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The network will run a series of 4 workshops during 2018 and 2019. These will bring scholars from a range of disciplines – History, Literature Studies, Social Psychology, Politics, and Sociology – together to discuss anti-Catholicism as a phenomenon. Each of these workshops will have a specific focus, but they will all seek to explore the larger research questions of the network. These are:

  • What was ‘popery’? Can it be defined? Is there any consistency in the multitude of ways in which it was understood across 4 centuries of British history?

  • To what extent were there distinctive traditions of anti-popery in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland?

  • Why did anti-popery change focus so readily? What might this tell us about prejudice/intolerance more generally?

  • In what ways are comparisons between anti-popery and other prejudices/intolerances fruitful?

If you are interested in attending or speaking at any of these events, please contact


Workshop 1: Trajectories and Stereotypes

  • Research Beehive, Newcastle University, 21-22 March 2018.

  • Programme:

    • 21st March

    • Session 1: Anti-Catholicism across the centuries in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.

      • Speakers: Alan Ford (Nottingham), Clotilde Prunier (Paris Nanterre), Paul O’Leary (Aberystwyth University), John Wolffe (Open)

    • Session 2: Round table: Analysing Anti-Catholicism – what was ‘popery’?

      • Speakers: John Craig (Simon Fraser University), Emma Turnbull (University of Oxford), Donald MacRaild (University of Roehampton), Aishlinn Muller (University of Cambridge), Joan Allen (Newcastle).

    • 22nd March

    • Session 3: Understanding Prejudice & Stereotypes

      • Speakers: Cristian Tileaga (Loughborough University), Jovan Byford (Open University)

    • Session 4: Anti-Catholic stereotypes in British History

      • Speakers:  Carys Brown (University of Cambridge), Colin Haydon (Winchester University), Susan Royal, (University of Durham), Adam Morton (Newcastle University), Naiyla Shamgunova (University of Cambridge)

    • Session 5: Going Forward – how can we write a history of anti-Catholicism?


Workshop 2: Anti-Catholicism in Britain & Europe.

  • 11-13 September 2018, Newcastle University.

  • This workshop will interrogate the claims made by much scholarship that anti-Catholicism was essential to British national identities at various points in British history. It will ask to what extent ‘British’ anti-popery was actually part of a wider, European phenomenon.

  • 11 September

  • 12.45: WelcomeAdam Morton

    13.00-14.15: Michael Gross (East Carolina): Anti-Catholicism and Europe’s Culture Wars

    14.15-14.30: Coffee

    14.30-16.30: Panel 1: A global phenomenon? Anti-Catholicism from the nineteenth century:

                    - Chair: Joan Allen

    - Don MacRaild (Roehampton): Anti-Catholicism in Britain and America in the nineteenth century

    - John Wolffe (Open University): Resurrecting the martyrs: Anti-Protestantism and anti-Catholicism in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

    - Geraldine Vaughan (Rouen): Anti-Catholic networks in the British Empire

    - Rosa Matucci (Pisa): Italian exiles in London C19th

    16.30-17.00: Coffee

    17.00-18.00: Maura Jane Farrelly (Brandeis): Anti-Catholicism in America 1620-1860

    12 September
  • 9.00-11.00: Panel 2: Anti-Catholicism and the creation of a Protestant 'national identity' in Ireland from the seventeenth to the twentieth century
    • Speakers: Ian D’Alton;  Alan Ford (University of Nottingham); Andrew Holmes (Queens University Belfast); Miriam Moffitt (St Patrick’s College, Maynooth)
  • 11.00-11.30: Coffee
  • 11.30-12.45: Lisa Dittrich: Plenary 3:
  • 12.45-13.45: Lunch
  • 13.45-15.45: Roundtable 1: Anti-Catholicism: National or Transnational?
    • Chair: Adam Morton (Newcastle)
    • Jessica Harland-Jacobs (Florida), Mary Charlotte Cornelius (University of Glasgow), Timothy Verhoeven (Monash), Evan Haefeli (College Station, Texas
  • 15.45-16.15: Coffee
  • 16.15-18.00: Panel 3: Anti-Catholicism, Gender and Emotion
    • - Chair: Adam Morton
    • - Monica Mazurek (Kraków): Using psychoanalysis to analyse anti-Catholicism in Victorian novels
    • - Tanis Lovecheck-Saunders (Casper College): Anti-Catholicism and Nativism in Nineteenth Century America
    • - Monica Najar (Lehigh): Gender, Sex, and the Catholic Menace 1700-1860
    • - Edwina Hagen (VU University, Amsterdam): Anti-Catholicism, Politics and Emotions in the Netherlands around 1800
  • 19.30: Workshop Meal
  • 13 September
  • 9.00-10.30: Roundtable 2: Protestant Identities and Anti-Catholicism
    • Chair: Adam Morton
    • - Simon Lewis (IHR), Clare Loughlin (Edinburgh), Sarah Scholl (Geneva), Elizabeth Crawley (Birmingham), Jonathan Willis (Birmingham), Ryan Mallon (Queens University, Belfast).
  • 10.30-10.45: Coffee
  • 10.45-12.45: Panel 4: Responding to anti-Catholicism
    • Chair: Adam Morton

    • - Clotilde Prunier (Paris): Scottish Catholics and anti-Catholicism in  the eighteenth-century
      - Eilish Gregory: The Catholic response to sequestration during the English Revolution.
      - Emma Turnbull (Oxford): Defending the Spanish Match in early Stuart England
      - Carys Brown (Cambridge): Everyday anti-Catholicism in eighteenth century England

12.45-13.30: Lunch

13.30-15.30: Panel 5: Anti-Catholicism and History

          - Thomas Freeman (Essex): John Foxe’s depiction of the papacy.

- Colin Haydon: "[E]rror and corruption": Edward Gibbon and Anti-Catholicism.

- David Manning (Leicester): Anti-Catholicism, Christian thought, and History in early modern Britain.

- Claire Gheeraert-Graffeuille (Rouen): Lucy Hutchinson, anti-Catholicism, and history writing.

15.30-16.00: Roundtable 3: What is ‘popery’?

                - Chair: Adam Morton


Workshop 3: Representations of Anti-Catholicism

  • (Easter 2019) Date & Venue TBC.

  • This workshop will consider the role of representations (textual, visual, and performed) in sustaining anti-Catholicism from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. It will consider the roles played by anti-Catholicism in literature and (following the work of Raymond Tumbleson) ask why there are silences in the canon on the topic. The role of representations of popery in print, oral culture, and images as part of a wider political culture at various points of British history will also be discussed.


Workshop 4: Anti-Catholicism & Conspiracy Theories

  • (August 2019) Date & Venue TBC.

  • The final workshop will consider the ways in which conspiracy theories created master-narratives of ‘popery’ as the great ‘other’ at crucial moments in British history. Comparing approaches to conspiracy theories in different disciplines (History, Literature, Social Psychology) will be an essential part of this workshop, which will aim to consider how we might study conspiracy theories which span centuries.