Category Archives: kings & queens conference

Kings & Queens 8 – Interview with Cinzia Recca

Cinzia Recca is a lecturer in Modern History at the University of Catania. Her book The Diary of Queen Maria Carolina of Naples, 1781-1785. New Evidence of Queenship at Court has been published in the Queenship&Power series in 2017. She is a well known participant of the Kings & Queens conferences, and other activities of the Royal Studies Network, and also the organiser for this year’s conference in Catania, Sicily. We talked with her about what is coming, and how to prepare for Sicily in June!

 Please make sure to include #KQ8 on social media, and follow the conference on the same hashtag if you cannot be there!

RSJ Blog: Hi Cinzia! Thanks for giving this interview and for welcoming the Royal Studies Network to Sicily for the first time! Could you please first tell us a bit more about the upcoming conference, and who is behind all the organisation?

Cinzia: Hi Cathleen, it is a real pleasure to answer your questions. I still remember my article in the first issue of RSJ, my interview for this blog, and it is very amazing how the blog grew more and more in only five years.

I have to confess that I am very thrilled about the upcoming conference; it was during the Portuguese edition July 2015 that I shyly proposed Catania as a possible venue for a future conference and immediately with enthusiasm the proposal was accepted for the 2019 conference .

So, I had 4 years to think about the organisation of the conference; in fact the first step was thinking about a topic. I had several ones in my mind but at the end resilience was the one that fascinated and intrigued me more than others. Nowadays this word is often used as the capacity to react in a positive way to traumatic events of life and so I imagine that examining it in depth, through a royal studies perspective, could be very interesting. The call for papers was a success and a high number of proposals were very interesting.

Another aspect that has been crucial for the organisation was to create a scientific committee, Marcello Fantoni, Fabian Persson, Zita Rohr and of course Ellie Woodacre kindly accepted my invitation to collaborate, helping me to select papers and structure the programme. I am very thankful for their  help. Then I thought that creating a mini video about Catania and the University could be an attractive  idea to involve people to participate so that during the last day of the seventh edition of Kings &Queens Conference in Winchester Ellie and I officially launched the call for paper showing the video.

From an organisational point of view,  I was aware that alone I could not manage anything.  I needed an organisational machine because I firmly believe in teamwork so that with the precious help of many persons that work at the University of Catania, we created a Conference website to give all the possible information requested and to register, so they simplified my work.

And last but not least, Officine Culturali , which is an Association in partnership with the University of Catania, is managing all the bureaucratic issues and during this last period  a great group of volunteer students is helping me  define the last things.

RSJ Blog: This does sound indeed like a well-oiled organisational machine! Let’s talk a bit more about all the “extras” we come to expect – and enjoy – from the Kings&Queens series? What is planned for Sicily?

Cinzia: This year we have an intense programme with numerous panels from ancient history to the contemporary period, analysing the theme also from a multi-disciplinary point of view.  Scholars of History, Literature, Art, Drama, Philosophy, and even Psychology will present their contributions. The Conference envisages also three plenary sessions with three great historians, Charles Beem, Francesco Benigno and Munro Price will discuss the themes from three different perspectives even if they are correlated.

As far as social activities are concerned, the Conference Venue will be the Palazzo Ingrassia and the Monastery of Benedictines, respectively of The Department of Educational Science and of Humanities. The Monastery is one of the biggest European religious buildings together with the monastery of Mafra in Portugal. The Monastery of Benedictines being a department site is open for visits and guided tours can be organised. So, the Conference offers a guided tour of the Monastery of the Benedictines on the first day. Sometimes, working inside this building I forget the magnificence and magic atmosphere of the past that you can breathe walking inside the Monastery. We will also have a special opportunity to spend time inside the two cloisters, on the occasion of lunches and for the social dinner.

During the last day of the conference, we are proposing a guided tour of Catania so that before the attendees go back home they could have a general idea of the main attractions of the city.

