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Religious History Opportunities in Austin

by Aaron Genton, Collections Manager, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill on

Mission Concepcion San Antonio

Mission Concepción in San Antonio. Photo by Travis Witt.

Will you be among the hundreds of history professionals who are coming to the Annual Meeting in Austin, TX?  Are you interested in ways to incorporate religious history into your site’s interpretation?  Want to connect with colleagues who actively consider the religious dimensions of our national history?  Then consider taking advantage of these religious history opportunities in Austin.

The Religious History Affinity Group is sponsoring both a session and a luncheon on Thursday, September 7.  At 11 am, the session “Preserving and Interpreting Contested Histories of Mission and Missionaries” will present case studies of three sites that interpret the contested role of missionaries.  Following this session, at the luncheon, Elizabeth Kryder-Reid, professor of Anthropology and Museum Studies and Director of the Cultural Heritage Research Center at IUPUI, will draw on research from her forthcoming book that explores tensions experienced at sites that exist in the tangled spaces of public history and faith. These issues aren’t unique to sites exploring religious history, and many could apply to sites that deal with the interpretation of other difficult topics. 

If you are more interested in hands-on learning, there will be full-day trip on Saturday, September 9, to the historic city of San Antonio.  This tour will include visits to Mission San Jose and Mission Concepción, both of which were recently designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  Here you will explore the physical remains of places that saw the intersection of indigenous and European cultures from a variety of angles, most notably that of religion.

Join us in Austin as we gather with colleagues from around the country to contemplate the theme I AM HISTORY!

Check out other sessions and workshops listed in the Annual Meeting Program Guide.

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