Carlos Antolín Rejón's picture
Call for Papers
December 31, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Diplomacy and International Relations, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Political History / Studies


Carlos Antolín Rejón (UAM), Blanca de la Válgoma (UNED), Ondřej Stolička (UAM)

Scientific committee: 

Antonio Álvarez-Ossorio Alvariño (UAM-MIAS), Diana Carrió-Invernizzi (UNED), Miles Pattenden (University of Oxford), María José del Río Barredo (UAM)


The role of the diplomats notably increased during the early modern period as well as their importance for the princes and their foreign policy. As the main representatives of their rulers at the foreign court, they must carefully manage their self-presentation. During the last several decades, historiography has broadened the perception of this research field under the influence of sociology and the history of art. The diplomats’ entrances, reception, clothes and gifts were as meaningful and carefully arranged as their written instructions and reports. However, the joint study of diplomacy and material culture is something more recent in the historical scholarship.

As part of this “New” direction in diplomatic history, the object of this international seminar aims to bring together diverse representatives of a new generation of researchers, especially those who are interested in the connection between the courts, diplomacy and material culture as a broad interdisciplinary enterprise. Even though, the main subject consists of diplomacy, our intention is to cross this border of the official diplomats and include the different agents, who in many ways played official or unofficial roles during negotiations. In this meaning “the relations between courts” extends past strict borders of “Diplomacy” giving an opportunity to analyse the role material culture played in transfers and exchanges between the foreigners and the nobility or local elites. 

We encourage predoctoral researchers, especially those who have an interdisciplinary approach, to submit papers of any aspect of material culture in the context of court studies and diplomacy regardless across all places for the period of the seventeenth century with an overlap into the sixteenth and eighteenth century.   

Potential themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Diplomatic material: accoutrements (clothing, jewellery, weapons, carriages, banners), collectable objects and animals, etc.
  • Self representation of the diplomat: food, luxury items and conspicuous consumption
  • The materiality of diplomatic documents and correspondence
  • The architecture and furnishing of negotiation spaces
  • Diplomatic accommodation and their relation to urban environments

Abstracts (maximum 300 words) for papers of 20 minutes should be submitted to the organisers at along with a CV or brief biographical text in English or Spanish by 31th December 2018. Acceptance notifications will be announced by 31 January 2019.

The conference will be held in Madrid on Thursday 28th February and on Friday 1 March 2019. The keynote will be presented by Miles Pattenden from the Oxford University.



Contact Info: 

Carlos Antolín Rejón (UAM), Blanca de la Válgoma (UNED), Ondřej Stolička (UAM)