RSJ Blog: We are definitely looking forward to hearing about royal history, but also to enjoy Catania! Can you tell us a bit more about the Italian state of research in Royal Studies in the last few years? And also a bit about the long and complicated history of Sicily under different monarchical rules – just off the top of my head, I can think of Rome, Byzantium, Arabs, Staufer, Normans, Spain, and Italy – did I forget someone?

Cinzia: The Italian interest in Royal studies in the last few years has increased more and more. Ten years ago when I started my research on Maria Carolina, Queen of Naples, the interest for royal studies was already present but specific aspects of the Court/Kingdom were studied such as political, diplomatic fields, the crucial role of nobility, the magnificence of royal sites.  So the interest is gradually augmenting; this also is proved by the fact that during the first editions of King and Queens Conference I was the only Italian to participate while in the last editions the number of Italians increased. Actually, most of the scholars and historians are now expert in Medieval, early  Modern history and  History of Art.

I wish that the Kings & Queens Conference 8 in Catania could pique even more scientific curiosity and interest of royal studies from Italian historians and scholars.

The other question about the History of Sicily cannot be answered shortly. A very good example of the History of Sicily has been recently re-published by Lord John Julius Norwich, Sicily. A short History from Ancient Greeks to Cosa Nostra, Coronet, 2015. Lord Norwich returns to a subject that inspired his first book fifty years ago and he writes a richly nuanced Sicilian political history in a very interesting and attractive way.

More, I firmly agree with Francesco Benigno, who in the introductory chapter of History of Sicily edited with Giuseppe Giarrizzo, states that Sicily is an Isle but not isolated, it has been and it is still a bridge between Europe and Africa, between Western and Eastern. Sicily during the epochs  has been continuously a land of conquest, it was fought over by Phoenicians and Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans, Goths and Byzantines, Arabs and Normans, Germans, Spaniards and French for over a thousand years. All the rulers tried to keep it in their domains, so continuous struggles to conquer and keep the isle played a crucial role in the rise and fall of the world’s most powerful dynasties. And Sicilians belonged to all of them and every time they had to adapt to the new rulers, laws and way of life.  Resistance and resilience were of course two attitudes that the Sicilian population developed along the epochs.

 RSJ Blog: There is still so much to learn for me about Sicilian history! Aside from the conference, could you please also tell us a bit more about Catania and Sicily – there are probably a lot of people adding a few days to do some sightseeing, or just some relaxing at the beach! What should we not miss, which drinks are en vogue at the moment, what do we have to absolutely experience?

Cinzia:  During my course of History of Sicily during the early modern age, I often quote an excerpt of Journey to Italy of J.W.Goethe written in 1817:

Italy without Sicily leaves no image in the spirit. It is in Sicily that is the key to everything “[…]” The purity of the contours, the softness of everything, the soft reciprocity of colours, the harmonious unity of the sky with the sea and the sea to the land .. . those who saw them once, own them for life. 

Usually Sicily  was the last stop of the travellers who went on the Grand Tour since the mid- eighteenth centuy. There are so many attractions to see and visit in Sicily: discovering the precious ancient ruins, and see stunning sights such as in  Siracusa, Agrigento, Taormina, Piazza Armerina, Selinunte Palermo. Noto is amazing for its baroque buildings. Of course, too much to see and  probably a week could be not enough to visit everything.

But, even if the conference has an intensive programme  I should reccomend to plan time to visit Catania. Catania is the second largest Sicilian city and it has a population of around 300.000. Visiting Catania is quite easy, as the old town centre is relativley small.  An ideal starting point would be the main square, Piazza Duomo- Duomo Square and the Cathedral dedicated to Saint’Agatha, the city patron saint. The Cathedral stands with its baroque structure that incorporates some Roman columns taken from the amphitheatre, and where  three Aragonese king are buried: Frederik II, Louis and Frederik III. In the same square it is possible to observe Amenano Fountain and Elephant Palace, and La pescheria (fish Market).

