CFP: Renaissance Society of America, Washington, D.C., 22-24 March 2012
Shadow Princes: Habsburg Favourites in Context
Historiography on the Habsburg realm has traditionally focused on the courts of Madrid and Vienna. In recent years however, scholars have come to acknowledge that Habsburg politics originated within a framework of multiple courts that were spread out across Europe, extending from Prague to Lisbon and from Naples to Brussels. During a recent conference on "A Constellation of Courts: the Households of Habsburg Europe” (Brussels 2006), it was argued that this multitude of Habsburg courts shared a common corporate culture, characterized by – among other aspects – similar ceremonial and devotional practices, similar mechanics of power, and frequent interaction. Building upon the idea of a Habsburg corporate culture, this session aims to reappraise the role of favourites in the complex and polycentric world that was the Habsburg empire. Until recently, research on Habsburg favouritism tended to focus on such all-powerful privados as the Duke of Lerma and the Count-Duke of Olivares. However, favourites emerged at almost every Habsburg court in the 16th and 17th centuries, establishing themselves as powerful political players, monopolizing access to the ruler, and gaining control of government patronage. The proposed session will study these men and women explicitly from a dynastic perspective by looking at the ways in which they served the Habsburg dynasty and shaped its corporate culture, and by pointing out differences and similarities.
We welcome all contributions relating to Habsburg favourites and their activities. Please e-mail a 150 word abstract of your paper, contact information, and affiliation to both organizers by May 20, 2011: Dries Raeymaekers, University of Antwerp (Dries.Raeymaekers@ua.ac.be), and Sebastiaan Derks, Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands (Sebastiaan.Derks@inghist.nl).
Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands
Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 5, The Hague
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