International Conference on Tolerance
USC Shoah Foundation Institute
University of Southern California
The USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute and the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education are co-sponsoring a conference, Religious Tolerance and Intolerance from the Inquisition to the Present, on April 3-4, 2008. The conference is free to attend and open to the public (view conference program).
“The idea of religious and racial toleration is one familiar to Americans, so much so that it is one of those seemingly eternal verities we uncritically invoke in our political and cultural lives as though it were an unchanging value,” Douglas Greenberg, USC Shoah Foundation Institute Executive Director and Professor of History, said. “Yet the idea of tolerance, like the idea of intolerance, has a history both as an intellectual construct and as a political and cultural imperative. The April conference will bring together leading scholars of the subject addressing topics that range from the emergence of religious toleration in early modern Europe to European ideas about the treatment of indigenous peoples in the Americas.”
Professor Benjamin J. Kaplan of University College London and the University of Amsterdam and author of Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe, will deliver the keynote address. Visiting scholars from France, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and across the United States will speak on a wide range of subjects such as European religious indifference, atheism in the U.S., the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and antisemitism in modern Portugal. Conference highlights will include “Unequal Brothers: Indigenous People in the Republic of Bolivia after the Independence of 1825,” a presentation by expert Holocaust historian and comparative genocide researcher Wolf Gruner, soon-to-be Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies at USC; and “The Meaning of Toleration in Comparative Political Theory and the Implications for Public Policy,” presented by USC Professor of Political Science Alison Dundes Renteln. The USC Shoah Foundation Institute and the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute intend to publish a book of essays based upon the papers presented at the conference.
“The Early Modern Studies Institute and the Shoah Foundation Institute hope the conference will be the first in a series of events in which the USC Center for California and the West, the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, and other units of the University and the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences will also participate,” Peter Mancall, Early Modern Studies Institute Director and Professor of History and Anthropology, said. “These events will be intended to address issues of scholarly concern that relate to matters of importance in contemporary life.”
The conference will be held at the Davidson Conference Center on the USC Campus and will be open to the public. Admission is free but reservations are required. For more information, visit www.college.usc.edu. For reservations, contact Melissa McNear at (213) 740-6724.
About the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute
The USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute supports advanced research and scholarship on human societies between 1450 and 1850. The USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute’s range is global.Unlike existing centers that focus on particular regions, it aims to advance knowledge of the diverse societies in and around the Atlantic and Pacific basins.
The USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute is composed of a community of scholars based in the Los Angeles region and supplemented by short- and long-term visitors.It strives to provide a suitable setting for nourishing intellectual achievement, advancing interdisciplinary research, and sharing path-breaking discoveries. The USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute aims to promote new avenues for research in the humanities and social sciences.
Positioned in a city that is intellectually vibrant and demographically diverse, the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute will combine the strengths of a major urban university with a world class independent research institution.Its programs will contribute to the development of a range of traditional disciplines (primarily but not exclusively history, literature, and the history of art) by bringing together the insights and techniques of scholars who share an interest in early modern peoples and cultures. For more information, visit http://college.usc.edu//emsi/.
About the USC Shoah Foundation Institute
The Shoah Foundation Institute is part of the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences at the University of Southern California. Its mission is to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry—and the suffering they cause—through the educational use of its visual history testimonies. The USC Shoah Foundation Institute relies upon partnerships in the United States and around the world to provide public access to the archive and advance scholarship in many fields of inquiry. The USC Shoah Foundation Institute and its partners also utilize the archive to develop educational products and programs for use in many countries and languages. For more information, visit www.college.usc.edu.
With a collection of nearly 52,000 video testimonies in 32 languages and from 56 countries, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s archiveis the largest visual history archive in the world. The USC Shoah Foundation Institute interviewed Jewish survivors, homosexual survivors, Jehovah’s Witness survivors, liberators and liberation witnesses, political prisoners, rescuers and aid providers, Roma and Sinti survivors (Gypsy), survivors of Eugenics policies, and war crimes trials participants.