Stesicoro Square with a Roman Amphitheater is also worth visiting as well as the main street of the old town Via Etnea (Etnea Street), La pescheria (Fish Market,) the old fortress of Castello Ursino, built by Frederik II of Hohenstaufen in the 13th century, Via Crociferi Street, the opera house  Teatro Massimo Vincenzo Bellini, dedicated and built to the memory of the famous composer.

For the lovers of the seaside, Catania offers several beaches, Playa with sand,  Scogliera with rocks and San Giovanni Licuti beach with lava sand and rocks.

And of course  I suggest enjoying the typical food and drinks: things such as tasting the Catanese specialities (arancino, cipollina, cartocciata, bolognese, granita …), taking a drink in the Theater quarter near Teatro Massimo Square. And if there is still time available, an excursion to the volcano Etna and the little villages close to the sea, such as Aci Trezza and Aci Castello are worth a visit, too.

RSJ Blog: Don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes! Sounds like you’ll be walking around quite a bit! Cinzia, thank you for doing this interview! Is there anything you’d like to add?

Cinzia: Thank you so much for giving me the possibility to present briefly the upcoming Conference and Catania, I wish all the participants to have a pleasant stay. See you soon!!

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Kings & Queens 7 – Interview with Gabby Storey

Gabby Storey is part of  of the organizing committee for the next Kings & Queens 7 Conference at Winchester, UK in July 2018, and will tell us a bit more about what we can expect from the conference. She is also a PhD researcher at the University of Winchester, working on four queens and how the relationships between mothers and daughters-in-law in the emerging Angevin empire, 1135-1216 affect diplomatic and political power. Her research interests are queenship, gender, and sexuality in Western Europe, with particular emphasis on the Anglo-Norman world. Gabby also works as a layout assistant for the Royal Studies Journal, so there is also that connection…

Please make sure to include #KQ7 on social media, and follow the conference on the same hashtag if you cannot be there!

Cathleen, Kristen & Elena: Hi Gabby! Thanks for giving this interview for the organizing committee! First, the conference is back home again, after being “on tour” the last three years. Could you tell us a bit more how being on tour changed the conference series, and what it means to you all, organizing the conference back in Winchester?

Gabby: Hi! The conference being on tour has really opened it up to the academic community around the world, and has brought such a range of papers and topics to each conference. It’s gone from strength to strength! Bringing it back to Winchester is a lovely homecoming for us as organisers, and gives new delegates the chance to see the country it started in, and what it means to us having it in a historically royal city. It was also important for us to have some extra special events for our delegates, the highlight of which will be the first day at Hampton Court Palace. We’re really looking forward to it!

Cathleen, Kristen & Elena: The organisation of such a conference is always a difficult matter with a lot of coordination, planning, and stressing out over problems going on. Could you tell us a bit more about how you are doing it this year, e.g. who else is in the organisation committee, or how you divided all the work? And especially, this year includes some quite interesting add-ons to the normal sitting in lecture halls and discussing royal studies – could you please elaborate a bit on this?

Gabby: Sure! It has been great this year as there are quite a few of us on the committee to share the load. When we had the initial meeting  to propose the theme of ‘Royal Sexualities’ we were very excited to see what response we would have, and we had over 120 abstracts submitted. The conference committee had a meeting at Hampton Court Palace to organise the first draft programme and plan our day at Hampton Court. Ellie [Woodacre] has been overseeing and directing us all, taking the lead with programming, and working with Gordon [McKelvie] on funding which is why we were able to give so many of our postgraduate students and ECRs bursaries to attend the conference. Katia [Wright] has been overseeing the logistical side of the conference with transport and administration, Sarah [Stockdale] is our promotional guru and Karl [Alvestad] and myself have been organising the play, registration and all the email enquiries! Matthew [Storey] and Edward [Legon] from Historic Royal Palaces have been taking care of all the organisation for Hampton Court, and will be joining us at Winchester for the rest of the conference, which has been a wonderful mixture of heritage and history. We also have a specialist conferences team at Winchester who have organised the catering and accommodation for all our delegates, and they have been an amazing support. Special thanks must go to the University of Winchester and the Society for Renaissance Studies who gave us funding for the bursaries. We’ve combined this all with our other responsibilities but having such a supportive committee has made the process very enjoyable!

