8-10 November 2012

Université Toulouse 2 Le Mirail, Maison de la Recherche (Research Centre), Room D29 “Salle des Actes”.

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.


Thursday 8th November (Research Center (Maison de la Recherche: MDR), salle D29)

13h45 Opening Speech: Michel Lehman (director of the IRPALL Institute)

Early Modern Diplomatic Writings

Chair: N. Rivere de Carles

14H-15h00 Timothy Hampton (Berkeley) : “Les traités de paix dans la culture renaissante”.

15h00 Jane Newman (UC Irvine) “Mediating Amicably? The Birth of the Trauerspiel out of the Letter of Westphalia (Andreas Gryphius, Catherina von Georgien, oder Bewehrete Beständigkeit, 1645-1655)

15h30-15h45 Coffee break

15h45 Jo Craigwood (Cambridge) “Political Writing, Literary Geographies and the English Embassy in Paris”

16h15 Diego Pirillo (Berkeley) “Relationship between diplomatic exchanges and literary representation in Sidney and Alberico Gentili”

18h00 Opening reception & concert

Friday 9th November (Salles des Actes, D29, Research Center)

Eastern Relations

Chair: Timothy Hampton

9H-10h Michael Barry (Princeton) De Legatione Babylonica

10h-10h15 Coffee break

10h15 Barbara Fuchs (UCLA) ‘Captives and Renegades as Intermediaries’

10h45 Ladan Niayesh (Paris 7 Diderot) Costume as Diplomatic Space : The Anglo-Persian-Catholic Case of Sir Robert Sherley

11h15 Roberta Anderson (Bath Spa University) ‘We have no great opinion of his wisdom, for coming with a turban on his head’: Ambassadors from the Orient to the Court of St James, 1603 – 1649

12h00-14h00 Lunch

Diplomatic representations: between reality and fiction

Chair: Michel Feuillet

14h00 Christine Duvauchelle (Musée National de la Renaissance) “François 1er et Soliman le Magnifique. Les Voies de la Diplomatie à la Renaissance”.

14h 30 Gemma Watson (Southampton) “Diplomacy in action: Roger Machado and the English embassies to Spain, Portugal and Brittany, 1488-1490)”

15h-15h15 Coffee break

Chair: Jean-Luc Nardone

15h15 Nathalie Rivere de Carles (UTM) : “The space of Proteus: stage(d) diplomacy in Early Modern England”.

15h45 Valeria Cimmieri (UTM) “Le pouvoir performatif de la parole diplomatique dans les tragédies italiennes inspirées des guerres contre les Turcs”.

16h30-17h30 Dominique Goy-Blanquet (Picardie-Société Française Shakespeare): « Ces petits livres en françois de Messieurs les Hotmans » : familles et généalogies diplomatiques

20h Conference Banquet

Saturday 10th November

Diplomacy, visual arts and material language

Chair: Michael Barry

9h-10h Michel Feuillet (Lyon 3) « Chancellerie et diplomatie sous le pinceau de Pinturicchio : l’irrésistible ascension politique d’Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini ».

10h-10h15 Break

10h15 Sophie Salviati (UTM) « L’impossible résurrection de la croisade : Deux exemples de présents diplomatiques orientaux à Florence entre 1461 et 1487 ».

10h45 Catherine Fletcher (Sheffield) “The language of liberality: towards a typology of diplomatic gifts in Renaissance Rome”

11h15 Jean-Luc Nardone (UTM) “Des présents inutiles. Sur l’édition lyonnaise du catalogue des dons diplomatiques entre Espagne et Angleterre à l’occasion du mariage (raté) du Prince de Galles et de l’Infante d’Espagne”.

12h00 Lunch

14h30 Closing Speech & Private visit of the Musée des Augustins commented by Charlotte Riou (Museum Curator).