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Marrying Cultures at the Renaissance Society of America

Marrying Cultures at the Renaissance Society of America

Marrying Cultures at the 2015 Renaissance Society of America meeting in Berlin, 26-28th March 2015

The Marrying Cultures project was represented at the Berlin meeting of the RSA, which attracted a staggering 4,000 scholars to the German capital. A very well attended panel - “Women on the move: Gender, Dynasty and Modes of Cultural Transfer Premodern Europe” - was put together by team member Elise Dermineur and chaired by Jill Bepler. Guilia Calvi of the University of Siena commented on the three papers by Catherine Fletcher (Sheffield), Deanne Williams (Toronto) and Elise Dermineur (Lund). The papers by Catherine Fletcher and Deanne Williams were firmly rooted in the 16th century and addressed questions of cultural assimiliation and adaptation, the first interpreting the evidence from Medici wardrobe accounts to assess the impact of the arrival of a Habsburg bride in Florence, and the second looking at the practices of reading, writing and musical performance in the “French” education of Ann Boleyn and the enduring female networks established in her girlhood. The paper by Elise Dermineur, whose main protagonist Louise Ulrike of Sweden lived two centuries later, used her example to analyse structural elements of cultural transfer by looking at the way in which French goods and knowledge about fashion and taste were transmitted from Paris to Berlin and Stockholm. Gulia Calvia provided a very lucid critique of models of cultural transfer and stressed the need for clear definitions of terminology when using the term in a dynastic context. In another very well attended panel, organised by Michael Wenzel (Wolfenbüttel) and Christine Andersson (Oxford), Marrying Cultures team member Ewa Kociszewska (Oxford) presented a paper which explored the context of the gift sent by Charles IX of France to Ferdinand II of Tyrol in 1570 comprising Cellini’s famous saltcellar and three other precious items commissioned by French kings, which were incorporated into the Kunstkammer at Ambras Castle.

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