Call for Papers: Reformation London

Submission deadline: 30th June 2017

Symposium Date: 6th December 2017

Senate House Library is calling for papers on research around the Reformation and its effect on culture, communication, society and new world order, through the spectrum of London and the wider British Isles, for presentation at a 1 day symposium taking place early December 2017. This symposium will close the events programme for the exhibition Reformation: Shattered World, New Beginnings, held at Senate House Library from 26th June – 15th December 2017.

2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the publication of Martin Luther’s theses, documents which eventually sparked a new religious movement that was to shatter the unity of the Catholic Church in Europe. In England, the impetus for Reformation came when King Henry VIII overthrew the authority of Rome and established himself as the Head of the Church of England with the Act of Supremacy in 1534, the result of his struggle to obtain a divorce from Catherine of Aragon so he could marry Anne Boleyn.

The consequences of taking England outside the family of Catholic states were profound, and had a major impact on London throughout the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, as it grew into a global city. Focusing on London through the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, we welcome papers that trace the impact of the Reformation on culture and society; the way its communications industry drove change; and the consequences of the emergence of a new world order through this time period.

We invite proposals for 20 minute papers on topics, which may include, but are not limited to topics under the four themes of the exhibition, as outlined below.


  • Changes devotion, religious practices, tension, divide and persecution
  • Social upheaval and change
  • Iconoclasm
  • Migrant and refugee communities and their impact on London’s demographics
  • Transformation of urban layout and architecture


  • Impact on culture in London/England
  • The changes wrought on the arts including, theatre, music, literature and art.
  • Developments and rise in use of vernacular and English in print, impact on literacy.
  • Cultural impact of religious changes.


  • Development and rise of print and printing technology.
  • Propaganda, pamphlets and satire
  • Sermons, public preaching and public religious debate
  • Contemporary parallels and explorations with any of the above.

New World Order

  • Impact on trade, politics, economic relationships, age of exploration
  • Development of London’s place within the new world order
  • Impact of religious changes in Ireland and Scotland.
  • Spanish Armada, naval warfare and politics spilling into oceanic battle grounds.

This symposium will be part of the Reformation: Shattered World, New Beginnings exhibition at Senate House Library. The exhibition will open June 2017. More information about the season will be available on our website soon.

Event details

  • 30 June 2017 17:00
  • Call For Papers Only
  • Senate House Library Event