One of the new events for this year is the ‘Pitch a Project’ workshop, where we’re inviting all delegates who are interested in finding collaborators for grant funding and/or publications to come together and discuss ideas for future projects. The conference series Kings and Queens has led to several edited volumes and the creation of the Royal Studies Journal so we really want to encourage people to work together on their research. We’re also putting on a staged reading of a fantastic play on the life of Elizabeth by Carole Levin, which will see our very own conference delegates taking part. The big event for us is the day at Hampton Court: we have behind-the-scenes tours, a special heritage roundtable and a keynote from Professor Anthony Musson who is head of research at Historic Royal Palaces.

Cathleen, Kristen & Elena: Hampton Court will be an exciting treat this year! We are really looking forward to this.
Can you tell us a bit more about the state of research in Royal Studies in the last few years, and especially in England? What is your impression about the Royal Studies Network and the conference series as multiplicator for this field of research? Also, how does being a modern monarchy reflect on this field?

Gabby: Research in Royal Studies is still growing in abundance which is fantastic to see. What is really fascinating is the growth in global monarchical studies which our very own Ellie Woodacre has edited a volume on (A Companion to Global Queenship, ARC Humanities) coming out later this year, as well as the collaborative volumes which span a wide geographical breadth. Within England we have a very strong royal studies group of scholars, from the Anglo-Saxons through to the present day, and I think the fact we still have a modern monarchy allows us to retain that connection to the past. We can always think about how things have changed – the recent royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and the birth of Prince Louis are national events which bring all us royal studies enthusiasts together!

The Royal Studies Network is great for bringing scholars together from around the world, be it on a collaborative volume, the RSJ or the conference. It is a wonderfully supportive group of scholars, and the continued publication successes, as well as the panels at Kalamazoo, Leeds and ANZAMEMS show the global outreach of what the Royal Studies Network does. It pulls together a range of researchers, working on any aspect of royal studies to discuss and collaborate and it goes further and further every year. It’s a really exciting group to be a part of!

Cathleen, Kristen & Elena: This global outreach is simply shown by the conferences you named, which are on three different continents! Now we only need to find conference to connect in Asia and Africa (and maybe South America)… So, in the conference next month: what can we expect? What is planned, and what should we absolutely not miss when visiting Winchester – both for people who have been already to Winchester, and for first-timers?

Gabby: You can expect a massively diverse range of papers – this year’s theme was Royal Sexualities and our delegates have really shown us what a wide range of research there is out there on this topic! So look forward to lots of discussions around LGBTQ+ history. We’ve also had some great panels put together by other scholars which gives us full day strands: so there’s something for every royal studies scholar. The day at Hampton Court Palace is really not to be missed – it’s open to delegates and the public, and gives us a sneak peek at lots of hidden histories. The tours that we’ve organised are great! The sessions start in full swing at Winchester on 10 July through to the 12th, and we have a wine reception, the pitch-a-project workshop, the play and a ‘Renaissance Lovers’ roundtable to look forward to. The conference is a mix of scholars from all levels around the world, and the public facing events are an exciting way to stimulate lots of discussion around royal studies.

Winchester has one of the largest cathedrals in Europe which I highly recommend visiting – the nave is beautiful and it has a crypt which can be explored. It is also surrounded by beautiful gardens. We also have the Great Hall, which is all that remains of Winchester Castle, and it contains a replica of King Arthur’s roundtable. Essential viewing for any medieval scholars as the castle dates back to William I!

Cathleen, Kristen & Elena: Just as an addition: when visiting the Cathedral, look for the grave of Jane Austen which is in the nave. I quite remember starting my first paper in Winchester with a famous quote from her, and discovering the day before that she was buried there!
Gabby, thanks for doing this interview! Is there anything you’d like to add?

