Fourth Triennial Conference (1998) Recap

The fourth triennial conference was held at Loyola University-Chicago from June 21-24, 1998 , with the theme “Through Multiple Lenses: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the History of Women Religious.” Florence Deacon, OSF, again chaired the program committee, and the program featured 30 sessions in addition to a keynote address by Paula Kane, “The Creation of Gender Identity Among American Women Religious.” Multiple panels addressed gender and premodern Christianity, race in American Catholicism, methodology, archival collecting, and theological history. For the first time, lay presenters (50) were nearly equal to the number of sister-presenters (54.)

Aside from sessions, the program featured a visit to the Women and Leadership Archives of the Ann Ida Gannon Center and a tour of the original Mundelein College building.

A business session featured discussion of the formal organization of the CHWR, with a report from the committee organized at the previous triennial conference. They identified two desires from the membership: to keep the organization “informal and friendly,” and to “share the task of operating the business of the organization.” They recommended the appointment of a coordinating committee, a communications committee, and a publications committee, along with perhaps archives and conference committees as well.

Two Distinguished Historian Awards were given to Mary Ewens, OP, and to Jo Ann McNamara.