Indiana University Bloomington

Sacred and Profane in the Early Modern Hispanic World

Indianapolis Museum of Art and Indiana University, Bloomington

Oct. 16-17, 2009

Diego Velazquez

Diego Velázquez. The Venerable Madre Jerónima de la Fuente, 1620. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.

We are seeking abstracts for papers to be presented at this two-day interdisciplinary conference centered on religiosity in the Hispanic world from 1492-1680. Submissions should represent the fields of literature, art, religion, politics and/or history. The symposium will coincide with the opening of the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s special exhibition, Sacred Spain: Art and Belief in the Spanish World, which examines the religious visual culture of 17th-century Spain and its American colonies through the lens of belief and its lived experience. This exclusive exhibition includes works from collections throughout Spain and Latin America, many of which have never been exhibited in the US. At the IMA, curators and scholars directly involved with the organization of the exhibition will speak about the show, which visiting scholars and other participants will have a chance to see and discuss in the galleries.

The symposium will draw synergistically on this exhibition, while seeking to establish a spectrum of other approaches to this cultural production, including but not limited to the following:

  1. The Irreligious, dealing with cultural production that rejected Catholic orthodoxy;
  2. The Non-religious, in which the discourse of religion stands aside from cultural production;
  3. Classical Myth and its engagement and/or distancing from Catholic culture;
  4. Sacred Others: Jewish, Islamic and Pre-Columbian religious perspectives
  5. Empire and Religion, on the implication of religion into this expansive mindset;
  6. Text and the Sacred Image, investigating interrelationships among texts and the visual.

The first day will take place at the IMA and the second day at Indiana University at Bloomington. Hotel rooms will be available for participants at conference rates and a free service will transport participants between the two venues.  Please e-mail 250-500 word abstracts or panel proposals (three abstracts and panel description), along with a brief CV, by May 15, 2009 to:

Prof. Steven Wagschal ( and Prof. Giles Knox (