2016 Conference

International Society for Historians of Atheism, Secularism, and Humanism

Inaugural Conference: Exploring the State of the Field

4-5 June 2016, Conway Hall, London, UK

To download the program as a PDF: ISHASH Conference Program

For the Call for Papers, see here.

Schedule: Saturday 4 June, 2016

8:45-9:15 – Registration

9:15-9:30 – Welcome

9:30-10:30 – Panel 1: Defining Unbelief

Nickolas Conrad (University of California, Santa Cruz, USA) – “An Argument for ‘Unbelief’”

Atko Remmel (University of Tartu, Estonia)- “On Some Features of ‘Atheism’ in the Soviet Union”

10:30-10:45 – Break

10:45-12:15 – Panel 2: Unbelief in Canada

Lynne Marks (University of Victoria, Canada) – “Racism and Irreligion in British Columbia, 1880-1914”

Elliot Hanowski (University of Winnipeg, Canada) – “Unbelief in Canada, 1920-1940”

Tina Block (Thompson Rivers University, Canada) – “Exploring Journeys to Unbelief in Canada, 1950-1975”

12:15-1:15 – Lunch

1:15-2:15 – Panel 3: Positive Atheism: East and West in the Long 18th Century

Shuhei Fujii (University of Tokyo, Japan) – “Yamagata Bantō: An Atheist in the Edo Period”

Charles Devellennes (University of Kent, UK) – “Radical Atheism: The Political Theory of Atheism in France from Bayle to Diderot”

2:15-2:30 – Break

2:30-3:30 – Panel 4: Atheism and Islam

Umut Azak (Okan University, Turkey) – “Secularism, Islam and the Possibility of Atheism in Turkey”

Rayhana Sultan (University of Warwick, UK/Council of Ex-Muslims Britain) – “Free Speech and Humanism in Bangladesh”

3:30-3:45 – Break

3:45-5:00 – Keynote speech

David Nash (Oxford Brookes University, UK) – “Secularist History: Past Perspectives and Future Prospects”

Schedule: Sunday 5 June, 2016

9:30-11:00 – Panel 1: Intellectual History Approaches

Sampsa Andrei Saarinen (University of Vienna, Austria) – “Intellectual Secularization and the History of Emotions”

Anton Jansson (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) – “‘A Swedish Voltaire’: The Interpretation of Ingemar Hedenius, 20th-century Atheist”

Patrick Corbeil (Queen’s University, Canada) – “Imagining a Secular World: Secularization and the Global Conceptions of Secularism”

11:00-11:15 – Break

11:15-12:45 – Panel 2: Race, Gender, and Unbelief

Edward Royle (University of York, UK) – “Secularism – White, Male and Working Class?”

Suvi Karila (University of Turku, Finland) – “‘Female skepticism is social poison’ – Interplay of Gender and Atheism in the Nineteenth-Century United States”

Nathan Alexander (University of St Andrews, UK) – “Atheism, Race, and the Uses of Polygenesis”

12:45-1:45 – Lunch

1:45-3:15 – Panel 3: Religious Change in the West

Callum Brown (University of Glasgow, UK) – “The Humanist Condition: How the West was Re-Moralised for Atheism”

Matt Sheard (Oxford Brookes University, UK) – “The Academy, Politics and the Secularisation Debate”

Liz Lutgendorff (Oxford Brookes University, UK) – “Agents of Secularisation in the 20th Century”

3:15-3:30 – Break

 3:30-5:00 – Roundtable Group Discussion

The Future of the History of Atheism, Secularism, and Humanism, and the Future of ISHASH

We are grateful for the financial support of the following organizations:


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