Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Two Masonic Conferences In France May 2017


Recent events in Europe have started to put a big dent in tourism lately, and France in particular has been hit pretty hard. But don't let that deter you in 2017. Next year, France is going to get a double dose of major conferences about Freemasonry, and if you can afford to hang around for about ten days or so, you could actually manage to be there for both of them, since they are scheduled a week apart in late May.

First up is the  International Conference of Masonic Research Lodges, May 19th - 21st in Toulouse.  The theme of the conference is "The Ancients' Tradition: Operative origins; Grand Lodge in London; and Spreading the World - America and Europe." The conference is being organized by the Grande Loge de France, but there will be plenty of presenters and attendees from jurisdictions all over the world that your grand lodge recognizes. It's not a tyled gathering, so anyone may attend (and lightening won't smite you into a grease spot if you sit in a conference with Masons you can't sit in lodge with). Notable speakers from the U.S. include Brothers S. Brent Morris and John Hairston, and UCLA's Margaret Jacob.

As of now, there are 23 lectures and panels planned, and the list can be found HERE. There will be translations provided. There will also be an untyled historical reenactment of an Entered Apprentice degree from 1814.

Registration for this conference is admittedly a bit confusing, even though there are multiple translations on the site. You must first sign up on the Booking page and receive an email link. Clicking that takes you to a list of all of the individual sessions, which are, oddly, priced individually (strangely, there's no single option to simply pay a flat conference fee - you have to check the ones you want to attend and pay for each one - only Masons could make things like taking money this hard). If you sign up before the end of this year, there is a 20% discount.

After that conference ends, get up to Paris by Tuesday evening. The 2nd World Conference on Fraternalism, Freemasonry, and History (WCFFH) will be held in Paris on May 26th and 27th, 2017 at the Bibliothèque Nationale - Paris, but there's a pre-conference workshop that starts Wednesday.

Convened by the journal, Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society, in cooperation with the Bibliothèque Nationale, the second World Conference on Fraternalism, Freemasonry, and History: Research in Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society focuses on the study of the lasting influence of the Enlightenment, ritual, secrecy, and civil society vis-à-vis the dynamics of scholarship around the world. The conference explores how civil society, social capital, secrecy, and ritual have been important elements during different episodes of local and world histories, and indeed still are. The WCFFH 2017 is a part of the Policy Studies Organization's support of research into associations, civility, and the role of non governmental organizations in democracy.

For a list of presenters and sessions, CLICK HERE.

The conference is on Friday and Saturday. The reason you need to be in Paris by Tuesday night, though, is because on Wednesday and Thursday there is a workshop at the Museum of Freemasonry about the Chevalier Ramsay and his claims for the origin of Masonry.  Participation is by application. The pre-conference workshop will examine Ramsay's Masonic influence, including the disputed versions of his 1737 oration that had such a large influence on the degrees.  It is also the 300th anniversary of the organization of the English grand lodge.

The conference has a general interest in fraternalism and is not confined to Freemasonry, nor is it under the auspices of any lodge. Rather, it is supported by the National Library of France, the Policy Studies Organization, and the American Public University.

Simultaneous translation French-English, English-French, is offered for all sessions.

No charge is made for registration for the World Conference, but registration is requested to plan for catering, headsets, and other conference needs. For information and registration CLICK HERE, or contact PSO Executive Director, Daniel Gutierrez, at dgutierrezs@ipsonet.org 

To watch videos of presentations from the 2015 Conference, CLICK HERE.

1 comment:

  1. The Paris 2015 conference papers have been handsomely published. Anyone who attended may obtain a free copy by writing the conference executive officer, Daniel Gutierrez. There will be a number of papers, as previously, on women's aspects. The physically challenged are accommodated . A new cafe is being opened by the library adjacent to the auditoriums but as at other PSO meetings, complimentary food will be served all day in the foyer. Presentations, as last year, will be published and distributed to national libraries, as will the videos. in 2018 and ongoing alternative years to 2018 a conference will be held at Whittemore House in Washington cooperating with a large number of fraternal groups. Paris will be 2019 etc.

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