Medieval and Early Modern Diplomacy Conference, Leiden

Posted by Kenneth Weisbrode in New Diplomatic History Announcements · Comments ( 0 )

from Steffen Rimner:

Beyond Ambassadors: Missionaries, Consuls and Spies in Premodern Diplomacy
Date 29 September 2016 – 30 September 2016
Location
Johan Huizinga Building
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room Conference Room (2.60)

How should diplomatic historians interpret the role of missionaries, consuls, spies and intelligence agents in international affairs in medieval and early modern times?

Due to the overarching shadow of ‘the state’ as the official representative of all things diplomatic, the study of other actors in international relations than state diplomats has been neglected by traditional Diplomatic History. In the Middle Ages and the early modern period, taken together as premodern times, international relations were no monopoly of the state or the sovereign. Many individuals, groups and administrative units and interest groups maintained contacts independently of states and princes and were actors in a wide field of transnational rather than international character. Missionaries of various Roman Catholic orders or of different Christian denominations were working according to their own policies, independently from princes, or in cooperation with them. Consuls representing commercial interest groups supported the interests of merchants and traders. Spies were infiltrating the courts of Europe to secretly gather information. These groups were oriented nationally but not infrequently also transnationally. They acted increasingly as quasi-officials of sovereigns and states to whom they provided services and by whom their mediating position was sanctioned. An expanding multitude of individuals of various alloy was engaged in collecting political information which they offered to sovereigns and others. They often operated on a temporary basis for one prince or client and then for another and were able to provide many types of information for which they drew on a network of international contacts.

This conference focuses on the question of how and why these people not formally tied to the state or a prince could occupy a position in international relations. This question is all the more urgent as the last few decades historical research – in the context of the so-called new diplomatic history – has shown that state diplomacy in premodern times has not been overpowering and all-determining for Europe’s international relations.

Programme Thursday 29th September 2016

Opening session Welcome and Keynote Speech
14.00: Registration and Welcome
14.15: Opening: Maurits Ebben and Louis Sicking
Chair: Louis Sicking
14.30 Keynote speech: Ambassadors and other actors in medieval and early modern diplomacy (John Watkins, University of Minnesota)

Session 1 Missionaries
15.00: Opening first session
Chair: Jeroen Duindam
Speakers:
15:10: Jacques Paviot (Université de Paris-Est Créteil)
Before Ambassadors: Missionnaries to the Mongol sovereigns (XIIIe siècle)
15.40: Felicia Rosu (Leiden University)
A New Promised Land: Jesuit politics in Transylvania, Muscovy, and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1579-1619
16:10: Christian Windler (University of Bern)
Members of Religious Orders as Political Intermediaries in Safavid Iran
16.40: discussion and conclusions
17.00: drinks
Programme Friday 30th September 2016

Session 2 Consular Networks and Diplomacy: Commercial and State Agents
10.00: Coffee and tea
10.15: Opening second session
Chair: Peter Hoppenbrouwers
Speakers:
10.25: Louis Sicking (Leiden University)
‘Vitten’ and ‘Voogden’: Space and Representation in Late Medieval Scania
10.55: Maurits Ebben (Leiden University)
‘Your High Mightinesses’ Most Humble Servants’ Consuls and Dutch foreign affairs, 1650-1700
11.25: Jörg Ulbert (Université de Bretagne Sud, Lorient)
Why were the French consuls of the Ancien Régime not under the responsibility of Foreign Affairs?
11.55: discussion and conclusions

Session 3 Spies and Intelligence Agents
14.00: Opening third session
Chair: Maurits Ebben
Speakers:
14.10: Bastian Walter-Bogedain (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
Credible men, good friends and chatty women: the importance of espionage during the Burgundian Wars (1468-1477)
14.40: Nadine Akkerman (Leiden University)
Britain she-intelligencers, 1647-1667
15.10: Alain Hugon (Université de Caen)
Where were spies coming from and were they useful?
15.40: discussion and conclusions
16.00: Tea/Coffee
16.30: Concluding remarks (John Watkins, University of Minnesota) and discussion
17.00: Closure and drinks
Speakers

Akkerman, Nadine (Leiden University, NL)
Ebben, Maurits (Leiden University, NL)
Hugon, Alain (Université de Caen, F)
Paviot, Jacques (Université de Paris-Est Créteil, F)
Rosu, Felicia (Leiden University, NL)
Sicking, Louis (Leiden University, NL and VU University Amsterdam, NL)
Ulbert, Jörg (Université de Lorient, F)
Walter-Bogedain, Bastian (Universität Münster, D)
Watkins, John (University of Minnesota, USA)
Windler, Christian (University of Bern, CH)
Chairs

Duindam, Jeroen (Leiden University, NL)
Ebben, Maurits (Leiden University, NL)
Hoppenbrouwers, Peter (Leiden University, NL)
Sicking, Louis (Leiden University, NL and VU University Amsterdam, NL)
Organisation

Dr. M.A. Ebben (Leiden University, NL)
Prof. dr. L.H.J. Sicking (Leiden University, NL and VU University Amsterdam, NL)
Information

Dr. M.A. Ebben (m.a.ebben@hum.leidenuniv.nl)
Registration

Until September 26 2016 via: history@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Attendance

MA (Research) students
Dutch and international colleagues