Grand, extravagant, magnificent, scandalous, corrupt, political, personal, fractious; these are terms often used to describe the medieval and early modern courts of Europe. Moreover, this dynamic location within the social world was central to the legitimacy and authority of the monarch or princely power, acting thereby as a machinery that shaped European politics and culture. Architecture, art, fashion, patronage and cultural exchanges relied upon and were influenced by the visual spectacle of European courts. Researchers have convincingly and innovatively emphasised the public nature of courtly events, procedures, and ceremonies. Nevertheless, court life also involved certain zones of privacy. Indeed, what was recognized as private at European courts? How were such privacies obtained or constructed within the court? How did practices of privacy impact political deliberations at court? How was privacy put on public display?
These and similar questions urge us to reassesses the public nature of the early modern European court and to reconsider our present-day understandings of privacy. Indeed, the emergence of court studies as a scientific area of investigation relied heavily upon sociological modes of explanation, political history, and cultural studies of, e.g., performance and ritualization. Can issues of courtly privacy be fitted into our existing models? Or do we have to reconsider models and their representations of court life, when we take zones of privacy into account? Such a reassessment will fertilize the grounds for a much broader discussion of the past and the future of court studies.
The conference provides researchers of court studies the opportunity to examine or reassess the role of privacy within European courts and court studies. We thus invite contributions that examine any topic related to the public/private-divide within European court culture (1400-1800). Furthermore, we also welcome contributions that engage with discussions surrounding the methodology of court studies and the history of this line of research: contributions dealing specifically with privacy as catalyst for rethinking court studies will be prioritized.
Organizers : Dustin Michael Neighbors and Lars Cyril Nørgaard Postdoctoral Researchers at the Centre for Privacy Studies
Dates de la conférence : 10-11 décembre 2020
Date limite de l’appel : 1 avril 2020