The Catholic University of America

March 9, 2015

Graduate Student Conference to Feature Renowned Marian Scholar

  Medieval historian Miri Rubin 

The Blessed Virgin Mary and her influence through time will be explored in a graduate student conference March 20 and 21 cosponsored by Catholic University and the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA). The conference will feature a keynote address by renowned medieval historian Miri Rubin, professor of medieval and early modern history at the University of London and the author of Mother of God: A History of the Virgin Mary.

The conference will include papers that explore the influence of Mary from perspectives that draw on various approaches to the subject, including art history, history, music, literature, theater, and theology. Graduate students representing schools that include, in addition to CUA, the University of Rome, University of Maryland, Boston University, Case Western Reserve University, and Dominican University of California, will present research papers.

The first day of the conference takes place at NMWA and begins at 3 p.m. with a welcome address from CUA President John Garvey. Rubin’s keynote address is at 5 p.m. The second day of the conference takes place on CUA’s campus in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center with a full day of programming beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending with a reception for attendees at 5:15 p.m.

The conference is CUA’s premiere event in its partnership with NMWA on the landmark exhibit Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea. The exhibit features more than 60 paintings, sculptures, and textiles by some of the best-known Renaissance and Baroque artists. The exhibit is on display at NMWA until April 12.

Catholic University is providing program support to the exhibit that draws on the scholarship of University faculty from several disciplines. Among CUA’s auxiliary programs are a lecture series, courses, performances, and the two-day graduate student conference.

“We put out a call for papers for the conference in the fall. They were reviewed by a panel of CUA faculty members who were thrilled with the range of topics and the high level of scholarship represented in the submissions,” says Vanessa R. Corcoran, a teaching fellow and Ph.D. candidate in CUA’s Department of History, and the graduate coordinator for the University’s Honoring Mary project.

Corcoran is also presenting a paper titled “Dramatizing Domestic Life: Mary and Joseph’s Marital Disputes in the Corpus Christi Cycles.”

“We are so proud to present this conference that will offer new and exciting perspectives on the study of Mary, and it is tremendously exciting to have one of the world’s most prolific Marian scholars headlining the conference,” she says.

The conference is free, but registration is required. The full program and registration details are available at the University website Honoring Mary: Scholarship, Art, and Faith. The website also features details of all of CUA’s auxiliary programming for the exhibit, in addition to images of CUA’s own collection of Marian artwork.
For more information on the exhibit, visit

MEDIA: To cover the conference, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy Hines in the Office of Public Affairs at or 202-319-5600.



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