A virtual conference on Enemies in the Early Modern World, 1453-1789: Conflict, Culture and Control, hosted by University of Edinburgh, was recently held in March 2021.
The conference call for papers reads: “From Luther’s insistence that the Pope is the antichrist, to Cortes’s justification of the conquest of Mexico on the grounds of Aztec human sacrifice, from the expulsion of Jewish people from the Iberian peninsula following the Reconquista to the subjugation and enslavement of human lives to fuel the trans-Atlantic slave trade, from Dutch trials for homosexuality in the 1730s, to accusations of witchcraft during the British Civil Wars, the conflicts and exploitations of the Early Modern World were often fueled and ‘justified’ by a belief in an enemy. Such belief systems would inspire textual, visual and auditory polemic, and propel physical action, thereby ‘othering’ people of a different religion, ethnicity, culture, dynastic allegiance, gender and sexuality into imagined enemies, justifying the need to control and inflict violence upon them. This conference, open to researchers of history, literature, visual culture, politics, theology, philosophy and archaeology etc, will explore the processes by which individuals, communities, and countries were fashioned into the role of the enemy, as well as the dreadful consequences, such as war and persecution. By moving from the local to the national, from the national to the global, and through an interdisciplinary vantage point, we aim to reconstruct the construction of enemies in the Early Modern World. We invite papers from researchers at every stage of their academic journeys, and PhD students and Early Career Researchers are particularly encouraged to apply.”
I presented a paper on “Cosmic War and Global Empire: Religious Constructions of Enemies in the Early Modern World,” at the conference and enjoyed participating in the discussions.
The Enemies in the Early Modern World conference webpage is on the University of Edinburgh website.