s Campaign and the People’s Climate Movement. On campus, SEA continues to push for sustainability initiatives like 100% renewable electricity and divestment from fossil fuels. In his free time, you can find Paul cooking meals with friends, dancing, having lighthearted conversations about the world’s biggest problems, running, and encouraging people to vote!



Kathy Kelly


Kathy Kelly co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence, ( a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare. She obtained her BA from Loyola University Chicago working a succession of night jobs to help cover tuition, including a stint on a meat-packing factory line which inspired her to become a lifelong vegetarian. Kelly and her companions insist that the U.S. has not been waging a “humanitarian war” in Afghanistan and that the U.S. should pay reparations for the suffering caused in both Afghanistan and Iraq. From January to April 2015, Kathy was imprisoned in Lexington, KY after a federal judge convicted her for attempting to deliver a loaf of bread and a letter about drone warfare to the commander of Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Kathy and her companions lived in Baghdad throughout the 2003 “Shock and Awe” bombing. They have also lived alongside people during warfare in Gaza, Lebanon, Bosnia and Nicaragua. She was sentenced to one year in federal prison for planting corn on nuclear missile silo sites (1988-89) and spent three months in prison, in 2004, for crossing the line at Fort Benning’s military training school. As a war tax refuser, she has refused payment of all forms of federal income tax since 1980.



Peter Gilmour


Dr. Peter Gilmour, Professor Emeritus, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University Chicago focused on Pastoral Leadership, Narrative Theology, and Religious Education in his teaching and research.  He is the author of, The Wisdom of Memoir: Reading and Writing Life’s Sacred Texts, published by St. Mary’s Press in 1997 and The Emerging Pastor: Non-Ordained Catholic Pastors published by Sheed and Ward in 1985. He wrote the monthly “Odds and Ends” column for U. S. Catholic Magazine for 11 years.  Most recently he presented a paper at the Second International Conference on Creative Church Management this past June at Villanova University.  Dr. Gilmour received his undergraduate degree in 1964 and his Master’s degree in 1971, both from Loyola University Chicago.



Meet the moderators:

Elliot Gorn


Elliott J. Gorn (Ph.D. Yale University, 1983, A.B. University of California, Berkeley, 1973) is the Joseph Gagliano Professor of American Urban History and has a distinguished record of scholarship, publication and excellence in teaching and student mentorship.  His books and articles embrace multiple aspects of urban and American culture, particularly the history of various social groups in American cities since 1800. Gorn's teaching focuses on modern United States history, particularly social, cultural and urban history. He has taught courses on the history of sports, Chicago, masculinity and gender, film, biography and autobiography, war in American culture, and the United States survey.



Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy is Director of Catholic Studies and Director of Loyola’s Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage.  He earned his doctorate in Theology, Literature, and Philosophy from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, an MA in English from San Francisco State University, and undergraduate degrees in English and Great Books from the University of San Francisco. His research interests are in Theology and Literature, Sacramental Theology, and the socio-political cultures of Catholicism, but he also writes about issues in eco-theology and social ethics. Dr. Murphy, an Advanced Lecturer in the Theology Department, is a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow. His first book, A Theology of Criticism (Oxford), was named a "Distinguished Publication" in 2008 by the American Academy of Religion.



Timothy Gilfoyle


Timothy J. Gilfoyle is professor and former chair of history at Loyola University Chicago.  He is the former president of the Urban History Association (2015-16).  Gilfoyle is the author of A Pickpocket's Tale: The Underworld of Nineteenth-Century New York (W.W. Norton, 2006); City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution, and the Commercialization of Sex, 1790-1920 (W.W. Norton,1992)The Urban Underworld in Late Nineteenth-Century New York: The Autobiography of George Appo (Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2013); and Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark (University of Chicago Press, 2006).  He has published more than 100 articles and reviews.  Gilfoyle is a trustee at the Chicago History Museum, co-editor of the "Historical Studies in Urban America" series of the University of Chicago Press, and a senior editor of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American Urban History.



