Call for Papers | Representing the Habsburg-Lorraine Dynasty

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on July 8, 2014

From H-ArtHist (which includes the CFP in German). . .

Representing the Habsburg-Lorraine Dynasty in Musical,
Visual Media, and Architecture, c. 1618–1918

Vienna, 8–10 June 2015

Proposals due by by 31 October 2014

This international conference will take place in Vienna from the 8th to the 10th of June 2015. It will be devoted to the new interdisciplinary research program ‘Representing Habsburg’—one of the main current research fields of the Institute for History of Art and Musicology (IKM) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences focusing on the history of fine arts and music in Austria and Central Europe in their general European context. We invite submissions of papers from all art-related disciplines (history of art, musicology, history, theatre history, cultural studies etc.) to the five panels described below.

Representing the Habsburg-Lorraine Dynasty
The IKM intends to build its new research priority by subjecting the visual and musical culture of the Central European Habsburgs to completely new and extensive scrutiny. In particular, it plans to cast new light on the paradigm of a specifically ‘Habsburg’ representation that research has all but disregarded until now. Hence it is important to judge, on a case by case basis, how representation functioned in the complex relationship between the addresser and the addressee, the sender and the receiver, and which decision-makers favoured which kinds of communication networks. The investigations should also include the estates and social groups (the nobility, the clergy, the guilds and the municipalities) which functioned as the principal addressees of Habsburg activities. Consequently, the new research priority will need to ask how social groups reacted to dynastic activities (e.g. entries into the city, the idolisation of rulers, monuments, imperial and municipal halls containing portraits of regents and sculptural decorations), and how specific forms of representation were expressed in this process.

I. Topics and Media of Representation
On the premise that Habsburg representation was a successful mode of balancing (outward) self-presentation and (inward-looking) self-interpretation, it can be asked whether visual arts and music (as well as theatre) shared similar topics (topoi) and narratives. Is a Habsburg ‘code of virtues’ bound to be considered a compulsory basis for all participating court arts, or are there other social practices or political interests responsible for establishing a canon of subjects (e.g. Christian iconography or Classical mythology)? Are disruptions discernible in the process of actualizing panegyrics through musical and artistic production? How do innovations interact with the traditional representation of potentates? In the light of the courtly arts’ preeminent aim of representing the dynasty or the state, may we perceive any media-specific differences?

II. Ceremonial Spaces and the ‘Public’
Since the early modern period, music, visual arts, architecture and panegyric literature have been used for the plurimedial definition and design of the ceremonial space. The strategies used will be examined in more detail in this section: Are there differences in defining ceremonial space for different kind of publics (public space, sacred space, court space)? The question of how the architectural site related to plurimedially generated ceremonial space is of particular importance. Does immovable architecture only set the boundaries of the ceremonial space, or does it—together with music—constitute this area? This refers to court architecture as well as to sacred and urban architecture. The latter could be examined particularly in the context of the ruler’s ‘adventus’.

III. Dynasty, State and Nation
What was the relationship between the ruling Habsburg dynasty and the concepts of state and/or nation from the 18th century until the collapse of the monarchy? Was a primarily dynastic representation superseded by a state representation and—in the course of time—even pushed aside by concepts of national representations? Taking into consideration a wide range of artistic, architectural and musical genres (including for example, in the case of architecture infrastructural buildings and urbanism, and in the case of music ‘popular’ genres like operettas) we are interested in the structural/institutional characteristics of this kind of political representation, in their impact and intricacies and their intended signifying functions. We also welcome contributions that focus on oppositional representations or exemplify ‘regional’ and/or ‘peripheral’ forms within the empire as well as on a global level (e. g. in relation to associated courts overseas).

IV. Church and Representation
The Counter-Reformation led to a ‘propaganda campaign’, also carried out in the fields of the arts, in which the struggle for the ‘true faith’ and the ‘Pietas Austriaca’ were declared to be the causa prima of the dynasty, also by means of the arts. A crucial issue is the importance of representing religion in general and the Pietas Austriaca in particular at the intersection of court, city and church. How did the Habsburgs utilize the cult for their personal representation? And in contrast, how did religious communities use the dynasty (and even their close relationship with the dynasty) for their own purposes? To what extent was the ‘Pietas Austriaca’ politically deployed as a mode of symbolic communication, and which topoi were used by the (court) arts? Did music and art occupy a specific position in religious rituals such as pilgrimages, processions or services at Stations of the Cross (Stationsgottesdienste), which served to represent the ruler?

V. Decision Makers
If we understand dynastic representation not as a centrally determined top-down strategy but rather as the result of a complex intertwining of particular action and reaction processes, the following questions have to be posed (concerning the monarch’s advisors and decision makers from the institutions involved): What groups (imperial/royal family, court institutions, antiquarians and so on) participated in decisions and why? Is it possible to read their intentions out of historic sources? Are there similarities or differences with strategies of other dynasties?  Beyond that, case studies of non-courtly Habsburg representation can be of interest. Analyses of such works should illuminate the circumstances of dynastic representation in the Habsburg monarchy.

Conference language: German and English
Lectures: 20 minutes
Abstracts: max. 2000 characters, CV (max. 500 characters)

Univ.-Doz. Dr. Werner Telesko
Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften / Austrian Academy of Sciences
Institut für kunst- und musikhistorische Forschungen (IKM), Direktor /
Institute for History of Art and Musicology (IKM), Director
Dr. Ignaz Seipel-Platz 2
A-1010 Wien