Towards a New Political History of the Court, c. 1200-1800

Delineating Practices of Power in Gender, Culture, and Sociability

International Conference, 15–16 November 2018

German Historical Institute Paris
Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris
Institut historique allemand Paris

Image: “Louis XIV, à cheval, devant la grotte de Thétys“, c. 1680, anonymous painter. Source : Wikimedia Commons.

Dynastic centres, or courts, played a pivotal role in the state building processes out of which developed our modern political practices and institutions. Yet, for a long time, the court was regarded primarily as the field of anecdotal ‘petite histoire’ and consequently neglected by scholarly research. In recent years, however, the exploration of the dynastic centre made considerable progress, as historians sought to build on, and go beyond, the venerable sociological models of Norbert Elias. The exploration of symbolic communication, patronage, micro-politics, gender, the body, materiality, and transculturality are only some of the innovative approaches that have been brought to bear on the subject of court history and they have produced remarkable results. We now understand that the court was a multifaceted space for innovation in the arts, and sciences, in religious and political thought, as well as a central hub for the deployment of power relationships. But how do these different aspects interact? And how do these new approaches modify our current understanding of, for instance, state-building narratives? Do they suggest new chronologies, and do we consequently have to rewrite traditional textbook narratives in order to reflect these new impulses? Building on such questions, this conference invites its participants to reflect and discuss on how to conceptualize the political dimension of courtly culture and sociability in the context of a new political historiography of the court.


See here for the detailed program.

Participants and Papers

See here for a list of participants and their abstracts.

Call for Papers

See here for the Call for Papers.

Information about the Venue

Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris
Institut historique allemand
German Historical Institute

Hôtel Duret-de-Chevry
8 rue du Parc-Royal
75003 Paris

OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
dhiparis (October 18, 2018). Towards a New Political History of the Court, c. 1200-1800. The Ties that Bind (GHI Paris). Retrieved July 21, 2024 from

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