Ellie Shermer


Shermer is Associate Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago, where she teaches courses on capitalism, business, labor, and political ideas and ideologies, among other things. She is the author or editor of numerous books and articles, including Sunbelt Capitalism: Phoenix and the Transformation of American Politics (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013) and The Right and Labor in America: Politics, Ideology, and Imagination (ibid, 2012). Her timely and engaging essays on the U.S. economy, past and present, have appeared in The Washington Post, Bloomberg News, Huffington Post, and more.  Shermer is currently a Scholar-in-Residence at the Newberry Library.



Suzanne Kaufman


Suzanne Kaufman (Rutgers University, Ph.D. ’96) is associate professor of European history at Loyola University. She was the graduate program director for the history department from 2007-2011. Professor Kaufman’s scholarship focuses on the social and cultural history of modern France. Her first book, Consuming Visions: Mass Culture and the Lourdes Shrine (Cornell University Press, 2005), argues that Lourdes, a nineteenth-century Catholic pilgrimage shrine in rural France, became a crucial site for the emergence of a modern culture of consumption. Professor Kaufman’s new book project extends her interest in politics and culture to France’s colonial history by examining the French Foreign Legion in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Professor Kaufman was the recipient of a Bourse Chateaubriand from the French government.



Héctor García


Dr. Héctor García Chávez is a Senior Lecturer, a Loyola Sujack Master Teacher, recently awarded The Ignatius Loyola Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is Director of the Latin American and Latinx Studies Program at Loyola University Chicago where he teaches courses on Spanish language, Latin American-Iberian Literatures, Latin American Studies, and Queer Theory for the Spanish Major, Loyola’s Interdisciplinary Honors Program, and Women’s Studies/Gender Studies Undergraduate and Graduate Programs. His research interests include Masculinity studies in Mexican Literature and Film, Transnationalism and Identity in XX/XXI Latin American & Iberian Literatures, and U.S. Latinx and Gender Studies. His most recent talks have been on Mexican Transnationalism and Queer Studies at the ACLA, Universidad Iberoamericana and the UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México). He is presently working on a book project titled Propaganda, escándalo, insulto y provocación: los comportamientos y fenómenos emotivos de la esfera pública with Dra. Ana María Serna at the Instituto Mora. He is an Programing Associate and Advisory Council Member of Lit&Luz Festivals which take place in México City and Chicago.



Michelle Nickerson


Michelle Nickerson is Associate Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago where she teaches U.S. women’s, gender, urban, and political history. She has published two books: Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right and a volume of essays she co-edited called Sunbelt Rising: The Politics of Place, Space, and Region.  Nickerson gives talks about her work as part of the OAH Distinguished Lecturer Program. She is currently writing about the Camden-28, a group of Catholic radicals arrested by the FBI for raiding a draft board office in opposition to the Vietnam War in 1971.



The 1968 Series is Co-Sponsored by the Departments of History, Modern Languages and Literatures, Theology, Political Science, Film and Digital Media, The College of Arts and Sciences, Ramonat Seminar and the University Libraries

Catholic Conversion Narratives in Modern Aesthetics

Catholic Conversion Narratives in Modern Aesthetics

Monday, April 16, 2-5:45 PM
& Tuesday, April 17, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

Regents Hall, Lewis Towers
Loyola University Chicago, Water Tower Campus
111 E. Pearson St. 
Chicago, IL 60611

This event is free and open to the public.

In collaboration with the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven), the Hank Center was pleased to host this international and interdisciplinary conference. It explored a variety of modern conversion narratives, especially investigating language and other modes of expression that seek to make the spiritual event of conversion accessible outside of religious discourses.


Conference Outline

From Augustine’s Confessions to contemporary interviews with ISIS-fighters, the issue of religious conversion remains an important source for our assumptions about faith and belief, change and renewal.

