Leahy Lolcover

The Cushwa Center sponsors conferences on a wide array of topics that bring together historians, theologians, sociologists, and other scholars from the humanities and social sciences. 


Unless otherwise noted, conference sessions are open to the Notre Dame community and broader public. 

Women and children in front of a mission church, black and white photo.

Catholic Modernity in the Americas: Land, Culture, Politics

April 10–12, 2025 · Commemorating the founding of the Cushwa Center in 1975, this conference will consider Catholic modernity as a global reality shaped and constituted by the Church’s former peripheries—not least South and North America.

Read the call for papers

Sister Corita in front of her art.

Conference on the History of Women Religious: Lives and Archives

June 22–25, 2025 · The CHWR was founded in 1988 to assist historians in discovering the historical record of vowed Catholic women and to integrate their stories into larger narratives. Today scholars continue to research and write about these women’s lives, including their commitment to justice, human dignity, care for creation, health care, education, and contemplation.

Read the call for papers

Past conferences


Twelfth Triennial Conference on the History of Women Religious: Diversity and Dignity Across Time and Place
June 26–29, 2022

Gender, Sex, and Power: Towards a History of Clergy Sex Abuse in the U.S. Catholic Church
March 27–28, 2022


Eleventh Triennial Conference on the History of Women Religious: Commemoration, Preservation, Celebration
Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana | June 23–26, 2019

Global History and Catholicism
April 4–6, 2019


A Pedagogy of Peace: The Theory and Practice of Catholic Women Religious and Migrant Education
Kylemore Abbey Global Center | March 14–17, 2018


North Atlantic Catholic Communities in Rome, 1622–1939
Rome Global Gateway | June 5–7, 2017

Too Small a World: Catholic Sisters as Global Missionaries
April 6–8, 2017


Tenth Triennial Conference on the History of Women Religious
Santa Clara University | June 26–29, 2016


The Nun in the World: Catholic Sisters and Vatican II
London Global Gateway | May 7–9, 2015

American Catholic Historical Association Spring Meeting
March 26–28, 2015


American Catholicism in a World Made Small: Transnational Approaches to U.S. Catholic History
Rome Global Gateway | June 6–20, 2014

The Lived History of Vatican II
April 24–26, 2014


Catholic Diasporas: The Irish and Mexicans in America
March 31 – April 2, 2011


Atlantic Catholicism: The French-American Connection
May 27–28, 2010

cosponsored by Notre Dame’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies and the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts in the College of Arts and Letters


Camino a Emaus: The Word of God and Latino Catholics
July 30 – August 1, 2009

presented with the American Bible Society (see preview and recap videos)

Catholics in the Movies
April 2–4, 2009


Catholicism in the American Century
April 17–19, 2008


Guadalupe, Madre de América: Narrative, Image, and Devotion
November 9–11, 2006

presented with the Institute for Latino Studies


The Future of American Catholic History: A Conference in Honor of Christopher Kauffman
April 8–9, 2005


Uncommon Faithfulness: The Witness of African American Catholics
March 11–14, 2004


Rethinking U.S. Catholicism: International and Comparative Frameworks
March 14–15, 2003


Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Catholic Heritage
April 13–14, 2002

presented with the Institute for Latino Studies


Interpreting the American Catholic Experience: The Achievement of Jay P. Dolan
March 16–17, 2001


Catholicism in Twentieth-Century America
March 9–11, 2000

This conference was the culmination of a three-year research initiative.


Understandings of America: Ethnicity, Intellectual History, and American Catholicism
April 25, 1997

symposium in honor of Philip Gleason sponsored by the Department of History, cosponsored by the Cushwa Center


Engendering American Catholic Studies
September 29 – October 1, 1995


Sesquicentennial Conference on the History of Christianity
March 26–28, 1992

The Cushwa Center sponsored this joint meeting of the American Society of Church History and the American Catholic Historical Association to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the University of Notre Dame.


American Catholicism in the Twentieth Century
November 1–3, 1990


Colloquium on the History of Women Religious
October 2, 1987

Ireland and the United States: The Transatlantic Connection, 1800–1980
April 10–11, 1987


The Culture of American Catholicism
October 4–5, 1985

presented with the Great Lakes American Studies Association


Perspectives on American Catholicism
November 19–20, 1982


Reinterpretation of American Catholic History
October 1974

Organized by Jay P. Dolan, this conference catalyzed the subsequent launch of a newsletter and center for American Catholic studies at Notre Dame. Historians of American Catholicism attended and discussed the idea of a newsletter, a working papers seminar, and other activities that would eventually become the agenda of the center's early years.