Conference schedule for Religious Freedom in a Fractured America, March 22 and 23


Please join us for UMW CPR’s conference, Religious Freedom in a Fractured America. Day sessions will meet in the University Center’s Colonnade Room on March 22 and 23. Thursday evening’s special panel on “Religious Freedom in the Streets: Remembering Charlottesville” is set for Monroe 116 at 7 p.m. Many thanks to the University of Virginia’s Center for the Study of Religion, UMW’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program, UMW’s Political Science and International Affairs Department, the UMW Department of History and American Studies, and the UMW Leidecker Center for Asian Studies for their generous support!


9:30AM-10:00AM     Opening Remarks

10:00AM-12:30PM   Panel: Anti-Intellectualism and Religious Freedom

  • Matthew Scherer (George Mason University): “religious freedom: a longer view on contemporary questions”
  • Monica Miller (Lehigh University): “The Struggle of (Black) Gods Today: A.L.L.A.H and the Rhetoric of Divine Subjectivity”​
  • Benjamin Marcus (Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute): “Who Is the Expert?: Authority and Knowledge in Religious Literacy Education”

12:30PM-2:00PM       Lunch

2:00PM-4:30PM        Panel: Religious Violence

  • Emily Filler (Earlham College): “Against Coercion and Religious Violence: Surprising Resources from the Jewish Tradition”
  • Mehdi Aminrazavi (University of Mary Washington): “Islam in America: When Victims are Seen as Victimizers”
  • Diane Fruchtman (Rutgers University): “Living Martyrs and the Violence of Ideology: The Legacies of Martyrdom Without Death in Contemporary American Political Discourse​”

4:30PM-4:45PM         Closing Remarks


7:00PM-8:30PM        ROUNDTABLE

9:30AM-12:00PM      Panel: Persecution Complex

  • Mary Beth Mathews (University of Mary Washington): “Fearing for Christ’s Safety in the Lynching South: African American Evangelicals, Race, and Violence”
  • Kelly J. Baker (Freelance writer and Editor of Women in Higher Education): “Persecuted and Persecutors: The 1920s Klan and the Alt-right’s Narratives of American Decline”
  • Sarah Bond (University of Iowa): “How ‘The West’ Was Spun: The Construction Of Western Civilization By The New Religious Right”

12:00PM-1:30PM      Lunch

1:30PM-2:30PM        Essay Contest Winners

2:30PM-4:00PM        Reflection

4:00PM-4:15PM        Closing Remarks

If you have questions, contact Professor Jenny Barry ( or Professor Mehdi Aminrazavi ( We hope to see you there!