This conference, Catholic Conversion Narratives in Modernist Aesthetics, focused on some of the specific narratives that have been developed to bring to expression the moment of conversion. While they cannot be wholly separated from the internal, emotional or psychological processes that have led to the moment of conversion, these narratives are to be considered its effect rather than its underlying cause. While in Augustine’s Confessions, for instance, the issue of conversion was still made dependent on a very intimate memoria dei, most modern conversion narratives develop a vocabulary and language that seeks to make the spiritual event of conversion accessible to others. At this conference, we zoomed in on the conceptual fabric that was put into motion in this process of expression and communication. It revolves around the possibility that a deeply private affair can be translated into an intellectually enriched and layered conceptual framework.

The point of focus of the conference was the question of to what degree these modern conversion narratives borrow concepts from contexts of meaning that were not of an initial religious nature. The conference revolved around the possibility that a conversion narrative need not necessarily take recourse to traditional beliefs and conceptual tools from the past. In establishing the link between modern conversion narratives on the one hand and modernist aesthetics on the other, the conversion narrative was explored as a surprising element of modernization. 


Conference Schedule

April 16

2-2:15 PM: Welcome and Introduction

2:15­­-3:15 PM: Session 1 Colby Dickinson (Loyola University Chicago)

3:15-3:30 PM: Coffee Break

3:30-4:30 PM: Session 2 Stéphane Symons (KU Leuven): The Filmmaker: The Case of Robert Bresson

Robert Bresson is surely one of the best-known art house filmmakers of the twentieth century. Having developed his own theory of acting and filmmaking, Bresson modernized the medium of cinema by claiming that it could not bear a direct expression of emotions. This has led to ways of acting that are seemingly mechanic and spiritless. However, in interviews and writings, Bresson highlights the connection between, on the one hand, this “cold” and indifferent manner of acting, and Pascal’s conceptualization of religious belief and spirituality. Bresson’s ideals and beliefs were of Catholic nature, but his argument was that only a mechanical use of the camera and an emotionless manner of acting would manage to capture the essence of a religious experience.

April 17

10-11 AM: Session 4: Samuel O’Conner Perks (KU Leuven): The Art-Collector: The Case of the De Menils

The De Menils immigrated from France to the US, where they made a fortune in the oil business in Texas. This case study analyzes the conversion narrative of Dominique De Menil, outlining, firs of all, how it was influenced by the ideas of Marie-Alain Couturier and Yves Congar and, secondly, how it evolved into the intellectual source for her practice as a collector and curator. The De Menils sought ways to reconcile these Catholic beliefs with a modernizing, American society, and used these beliefs as inspiration for their museum and school.

11-11:15 AM: Coffee Break

11:15-12:15 PM: Session 5: Ryan Dohoney (Northwestern University) TBC

12:15–2 PM: Lunch Break

2-3 PM: Session 6: Rajesh Heynickx (KU Leuven) The Art-Critic: The Case of Michel Seuphor

An art-critic and influential artist in his own right, Seuphor belongs to the most well-known and respected philosophers of art in Belgium. Deeply interest in modern art, and its propensity to tap into a progressive and forward-looking dynamic, Seuphor was nonetheless a devoted Catholic. His conversion narrative put into play the very concepts that he used in his theoretical writings on aesthetics to understand the progress and modernization of modern art.

3-3:15 PM: Coffee Break

3:15-4:15 PM Concluding Remarks: Sarah Shortall (Notre Dame University)

Habemus Papam +5: Pope Francis, Five Years after Becoming the First Jesuit Pope

Habemus Papam +5

Thursday, April 5

7:00 PM

Information Commons, 4th Floor
Loyola University Chicago, Lake Shore Campus
1032 W. Sheridan Rd. 
Chicago, IL 60660

This event is free and open to the public.

Marking the fifth anniversary of the election of the first Jesuit Pope, CCIH welcomed Massimo Faggioli, Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University who provided the keynote. Respondents included Dr. Miguel Diaz, The John Courtney Murray, SJ, University Chair in Public Service and Ambassador to the Holy See, Retired and Dr. Melanie Barrett, Chairperson and Professor in the Department of Moral Theology at University of St. Mary of the Lake.

