Representing Popery in Britain & Ireland, 1520-1900

Country: United Kingdom

City: Newcastle upon Tyne

Abstr. due: 30.12.2018

Dates: 10.04.19 — 11.04.19

Area Of Sciences: History and archeology;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: School of History, Classics, and Archaeology, Newcastle University


Representing Popery in Britain & Ireland, 1520-1900

A two-day workshop on the representation of popery in British history (from the Reformation to the close of the nineteenth century) will take place at Newcastle University, 10-11 April 2019. The aims of the workshop are to assess and evaluate the roles that representations of Catholics (and other figures deemed to be ‘popish’) played in political, religious, and social discourse over four centuries of British history. To what extent were these representations reliant upon stereotypes and conspiracy theories? What was the balance between continuity and change in these representations across the centuries? Did each region of the British Isles have distinct traditions of representing popery? And to what extent was popery distinct from Catholicism as a language and/or ideology of politics at various points in British history?

The workshop will not be run via a series of formal papers, but will encourage discussion, exchange and interdisciplinary debate. We would like to encourage historians, art historians, theologians, and literature scholars at all stages of their careers to participate in this workshop. If you are interested in contributing, please submit a 300 word abstract of your research interests and how they relate to one of more of the following themes to by 30 December 2018:

  • Defining popery in context

  • Representations of Catholics in literature and drama

  • Representations of non-Catholics as ‘popish’

  • Visual representations of Catholics & popery

  • Traditions of representation in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and England

  • Conspiracy Theories

  • Stereotypes

  • Memory of 1605, 1641, or the 12th.

  • Representing the past through anti-Catholicism

  • Propaganda and polemic

  • Material culture and anti-Catholicism

  • Change and continuity in representation of anti-Catholicism

It is expected that proceedings from the workshop will be published at a later date.

The workshop is being organized by ‘Anti-Catholicism in British History c.1520-1900’, a network funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The aim of this network is to outline the history of anti-Catholicism in Britain by focusing on how it contributed to political, cultural, and religious movements during moments of crisis, by tracing the roles which stereotypes and conspiracy theories played in maintaining anti-Catholic ideology, and by assessing the ways in which anti-Catholicism changed across the centuries and how vital this change was to ensuring that it remained a vital part of ‘British’ and ‘Protestant’ identities.

If you would like to join the network or participate in its workshops and events, please send a brief outline of your research interests to

Conference Web-Site: