2022 Webinar Series

ACHA Fall Seminar with Michael Pasquier:
Remembering and Forgetting the Past on the Mississippi River:
Toward an Environmental History of Catholicism

October 6, 2022
7:30- 9:00 PM Eastern

The ACHA has inaugurated a new tradition – a semi-annual virtual seminar.

Building on the success of the four virtual panel discussions that Tony Smith (University of Dayton) coordinated in lieu of an in-person annual meeting in 2021, the ACHA virtual seminar will take the form of a workshop on a scholar’s work-in-progress. The ACHA is open to suggestions from the membership on an appropriate name for this new opportunity for scholarly interaction––and perhaps even a donor.

On Thursday, October 6, from 7:30 to 9:00 PM ET, the ACHA will host the first virtual seminar on a work-in-progress by Michael Pasquier.

Registration is open through the start of the event.

Pasquier is the Jaak Seynaeve Professor of Christian Studies at Louisiana State University and serves as ACHA Vice President. His project is entitled “Remembering and Forgetting the Past on the Mississippi River: Toward an Environmental History of Catholicism.”

Pasquier will begin by presenting a summary of his work, followed by comments from Monica Mercado of Colgate University, Rachel Lindsey of Saint Louis University, and Brett Grainger of Villanova University. Jack Downey, the John Henry Newman Associate Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Rochester, will then facilitate questions and comments from participants.

The seminar is open to all, but registration is required to obtain the Zoom link.

For more on Pasquier’s fascinating research, please read the abstract below.

After the Flood of 1927, the U. S. government decided to master the Mississippi River. Nowhere was this state-sponsored determination more evident than in the lower Mississippi River delta. A historical examination of a particular church – St. Ann Catholic Church in Morganza, Louisiana – permits some understanding of how physical and material alterations to the delta’s landscape are not easily traced, especially when we consider the temporal and spatial scales of change to the Mississippi over the last one hundred years.

In that time, members of St. Ann have managed to retain, erase, and revise aspects of their bonds to a river once central to the lives of their ancestors. This is not at all surprising, as the fallibility of memory is made apparent every time we try to tell stories about our pasts. St. Ann is one site where we can explore how alterations to a landscape have an impact not only on the trajectory of a Catholic community’s future, but also on access to its past. Absences of memory in the living, combined with the erasure of material remains in modified landscapes, challenge us to consider how we might account for the relationship between Catholicism and the built environment throughout American history.


The Opening of the Pius XII Archive and Holocaust Research

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Panelists for this event:


Teaching Outside Your Specialization in a Time of Disciplinary Retrenchment

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Panelists for this event:


Studying Masculinities, Catholic Style: A Roundtable

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Panelists for this event:


Catholicism, Public Scholarship, and the 2020 Election

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The ACHA’s inaugural webinar was held in the final days of the 2020 presidential campaign. Participants discussed the surge of media coverage on religion and politics and the role of public scholarship. They explored what roles are available to historians, and whether media engagement opens new possibilities for the critical study of American Catholic history.


  • Brian Clites (moderator)
  • Anthea Butler
  • Peter Cajka
  • Nicole Hemmer
  • Kaya Oakes
  • Michael Pasquier