For a preview of our panel tune into MSNBC on Sunday, April 1st at 10:00 PM (CST) for a special Easter Sunday edition of Headliners: Pope Francis, which featured two of our panelists: LUC's own Dr. Miguel Diaz and keynote speaker for this event, Dr. Massimo Faggioli. Visit MSNBC'S Headliners website for more information. 

1968 Series Part I: The Legacy of Humanae Vitae & What It Means to Be "Pro-Life"

Humanae Vitae

Wednesday, March 21
4:30-6:30 PM

Beane Hall, Lewis Towers
Loyola University Chicago, Water Tower Campus
111 E. Pearson St.
Chicago, IL 60611

This symposium featured presentations and discussions on the legacy of the papal encyclical, fifty years after its promulgation.

Features Panelists:
Julie Hanlon Rubio, Professor of Christian Ethics, St. Louis University
Charles Camosy, Associate Professor of Theology, Fordham University
Rebecca Bratten Weiss, Independent Scholar

Moderator: Therese Lysaught, Professor of Theological and Health Care Ethics, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University Chicago

This event is free and open to the public.

Good God, But Life Could Be Less Than Easy: George Saunders and the Fiction of Radical Humanism

George Saunders Symposium


Thursday, March 1
9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Klarcheck Information Commons, 4th Floor
Loyola University Chicago, Lake Shore Campus
1032 W. Sheridan Rd.
Chicago, IL 60660

This symposium featured not only a morning address by George Saunders, but also traditional conference panels interspersed with creative expressions and responses to conference themes. The day concluded with a special visit from the creative writing students at 826Chi, a local non-profit organization, and a book signing session with Saunders.

Please view more information and a detailed schedule on the George Saunders event webpage, or go directly to the event registration page.

Don't forget to check out the exciting evening event that accompanied this symposium: Live from Loyola: George Saunders Radio Hour. Learn more about this evening event here.


Astronomy and Faith: From Lemaitre's Big Bang to the Jesuit Fathers of the Vatican Observatory

Astronomy and Faith

10 November 2016
Palm Court, Mundelein Center, Lake Shore Campus

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact

Against the backdrop of the present-day polemics regarding "science vs. faith" is the story of how the Big Bang model came to be, thanks to a Catholic priest. Frontier research in modern astronomy continues to be pursued today at the Vatican. Speaker Dr. Jonathan Lunine described his experiences working with these top-notch Jesuit astronomers.

Dr. Jonathan Lunine is the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences and the Director of the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science. His research interests include how planets form and evolve, what processes maintain and establish habitability, and what kinds of exotic environments might host a kind of chemistry sophisticated enough to be called "life." He pursues these interests through theoretical modeling and participation in spacecraft missions. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has participated in or chaired a number of advisory and strategic planning committees for the Academy and for NASA.

Instant History: The Postwar Digital Humanities and their Legacies

Digital Humanities Conference

24 September 2016
4th Floor, Information Commons, Lake Shore Campus

In 1949, Jesuit scholar Father Roberto Busa began to collaborate with IBM to build a massive lemmatized concordance to the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. By the mid-1950s he had established the first humanities computing center in Milan, which both IBM and Father Busa referred to as a Center for Literary Data Processing. This turn toward thinking of texts as data--or as potential sources of data--to be processed using computers and algorithmic, quantitative methods, has its legacy in many of today's digital humanities and electronic textuality, from the creation of electronic editions to so-called distant reading and quantitative analyses and visualizations of very large corpora of texts.

Our day-long conference explored several aspects of this legacy of Father Busa’s mid-century humanities computing, including the history of natural language processing and digital text processing, systems of textual markup and the creation of digital scholarly editions, topic modeling and large-corpora analysis, with speakers Steven Jones, Geoffrey Rockwell, Laura Mandell and Ted Underwood. Presentations were followed by a roundtable and general discussion.

