Call for Papers: Power-Relationships in Court Societies. Marriage, Concubinage, Friendship, Kinship, and Patronage in Historical Perspective

call for papers [150-2]International Research Workshop 

5-6 March 2015, German Historical Institute Paris

 Deadline: 25 January 2015

The GHIP research group “Practices of Power and Interpersonal Relationships at Dynastic Centres (1500-1800)” invites applications for participation in its first workshop. All interpersonal relationships in courtly contexts have political implications; each and every one is an aspect of the “micro-physics of power”. The workshop offers an opportunity to analyse the meanings of interpersonal relationships within the societal networks of dynastic centres. We will endeavour to study court societies as a whole and not merely focus on the monarch or regent. Of particular interest are those features of social relationships, which can work to improve the participants’ position within the power structure of the court, e.g. through the provision of better access to material goods or decision-making processes. Which methodologies are useful to analyse practices of power and interpersonal relationships? When and why do these dynamics cause anxiety and resistance? What is the importance of the different types of social relationships for early modern state-building processes?

All graduate students currently working on related thesis topics are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in comparative and transcultural approaches, not only where they are concerned with Western European court societies, but also where they include dynastic centres outside of Europe. Participants will be asked to prepare a presentation of their work of 30 minutes in length. The specific contents of the paper are left to the discretion of the presenters, and there is, for example, the possibility of focusing on a particular chapter or section of the dissertation in order to demonstrate the practical application of a specific methodology or approach. Work-in-progress is welcome, and all presentations will be followed by an encouraging discussion.

To facilitate this, all participants will be asked to prepare a short, constructive critique of a peer’s paper, previous to attendance of the workshop. The event will be launched on 5 March 2015 with a lecture by Prof. Dr. Jeroen Duindam.

Travel costs for participants will be covered and accommodation can be provided. To apply please send a short cover message (including details of language skills), an abstract of the planned presentation of no more than 250 words, as well as a Curriculum Vitae to Pascal Firges ( For any enquiries please contact Pascal Firges or Regine Maritz (

For any enquiries please contact Pascal Firges ( or Regine Maritz (

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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