Gabby: We really hope that everyone who attends enjoys the conference, and do follow us on Twitter for those that can’t attend as we will be live-tweeting throughout under #KQ7. Hopefully it will be the beginnings of several new publication and research projects, and we are planning a special edition of the Royal Studies Journal open to anyone who presents at the conference. A lot of hard work has gone into the conference so it will be a delight to see how it progresses, and we look forward to hearing everyone’s fantastic research next month! Thank you for doing this interview for the Royal Studies blog!

Kings & Queens VI in Madrid: Interview with Rocío Martínez López

Readers with a good memory might remember Rocío Martínez López from our earlier interview on her winning the first Essay Prize of the Royal Studies Journal. She is also one of the main organizers of the next Kings & Queens VI Conference at Madrid in September 2017, and will tell us a bit more about what we can expect from the first Kings& Queens Conference in Spain. Please make sure to include #KQ6 on social media, and follow the conference on the same hashtag if you cannot be there!

RSJ Blog: Hi Rocío! Great to have you here again, Rocío, establishing somewhat of a continuity and hopefully showing our readers the people behind the Royal Studies Journal, the Royal Studies Network, and the conference series Kings & Queens. First, the conference is now “on tour” for the third year in a row (before going back home to Winchester next year, and then again going to Sicily). Could you tell us a bit more about how the conference came to Madrid, Spain?

Rocío: Thanks to you, Cathleen and Kristen. The work you do with the blog and other activities for the Royal Studies Network is truly remarkable. Well, regarding your question, I went to the Kings and Queens series’ congresses that were wonderfully organized in Winchester and Lisbon in the past few years, although, unfortunately, I couldn’t be in Clemson for its last edition. I found myself amazed by the concept of Royal Studies when I went to my first congress in Winchester as well as by the depth of the discussions, the variety of topics and the great expertise showed by the researchers that were present there. I thought that Spain and Spanish scholars have much to offer to this field, as there has been a great development of several lines of research linked to the Royal Studies in the last few years, but that their work were not very well known by the English-speaking experts I met in both congresses and that there should be a way to give their work more exposure in an English-speaking, international context. Likewise, I noticed that the Royal Studied Network wasn’t very well known in Spain, where a great deal of people interested in this kind of studies right now might be interested in joining. I really thought that the contact between the Royal Studies Network and its members, and the flourishing Spanish royal scholars would be enormously helpful for both parts, so to host one of the Kings & Queens congresses in Madrid would be a wonderful way to bring them all together. I talked to Ellie Woodacre about this possibility around three years ago and asked her if she had thought about the possibility of bringing the congress to Madrid sometime in the future, and she showed a great enthusiasm for the idea. At first, I just wanted to bring Kings & Queens to Madrid, and I didn’t think I could have been the chosen one to make this wish come true. I really thought they would choose someone with more experience. But Ellie, who has always showed great support for young career scholars, trusted us with this task and the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), has been always wonderfully supportive with this whole project. So, three years and the support of a lot of wonderful people after, Kings & Queens 6 is just a couple of days away!

RSJ Blog: The organisation of such a conference is always a difficult matter with a lot of coordination, planning, and stressing out over problems going on. Could you tell us a bit more about how you are doing it in Madrid this year, e.g. who else is in the organisation committee, or how you divided all the work?

