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22-24 mars 2012, Washington DC : Call for papers ’Palatium. Court residences as places of Exchange in Early Modern Europe’ (RSA Conference)

PALATIUM. Court Residences as Places of Exchange in Early Modern Europe.
The world of the courts 1400-1700
constituted a network of truly European scale and international character. While knowledge of the convoluted dynastic relationships between the different courts is a basic requirement for any historian active in the field, the architecture of the court – seen here both as a means of expression and representation, and as a tool for communication with the other actors within the court society, subjects and outsiders – is only rarely studied in its “connectivity”.
This session will focus specifically on the international relationships which give meaning to the architecture of the palace (or court residence in the narrower sense of that term). The “palace” is seen here as a place for exchange where human interaction is regulated and codified by a set of rules, known as the “ceremonial”. Its patterns are perceived by its actors in a number of ways, expressed in various written and visual sources, the decoding of which generates another set of problems. The “ceremonial” influences the material form of the “palace”, and conversely, the “palace” can serve as a barometer for the major evolutionary steps of the court ceremonial, and thus of the court society, its structure and composition in general. The interaction between the ceremonial (intangible, but known through a set of tangible testimonials of different types, written and visual) and palace architecture (tangible) is one of the key questions this session aims to address.
Secondly, the palace’s space and form, in short, its architecture, carry multiple connotations. They represent power, lineage, tradition vs. innovation to the informed observer ; the decoding of this system of signs necessitates not only input of the historian of architecture and of art, but also of various other disciplines focused on other fields, such as archaeology, politics, literature, theatre and music.

Papers may address any of the above questions, but precedence will be given to research in a multi- or trans-disciplinary perspective.

Please send an 150-word abstract with one-page c.v. to Prof. Dr. Krista De Jonge (Catholic University of Leuven), PALATIUM Chair, at krista.dejonge chez and to Dr. Pieter Martens (Catholic University of Leuven), PALATIUM Coordinator, at pieter.martens chez, no later than 10 June.

The deadline for submission is 10 June 2011.
For more information on the RSA Annual Meeting see
For more information on the PALATIUM programme see, or contact the programme’s coordinator Dr Pieter Martens (pieter.martens chez