6 – 7 december 2018

VIIIth Arenberg Conference for History: Addressing the Public Abroad. Strategies of Cultural and Public Diplomacy in the Early Modern Habsburg World (1550-1750)

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Historians are increasingly aware that early modern diplomacy encompassed far more than formally appointed ambassadors and their official negotiations. Rather, numerous actors engaged in international relations, and they did so in an astonishingly wide array of formal and informal positions. They also had a variety of diverse tools at their disposal for lobbying and achieving their various missions.

This conference aims to examine a field that a number of historians and art historians have analyzed in the last two decades, but which has seldom been explicitly delineated or discussed in a comparative fashion: strategies of cultural and public diplomacy in the early modern Habsburg world (1550-1750).

Therefore, this conference focuses on the different tactics employed by the representatives of foreign nations and groups – both official and unofficial – in influencing public opinion abroad and, in doing so, furthering diplomatic engagements.

Organizing partners:

  • Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts
  • Ghent University, History Department and Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
  • The Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), Institute for Modern and Contemporary Historical Research (INZ)
  • The Austrian Cultural Forum in Brussels

Keynote Speakers

  • Ellen R. Welch (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  • Bernardo José García García (Universidad Complutense de Madrid/Fundaíon Carlos de Amberes)
  • Arno Strohmeyer (University of Salzburg/Austrian Academy of Sciences)

Scientific Committee

  • René Vermeir (Universiteit Gent)
  • Katrin Keller (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna)
  • Werner Thomas (KU Leuven)
  • Violet Soen (KU Leuven)
  • Griet Vermeesch (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
  • Dries Raeymakers (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)
  • Klaas Van Gelder (Universiteit Gent)

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