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Dr. Elizabeth Ferguson
"Ideas from Across the Channel: Post-Reformation English Catholicism Through the Lens of Printed Texts"

Dr. Elizabeth Ferguson is an Assistant Professor in the History Department at the University of Toronto. She is currently preparing a book on devotional literature and English Catholic practice c. 1570-1640, and most recently published an article on hagiographies and the cult of saints in seventeenth-century England. Dr. Ferguson's next major research project will explore the wider religio-political implications of English Catholic literature printed in the early modern period by looking at the relationship between the writer/translator, religious and polemical texts, and the system of patronage.

This paper presented investigates the shifts and changes to Catholicism in England in the aftermath of the Elizabethan Reformation through an examination of a cross-Channel English Catholic book trade, which produced more than 900 devotional and polemical works between 1558 and 1640. By examining a selection of both devotional and polemical texts, this talk will explore the extensive networks established in the sixteenth and (especially) the seventeenth centuries, and it will asses the cultural implication of the interactions between the different network groups involved, such as the English religious colleges on the continent, Catholic merchants, exiles, and travellers. This research will build on the emerging trend to re-evaluate the character of English Catholicism in this period, shifting away from the idea that it was largely isolated and self-contained. Analysing the English Catholic book trade in the early modern period, this paper will not only provide an exemplary account of the connectivity of early modern entrepreneurial activities, but it will also address the complex nature of English Catholicism in this period.


Dr. Jason Blahuta
"Migrants, Mercenaries, and Militias: Warfare in The Prince" 

Jason Blahuta holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Ottawa and is associate professor in the Department of Philosophy and an adjunct in the Department of Political Science at Lakehead University.  His teaching and research interests are wide-raging and include Asian philosophy, just war theory, the philosophy of religion, and the full range of topics in the field of applied ethics.  The primary focus of his research is the philosophy of Niccolò Machiavelli.  He is the author of Fortune and the Dao: A Comparative Study of Machiavelli, the Daodejing, and the Han Feizi (Lexington Books, 2015), a contributor to the Routledge Handbook of Ethics and War: Just War Theory in the Twenty-First Century (Routledge, 2013), and co-editor of Final Fantasy and Philosophy (John Wiley and Sons, 2009).

A discussion of several aspects of warfare as it was practiced in Renaissance Italy and how this practice affects Machiavelli’s thoughts on military matters in The Prince. Also, considerations as to the relevance of Machiavelli's ideas to select contemporary military situations.

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