25th-26th April, 2018, Oxford
Weddings were a key ceremonial, sacramental and political moment in the life of late medieval and early modern royalty – they shaped princely alliances and the royal succession, brought foreign guests and retainers to royal courts, and involved large-scale ecclesiastical and secular display. As such, royal weddings were occasions for varied and intense cultural production. Humanists composed neo-Latin descriptions of royal weddings, orations and poems in the classical genre of the epithalamium (wedding hymn). Printers illustrated and disseminated these texts. Goldsmiths were commissioned to make special wedding gifts, and artists and writers to produce tableaux vivants and other erudite entertainments. All these forms of cultural production for royal weddings were replete with highly political messages/claims about the institution of monarchy and its ruling families. Certain Renaissance royal weddings have also enjoyed a long afterlife, re-imagined or re-enacted centuries later as part of local or national memory, such as Bavaria’s famous Landshuter-Hochzeit – they thus continue to trigger cultural production in the modern world.
The conference ‘Renaissance Royal Weddings & Cultural Production’ seeks to reconsider cultural output for/about royal weddings which took place between c.1400 and c. 1600, as an important source for contemporary thought about monarchy and ruling families/dynasties. It will study the royal wedding as a nexus of ideas, texts, objects and performances about the Crown. It will ask how the Renaissance itself affected the culture of royal weddings, with its classicising, Italianate focus. The conference welcomes papers from scholars working in Renaissance and neo-Latin literature, art history, court studies, intellectual and political history. Papers on cultural production for royal weddings outside Latin Europe are also warmly welcomed.
This one and a half day conference is organised in connection with an exhibition at the Bodleian Library to mark the 500th anniversary of the wedding of King Sigismund I Jagiellon of Poland and Bona Sforza in Kraków (April 1518). Key artefacts associated with this royal couple are found in Oxford collections. The 1518 wedding was a major cultural and dynastic moment in Renaissance Central Europe, and still endures in Polish collective memory. The conference and exhibition are organised under the auspices of the European Research Council funded project Jagiellonians: Dynasty, Memory & Identity led by Dr Natalia Nowakowska.
Please submit 200-500 word abstracts of paper proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1st October, 2017. The Jagiellonians Project is able to cover reasonable travel and accommodation costs for all participants presenting a paper