ACHA 103Rd ANNUAL MEETING  •  January 5-7, 2023
Philadelphia 2023
Key details:
  • Registration deadline: December 17 (late fee applies thereafter) (register now)
  • AHA Registration Requirement: All presenters must register for both the AHA and ACHA meetings. (AHA registration is here.)
  • Hotels: Participants are able to book discounted accommodations at any of the official conference hotels on the AHA hotels page.  The ACHA will be holding its events at the Loews Philadelphia.
From the program committee

Pack your overcoats and prepare to spend three very full days in Philadelphia this January with an exciting ACHA program!

In assembling this year’s program, we found that ACHA members are digging deeply into the history of gender and sexuality. Multiple panels on laywomen’s experience are joined by a panel on reproductive health, for example. Bodies (both dead and alive) represent a significant related topic, with additional panels on sainthood, on disability, and on sexual abuse — to suggest the very wide range of this theme. Having mentioned the sexual abuse crisis, I’ll add that the meeting will feature many other submissions on topics of fear and horror: people and things that Catholics have feared, people who have feared Catholics, and the Catholic gothic all make a number of appearances on the program.

Our Philadelphia meeting location also generated several submissions on nativism and anti-Catholicism, as well as attention to the political place of Catholics in the building of the United States. And we can see continued interest in the local nature of Catholicism in panels on Catholic communities of color in the Midwest and on the parish. At the same time, other panels press on Catholicism’s global nature in two ways: first, by telling stories about international travel, whether for migration or mission and second, by assembling papers that discuss topics like slavery and church discipline as they appear in wildly different temporal and geographical contexts. And we also see the attention to material culture and the visual, with a special shoutout to a pandemic-delayed panel on doing research via eBay.

In addition to these and many other exciting panels, the annual meeting will feature both old and new traditions. The presidential panel, convened by Brenna Moore, will be a roundtable on the topic “Why Catholic History? Why Now?” We have secured Old St. Mary’s Church, built in 1763 and the second-oldest Catholic church in the United States, as the location for the ACHA mass, and are grateful to the American Catholic Historical Society for hosting us for a social and reception in their townhouse afterwards. (Yes, there will be door prizes.) Following up on last year’s off-site and informal Friday evening panel, the ACHA and the American Society for Church History are also co-hosting a series of short pieces on “Catholic horror” at the Ruba Club on Friday evening. And finally, we have reserved a slot on the program for a panel dedicated to discussing the winner of this year’s John Gilmary Shea Prize — a new event which we hope will continue for many years to come.

On behalf of this year’s program committee, including Philadelphia native Thomas Rzeznik and our newest member, Monica Mercado, I look forward very much to welcoming you to these and many other conversations at the 103rd Annual Meeting, January 5-7, 2023.

Catherine Osborne
Chair, Program Committee

Tentative Program
Last update: September 14, 2022