Rocío: Of course. Organizing the congress of this size is always a challenge. At first, we didn’t expect to host so many people and were working with a number of attendants closer to the ones who went to Winchester and Portugal. But we ended up receiving about 170 paper proposals from all over the world! The real preparation began more than a year and half ago when the project was officially presented in the Department of Early Modern History of the UNED, and they gave us not only their blessing, but their whole support. The institutional support given to us from the UNED was outstanding and we are very grateful for it. The number of people who could collaborate with us was a little small and all had their own research and teaching responsibilities, so the organization was quite a challenge. Also, one of our principal concerns was money. A congress this size is an important investment and we needed to know we would be able to back up financially all our promises. We also wanted to try to get some additional funding to help young historians or early career experts without a fixed post to come to Madrid, as to come to this kind of meetings is also very challenging economically for young historians and a lot of great new researchers haven’t been able to travel to big congresses like this one for economic reasons. We wanted to do our best to help and thanks to the UNED and the work of my co-organizer, Antonio José Rodríguez Hernández, we could obtain a grant which gave us the funds to organize the congress. Through the aforementioned grant, the UNED allowed us to offer 42 grants for young historians from around the world, to be able to organize the congress without having to impose a registration fee and to subsidise the outings. Without the UNED’s support, that would have been impossible to achieve. Once the economic part was settled, the real work began. We drafted the Call for Papers and began to receive proposals almost immediately. They were evaluated by two different experts from our Committee linked to the specific discipline of each proposal. Also, we began to work to organize all kinds of things that were needed for the congress, from the organization of the outings to El Escorial and the Prado Museum to contingencies as the reservation of the rooms for the congress, to the preparation of materials and the crafting of materials (just the bio & abstracts document is several hundreds of pages long). At the same time, we have tried to attend questions and petitions of our attendees to the best of our ability. All of this while we also attended to our other obligations in the university which, especially in certain times of the year, are enormously demanding. As none of us were devoted only to the organization of the congress and everyone had their own obligations to deal with, everyone in the committee took responsibility of the things they could do at the time and we are grateful for the help of lots of people. Besides Antonio José and me, the help of Luis Ribot, José Antonio Vigara Zafra, Ellie Woodacre, Julio Arroyo Vozmediano, Cristina Agüero, Ana Echevarría, Diana Carrió, Jitske Jasperse, Maria de la Cruz Carlos Varona, José María Iñurritegui, Marcela Miranda, Sergio Gutiérrez, Anabel del Prado, José Luis Sancho, Almudena Pérez de Tudela, Antonio Rubio Sánchez and many, many more was invaluable. A lot of people showed us support in concrete matters in all this time and we are very grateful to them, too. I especially want to thank Patrimonio Nacional and Museo del Prado, who offered us all the help we requested to organize the outings. And I apologize if I forgot someone!


El Escorial (top) and Prado (bottom)

RSJ Blog: That does sound like we can expect one of the biggest Kings & Queens Conference to date, and thank you for spending so much time on this, and making sure, we will feel welcome!

Another topic: Can you tell us a bit more about the state of research in Royal Studies in Spain? From the outside, it looks like a very central topic with lots of interesting stuff being done on medieval king- and queenship, and of course on the Habsburg studies. Also, how does being a modern monarchy reflect on this field?

Rocío: That is a very interesting question. As I appointed before, the royal studies are flourishing in Spain. I can safely say that the royal studies in Spain are trending right now. In different Spanish universities and research groups, we find great works focused on different aspects of royal studies. For example, in the Department of Early Modern History of the UNED we have some of the leading experts in the study of seventeenth century Europe, like Luis Ribot, Juan Antonio Sánchez Belén, José María Iñurritegui and Antonio José Rodríguez Hernández, who had made great advances in the knowledge and research of this period in the fields of political, military and diplomatic history. This last aspect, as well as others like the representation of power, royal propaganda and the relationship between nobility, royalty and art is also well represented in our Department of History of Art, with experts like the aforementioned José Antonio Vigara, Diana Carrió and young researcher Cristina Agüero. Some of these topics are also present in our Department of Medieval History, to which the member of our organization Ana Echeverría also belongs. In the University Rey Juan Carlos, there is currently a great and very interesting project focused on Royal Sites and its varied functions, composed by experts like José Eloy Hortal, Félix Labrador Arroyo, Koldo Trápaga and Gijs Verstegeen, who are going to present a panel in the congress and they are also going to present the latest developments of the project they are working on aided by the latest technological advances. Also, the Autonoma University is doing a great work in the field, with experts like Antonio Álvarez-Ossorio Alvariño, who is going to give the closing lecture, and the activities and projects linked to the Instituto Universitario “La Corte en Europa” (IULCE), whose new director, Manuel Rivero Rodríguez, is also going to be with us, as well as other members, like Javier Revilla Canora. In addition, we will have with us experts from the Centro Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) of Spain, like Rubén González Cuerva, who has recently published a book with Brill about court factions in Early Modern Europe’s court which is very promising. And, to connect with your last question, last but not in any way least we have the Complutense University, which is going to be very well represented by several of their leading researchers, like the vice rector David Alonso. From said university, we are going to be able to listen to some remarkable experts in Medieval, History of Art and Early Modern History, but we also count with a very interesting panel focused in Contemporary royal history leaded by Raquel Sánchez. Royal Contemporary History  (meaning their study from Isabel II and Alfonso XII’s reigns onwards) as such weren’t a big line of research in Spain until recent years and its study was relatively limited to royal biographies, law and constitutional history and works of political history that, in most cases, weren’t focused on topics related to royal history and this approach was just a little part of a bigger idea, like the works related to the evolution of the Spanish political and constitutional system from Franco’s dictatorship to democracy, for example. But this is slowly changing and we hope that his congress can be a way to show this change. Other Spanish institutions, like the University of Barcelona, of Zaragoza, of Valencia or of Valladolid, amongst others, are also well represented in this congress. To sum up, we have representative of many of the leading research institutions of Spain and we hope our initial intention, which was to give exposure in an international setting to the leading Spanish research institutions and their researchers and forge a successful relationship between said Spanish researchers and the people linked to the Royal Studies Network, will come true.

