25 June 2007

Chicago Catholic Immigrants Conference: The Poles - Call for Papers

Category: Conferences

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The Loyola Univeristy Chicago Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage and the Interdisciplinary Polish Studies Program in cooperation with the Polish History Museum opens a call for papers for the Chicago Catholic Immigrants Conference: The Poles.

The Loyola University Chicago Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage (CCIH) in collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Polish Studies Program will host the third conference in a series of conferences that focus on the historical, cultural, and religious roles that Roman Catholicism played in sustaining ethnic identity for many immigrant communities of people who came to Chicago in the 19th and 20th centuries. Each year the conference is devoted to an ethnic community in which Catholic faith and devotional life bolstered cultural and national identity at the same time that the Church’s institutions helped that ethnic community to assimilate into a new city and nation. The conferences explore many waves of 20th century immigrants to Chicago whose Catholic faith helped to shape their cultural narrative.

The 2015 Chicago Catholic Immigrants Conference (CCIC) will focus on the Polish immigrant community here in Chicago. We would like to invite scholars from the fields of ethnic studies, urban and cultural history, literature and language, theology, and sociology of religion. This conference will also highlight the Polish heritage and traditions with the participation of Chicago artists, students, and Catholic religious leaders.

Future conferences of the Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage will focus on the following immigrant communities: Lithuanian, Vietnamese, and African. The two previous conferences have looked at the Italian and Mexican immigrant communities. 

Deadline for Paper SubmissionsMonday, August 17th, 2015

We invite you to participate as a speaker, a moderator of a panel and/or an organizer of a panel.  Each speaker will participate in a panel addressing a topic suggested in our agenda.  We are open to proposals given that you will organize the whole panel.  Presentations should be limited to 20 minutes, which will be follow with a brief discussion led by a panel moderator.

Please submit your papers including 200-word abstract, 60-word biography, contact and affiliation information to Bozena Nowicka McLees, Director of the Interdisciplinary Polish Studies Program, at If you have any questions please call 773-508-2864.


Time: November 13-14, 2015

Venue: Loyola University Chicago


Proposed Program

DAY 1 – Friday, November 13th, 2015

9:00 – 9:30  Opening Session and Welcome

9:30 – 10:00 KEYNOTE ADDRESS Followed by Q&A

10:00 – 11:15 PANEL 1: Poles Coming to Chicago, A Historical and Social Perspective

11:15 – 11:30       Coffee break

11:30 – 1:15 PANEL 2: First Parishes and Catholic Organizations 

1:15 – 2:00  Buffet Lunch

2:00 – 3:15  PANEL 3: Polish Catholic Education and Assimilation

3:15 – 3:30  Coffee Break

3:30 – 4:45  PANEL 4: Parish Histories and Religious Orders

4:45 – 5:00 Coffee Break

5:00 – 6:30 PANEL 5: Pope John Paul II and Other Catholic Role Models (St. Kolbe, Jan Karski)


DAY 2 – Saturday, November 14th, 2015

9:00 – 9:45  Keynote Speaker

9:45 – 10:00 Coffee Break

10:00 – 11:15 PANEL 6: Immigration, Transnationalism, and Cultural Identity

11:15 – 11:3        Coffee break

11:30 – 1:00 PANEL 7: Polish Catholic Experience in LiteraturePolish American Writers in Chicago

1:00 – 2:00  Buffet Lunch

2:00 – 3:30  PANEL 8:  Polish Catholic Culture in Arts, Architecture and

3:30 – 3:45  Coffee break

3:45 – 4:30  VISUAL PRESENTATION on the Architecture of Polish Churches in Chicago

4:30 -  4:45 Coffee Break

4:45 – 5:30  PANEL 9: Chicago Polish Catholicism for the 21st Century: Perspectives from Loyola Students

5:30 – 6:00  CLOSING REMARKS

6:00 Sacred Liturgy in celebration of Polish-American Heritage; music performed by the LIRA Ensemble, Madonna della Strada Chapel


Pre-Conference Events:

Wednesday, November 11th An adaptation of a play: The Jeweler’s Shop written by John Paul II

Thursday, November 12th A screening of a film: The Fourth Partition and discussion with the filmmakers


We encourage scholars to expand this program by submitting any other suggestions exploring the Polish-Catholic experience in Chicago.

New publications

Jewish Families in Europe, 1939-Present: History, Representation, and Memory

Historical Movies

Google Cultural Institute helps the Polish History Museum reach a global audience