From June, 23th-27th 2015 the Royal Studies Network met for the first time outside of England – in beautiful Lisbon, Portugal. The conference “Kings & Queens IV: Dynastic Changes and Legitimacy” started and ended at two monasteries, and in between discussed in 11 sessions all things Royal Studies at the university of Lisbon.
The conference organiser Manuela Santos Silva and Ellie Woodacre, organiser of all things Royal Studies Network, at the city hall of Lisbon – just a few steps away from the balcony where the end of the Portuguese monarchy was announced in 1910
A real feature of K&Q4, which was an innovation for the conference series, was the addition of excursions tied to the opening and closing ceremonies. Both excursions were sites linked to Philippa of Lancaster in connection with the 600th anniversary of her death. The opening ceremony was held in the monastery of Odivelas, where Philippa died. The delegates were treated to a tour of the monastery, where King Dinis was buried and an insightful opening keynote from Cesar Olivera Serrano. Following our visit to the monastery, the delegates were treated to a reception and exhibition hosted by the mayor and town of Odivelas. The closing ceremony took place at Batalha, a glorious monastery built near the site of the battle which ensured the success of the Avis dynasty and home to the tomb of Philippa of Lancaster, her husband Joao of Avis and many of their sons. A second, unfinished chapel for royal family, containing the tomb of King Duarte and his wife Leonor of Aragon, was particularly striking. The closing ceremony included talks on Philippa by Maria Helena da Cruz Coelho and Saul António Gomes both from the University of Coimbra. The municipality treated us to a lovely meal-indeed several municipalities provided receptions and meals for the delegates during our stay. Appropriately perhaps, we visited the city hall of Lisbon for a port wine reception, held in the very room where the end of the Portuguese monarchy was announced!
The Keynote on Dynastic Legitimacy was given by Jeroen Duindam (University of Leiden) who just finished his book Dynasties. A Global History of Power, 1300-1800 which will be out in November 2015. Duindam looked at legitimacy of dynasties, including not only the more known European examples but also examples from Africa and Asia.
Afterwards, the conference participants split into three groups for the parallel sessions.
With sessions on elective monarchies as well as hereditary monarchies, Muslim and Christian monarchies, from the European north to the European south, from biblical times up to after the French Revolution, with papers on Russia and China, Portugal and Spain, and spanning European monarchies from ancient times until around 1800, there were interesting things to re-discover, learn anew, discuss, question and comment for all interested in Royal Studies. With a slight focus on Portuguese and Spanish monarchies, as well as on medieval and early modern studies, there were nonetheless quite a lot of paper on (from this perspective) more exotic topics.
See a few impressions from the conferences and discussions which a few of us live-tweeted in this Storify. And let me know, if you wanna join the ever growing pool of twitterstorians and report from your work in the field of Royal Studies!
After the second issue of the Royal Studies Journal came out just before the conference (and if you haven’t seen it yet, go check it out – now!), there were also more news to announce at this meeting: The Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) is sponsoring two prizes: one for the best new book in the field and another to recognize new research from students and early career scholars.
The next “Kings & Queens on tour” is already planned: for the first time outside of Europe, the Kings & Queens V: Dynastic Loyalties will be on April 8-9 2016 at the Clemson University in Greenville, South Carolina (USA). The CFP Kings and Queens 5, 2016 is out now.
So, will we see you at the next Kings & Queens-Conference? What were your impressions from this conference? Let us know in the comments, or send us an email.