This event was sponsored by the Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage, the Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities, and the Svaglic Chair for Textual Studies. For more information, please contact Paul Eggert at

Plenary speakers

Laura Mandell, Texas A&M University
What Can You Do with ‘Dirty OCR’?: Digital Literary History beyond the Canon

Geoffrey Rockwell, University of Alberta, Canada
Replicating Father Busa’s Methods

Ted Underwood, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Genealogies of Distance

Steven Jones, University of South Florida
Reverse-Engineering the First Humanities Computing Center: A Media-Archaeology Approach

Citizenship, Public Service, and the Common Good

Citizenship Public Service and the Common Good

‌21-22 September 2016
4th Floor, Information Commons, Lake Shore Campus

This event is free and open to the public. For more information please contact

The Hank Center hosted a two-day symposium this September called "Citizenship, Public Service, and the Common Good."  In light of the many social ills that have been exposed over the last year and the sometimes-surreal presidential primary season, the Center wanted to bring faculty, students, and concerned citizens together to discuss some of the issues that faced us before the November elections.  Included scholarly panels during the day on such issues as migration and immigration, gun culture and gun control, and an evening forum on global security and U.S. policy.  On Thursday, September 22nd, a panel on "the state of the State" of Illinois was offered, with various political leaders, both local and national.

View the full Citizenship, Public Service, and the Common Good Program here.

Featured speakers include:

  • Peter Neeley, S.J., Kino Border Initiative
  • Katherine Kaufka Walts, Director of the Center for Human Rights of Children
  • Maria Vidal de Haymes, Director of the Institute of Migration and Global Studies in Practice in Social Work
  • Firmin DeBradbander, Author of Do Guns Make Us Free? Democracy and the Armed Society
  • Tobias Winright, Endowed Professor of Health Care Ethics, St. Louis University
  • Shahed Amanullah, Former Senior Advisor, U.S. State Department
  • Hille Haker, Richard McCormick, S.J., Chair of Moral Theology
  • Peter Schraeder, Chair, Department of Political Science
  • Larry Suffredin, Cook County Board District Commissioner
  • Sr. Catherine M. Ryan, O.S.F., Executive Director, Maryville
  • Omar Aquino, Illinois State Senate District 2
  • Pat Quinn, Former Governor of Illinois
  • Daniel Cronin, DuPage County Board Chairman
  • Michael Connelly, Illinois State Senator
  • Honorable Judge Virginia Kendall, Federal District Court of Illinois
  • Miguel Diaz, U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Retired; John Courtney Murray Chair in Public Service

My Dream Act: A Play by Martha Razo and Cecilie Keenan

My Dream Act

Martha Razo performs in My Dream Act.

21 September 2016
4th Floor, Information Commons, Lake Shore Campus
4:30 PM to 5:30 PM

This event, a part of the Citizenship, Public Service, and Common Good Symposium, is free and open to the public. For more information please contact

My Dream Act, co-written by Martha Razo and Cecilie Keenan, is a unique piece of theater told in first person by a young woman - Martha Razo - who has lived all her life as an undocumented citizen of the United States since she crossed the Rio Grande river at the age of one with her parents.

Through a combination of characters, monologues, music and dancing, Martha evolves from the frightened child -- told by her parents to remain silent or risk losing them -- to a young woman who risks everything in hopes of higher education and the realization of her dreams. Martha, now 22 and well on her way to earning a master's degree in mathematics and becoming a documented USA resident, uses her passionate voice to tell her story as a way to advocate for others who have lived through similar experiences.

Through Martha's dramatic telling of her own story audiences learn of America's own immigration challenges and in the process join in the migrant's journey of struggles, hopes, and dreams for a better future for all.

My Dream Act, performed by Martha Razo under the direction of Cecilie Keenan, was presented by Frontera: Artists Crossing Borders. Frontera is a project of the Chicago Network for Justice and Peace.

In collaboration with artists and theatres, Frontera develops plays and performance pieces based on the personal narratives of migrants who describe their experiences crossing the physical, cultural, political, and economic borders of our contemporary world in order to find the safety and opportunity to live their lives in dignity and freedom.