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Europe’s Spiritual ’68: Catholics, Contraception and Comparative Perspectives on Humanae Vitae

12th September 2016 - 13th September 2016

The format of this colloquium at King’s College London will be highly discussion-orientated, based on the pre-circulation of papers in late August and very short presentations at the gathering. This is to ensure that there is ample time for in-depth consideration of the commonalities and contrasting factors in the ‘reception’ of Humanae Vitae in different European contexts and to aid the identification of overarching and constructive theoretical and methodological perspectives in converting these papers into an edited volume.

As such, each participant will be allocated a 45-minute session – comprised of 15 minutes to ‘recap’ the overarching themes and perspectives of their paper (which colleagues will have read in advance of the gathering), thereby allowing 30 minutes for a Q&A session. There are a couple of exceptions to this format, marked with * in the schedule below, as these participants were recruited later and have not had sufficient time to prepare a full paper in advance.

For more information please contact the organiser Alana Harris (


DAY ONE Monday 12 September 2016

9.30am – 9.45am         Welcome and colloquium outline, aims and objectives

(Alana Harris and Wannes Dupont)

Session 1         9.45am – 11.15am

  • Cécile Vanderpelen and Caroline Sagesser (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

The Belgian Catholic Church and Canon Pierre de Locht on sexuality after             1968: moving away without breaking away?

 Wannes Dupont (University of Antwerp, Yale University)

Of Human Love. Catholics’ Push for Sexual Aggiornamento in Post-War Belgium

Morning Coffee           11.15am – 11.45am

Session 2                     11.45am – 1.15pm

  • Tiago Pires Marques (Universidade de Coimbra)

The Politics of Catholic Medicine and the Encyclical Humanae Vitae in Portugal, c.1933-1974

  • Francisco Molina (University of Murcia)

Man, Woman, God and the Motherland: On the Spanish Reception of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae

Colloquium Lunch     1.15pm to 2.00pm

Department of History, 8th Floor Open Space

Session 3                     2.00pm – 3.30pm

 Francesca Vassalle (City University of New York)

A Kind of Reformation in the Miniature. The Paradoxical Impact of Humanae Vitae in Italy

  • Martine Sevegrand (Independent Scholar) – summary delivered by Alana Harris

The Reactions to Humanae Vitae in France

 Afternoon Tea             3.30pm – 4.00pm

 Session 4                     4.00pm – 5.30pm

 Katharina Ebner (Ludwig-Maximilians Universität Müchen)

Attempted disobedience. German Catholics and the Papal Encyclical Humanae Vitae


  • Maria Mesner (Universität Wien)*

The Spirit of ’68 among Austria’s Bishops: The Maria Trost Declaration and how it mattered

 5.30pm – 7.00pm        Drinks

                                    Edgar Wallace Pub, 40 Essex Street, London WC2R 3JE

 7.00pm onwards         Colloquium dinner

                                    Salieri Restaurant, 376 Strand, Covent Garden, WC2R 0LQ

                                    [at own expense – set menu £22 (2 courses); £26 (3 courses) and A                                     La Carte menu]

 DAY TWO Tuesday 13 September 2016

Session 5                     9.00am – 10.30am

 Agnieszka Kocianska (University of Warsaw)

Humanae Vitae, Birth Control and the Forgotten History of the Catholic Church in Poland

  • Caroline Rusterholz (Birkbeck University)*

Sexuality and Religion in comparative perspective, Switzerland (1950-1970)

 Morning Coffee           10.30am – 11.00am

Session 6                     11.00am – 1.00pm

  • Mary McAuliffe (University College Dublin)

From Committed Catholics to Cultural Catholics. Ireland Post-Humanae Vitae

 Andrea Thomson (University of Glasgow)

‘A relationship of a special kind with consequences of a social nature’: Navigating love, marriage and Humanae Vitae in late twentieth-century Scotland

 Alana Harris (King’s College London)

‘A Galileo-crisis not a Luther crisis: English Catholics’ correspondence on Humanae Vitae and changing attitudes to Contraception

Colloquium Lunch     1.00pm to 2.00pm

Department of History, 8th Floor Open Space

Session 7                     2.00pm – 3.30pm

  • Mary Heimann (University of Cardiff)*

Reaction to Humanae Vitae in Hungary

  • Gábor Szegedi (University of Budapest)

Between the Pill and the Population Directive. Changing Contraceptive Policies     and Discourses in Post-Revolution Hungary

Afternoon Tea             3.30pm – 4.00pm

Final session               4.00pm – 5.00pm

  • Concluding remarks

 Collective Book Planning Discussion

 Drinks 5pm

Department of History, 8th Floor Open Space


12th September 2016
13th September 2016
Event Category:


King’s College London
, Strand Campus, Department of History – Floor 8, Room S8.08 Strand
LONDON, WC1R 2LS United Kingdom
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