RSJ Blog: So, in the conference next week: what can we expect? What is planned, and what should we absolutely not miss when visiting Madrid? Also, could you please tell us a bit how you planned panels and breaks, and what you hope this conference achieves?

Rocío: We have a lot of plans for the congress and we hope for the attendees to enjoy it. We hope to go further than the papers themselves, and for it to be a way for scholars of different parts of the world, who seldom have the opportunity to meet, to exchange points of view, information and projects and maybe for it to be the beginning of a lasting relationship between scholars of different institutions, countries and research interest. I would like to highlight three points that we have worked a lot to bring to reality: firstly, for all the attendees to enjoy the possibility of hear papers of great quality from some of the most important and most interesting researchers  of the whole world, and for it to become a meeting place for hearing of the most innovative trends followed by different countries and universities, interact with researchers of different backgrounds and interests and exchange ideas, information and even plans for future projects and publications. In the second place, we expect for it to be a way to showcase all the possibilities that Spain has to offer in the field of royal studies, both with the presence in the congress of members of the leading Spanish universities and with the presentation of projects, future publications and collaboration that could spark our attendees’ interests. And, in third place, we also intend for it to be a way for young or early career scholars to present their current work in an international setting. Both the Royal Studies Network and the UNED are institutions who are trying very hard to promote young talents and help gifted young scholars to begin and develop their research careers. We hope for this conference to be a way to help them to thrive in their fields of choosing and meet older, more experience scholar who could assist them in the future, at the same time they reward us with new, exciting views, theories and investigations. All of these will be achieved not only through the panels and sessions given, but also with the other activities we planned for the congress, with two exciting guided visits to the great Monastery of San Lorenzo El Real de El Escorial and the Prado Museum and other activities in the congress, like the presentation of the exciting project about royal sites lead by the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos which uses the latest advance of technology to recreate and study the Spanish Royal Sites, and a meeting with the Royal Studies Journal’s leading members that will talk to those who are interested about their international publication and how they can become members of their staff, amongst other activities. All of this and much more will take place in during the congress, under the umbrella and support of the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED).


Impressions of Madrid

RSJ Blog: Thanks for doing this interview! Is there anything you’d like to add?

Rocío: Just that we really hope that all our attendees enjoy the congress and the activities related to it and that we hope it becomes a milestone in the field of royal history. Also, we hope it is the beginning of many projects, publications and collaborations in the future. And, also, to say that all the members of the organization have worked hard and without stop for months to bring this congress to reality, so I hope everybody enjoys it and can forgive any human error we can commit. We are doing our best and we hope we all have a great experience at Kings and Queens 6!

We hope to see you in Madrid – bring sunglasses, comfortable shoes, great ideas, and share with us your experiences under #KQ6!