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CONF Diplomatic Fabrics: Embassy and Agency in Early Modern Europe, Nov 2012
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11/8/2012 to 11/10/2012
When: 11/8/2012
Where: Université Toulouse 2 Le Mirail, Maison de la Recherche (Research Centre), Room D29 “Salle des Actes
Contact: Nathalie Rivere de Carles
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Project description

This conference aims to unveil and to theorise the marginal shapes diplomacy assumed before its formal definition in the 18th century. Emissaries, heralds, ambassadors, mediators are not exclusively part of the political landscape of the Early Modern Era. However, this era is distinctive as it marks the first step towards a thorough rationalizing of diplomatic practice through the systematizing of a particular form of inter-state relations: cultural diplomacy.

The exchange of artistic goods, precious cloths, gems, texts between monarchs through the skilled intermediary of multiple sorts of ambassadors might not be a novelty, but the early modern era confirms the role of artists and artistic productions as political actors and political currency. Moreover the systematic use of art in diplomatic exchanges and negotiations is the empirical root of a new position regarding art and its production that was theorized by Francis Bacon in his New Atlantis. Artistic media such as music, writing, painting, sculpture and architecture are means to promote and to disseminate both ideas and policies from one country to another. Hence, to follow the circulation of works of art, of artists and of art dealers and other intermediaries, is a means to map the political and economic networks of influence in Early Modern Europe.

The conference welcomes proposals which would help to map the actors of cultural diplomacy, the material means of exerting diplomatic activities and the sometimes unexpected locations chosen for diplomatic trade.

Scientific Committee

  • - Pr Michael Barry (Princeton University)
  • - Pr Pierre Civil (Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle)
  • - Pr Timothy Hampton (Berkeley University)
  • - Dr Farah Karim-Cooper (King’s College London-Globe Theatre)
  • - Pr Ros King (Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture, Southampton University)
  • - Pr Jean-Christophe Mayer (Institut de Recherche sur la Renaissance, l’âge Classique et les Lumières (UMR 5186)-CNRS)
  • - Pr Jean-Luc Nardone (Université de Toulouse Le Mirail-Il Laboratorio (EA4590))
  • - Dr Nathalie Rivere de Carles (Université de Toulouse Le Mirail -CAS (EA 801))


  • Pr Jean-Luc Nardone &Dr Nathalie Rivere de Carles
  • Research Centre: Institut de Recherche Pluridisciplinaire en Arts, Lettres et Langues (IRPALL)
  • Associated Research Centers and Institutions :Laboratoire Cultures Anglo-Saxonnes (EA 801) ; Il Laboratorio (EA 4590); Département des Etudes du Monde Anglophone ; Département d’Italien, UFR LLCE.

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