Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Diplomats, Agents, Adventurers and Spies, 1500-1700

A Conference at the University of Kent, Canterbury
17th - 19th September 2008

The Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (University of Kent) and
the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (QMUL) are pleased to co-sponsor a
3-day conference to be held at the University of Kent on 17-19th September
2008. Speakers from across the disciplines will consider early modern agency
and the transfer of knowledge between states, agents, travellers and spies
in the period 1500-1700. Whilst recent scholarship in this area has focussed
on early modern interactions and questions of policy, polity and politics,
the negotiations and encounters of intelligencers, diplomats and spies
remain relatively unexplored. Considering the relationship between agents
and information we seek to address some of the following questions: how did
intelligencers retrieve, transmit, and present information? What was the
value of this information and how was it received? How were networks of
influence constructed and maintained?

For further information or to register, please contact Rosanna Cox (R.Cox@kent.ac.uk) or Robyn Adams (r.adams@qmul.ac.uk). Registration forms are available from our website:

Day 1
12.00pm - 12.30pm Registration and coffee

12.30pm - 2pm Session 1
Bibliographical Trails
-Pete Langman, 'Open Secrets in Francis Bacon'
-Jason Powell (St Joseph's University), 'Dialogue, Travel and the Embassy in
More's Utopia'
-Hannah Crawforth (Princeton University), 'A Restitution of Decayed
Intelligence: The Use of Ciphers in Richard Verstegan's Letters'

2pm - 2.30pm Coffee

2.30pm - 4pm Session 2
Spies, Intelligence and Information-gathering
-Samuli Kaislaniemi (University of Helsinki), '"Aduertisements from spayne": Richard Cocks and other English intelligencers on the Spanish border, 1600-1610'
-Paul Dover (Kennesaw State University), 'The papal court as information
exchange in the second half of the fifteenth century'
-Stephen Alford (University of Cambridge), 'Charles Sledd's secret intelligence'

4.00pm Presentation by State Papers Online project 'Diplomats, Spies - the
documents. A presentation of State Papers Online, 1509-1714'
-Julia de Mowbray (Gale/Cengage Learning)
-Stephen Alford (University of

5pm Visit to Canterbury Cathedral (TBC), followed by the conference dinner
at The Goods Shed, Canterbury (6 for 6.30pm)

Day 2
9.15am - 10.45am Session 3
Patronage and Agency
-Peter Redford (University of Sheffield), 'Intercepting the Burley Letters'
-Mark Netzloff (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), 'The Ambassador's Household: Sir Henry Wotton and the Traffic in News and Boys'
-Jo Eastwood (University of Cambridge), 'Diplomats as agents of book exchange'

10.45am - 11.00am Coffee

11.00am - 12.30pm Session 4
Networks of Influence
-Katrien De Guelder & Jean Pierre Van der Motton (University of Ghent), 'An
honest alliance' forged in exile (1657-1663): Charles II, Thomas Killigrew
and Willem Frederik of Nassau-Dietz.
-Robin Eagles (History of Parliament), 'Preparing for Revolution: William of
Orange's English contacts 1685-88'
-Michelle Howell (University of Cambridge), 'The "Queen's Party": Henrietta
Maria, Political Intrigue, and Diplomatic Agents'

12.30pm - 1.30pm Lunch

1.30pm - 3.00pm Session 5
Travel, Navigation and the Transmission of Information -Catherine Fletcher
(Royal Holloway), 'Diplomacy on the road: The post route as political space
in the early sixteenth century'
-Hugh Adlington (University of Birmingham), "The Character of Holland":
Manuscript Circulation of Anti-Dutch Writing in England, 1620-1650'
-Nadine Akkerman (University of Leiden), 'The Postmistress of Brussels:
Alexandrine of Taxis and the Power of Postal Control'

3.00pm - 3.30pm Coffee

3.30pm - 5.00pm Session 6
Protocol and Spectacle
-Mark Hutchings and Berta Cano Echevarria (University of Reading), 'Anglo-Spanish Diplomacy, the First Stuart Masque, and the Road to Peace: A New Document'
-Chloe Houston (University of Reading), 'Diplomatic Gift-Giving in Seventeenth-Century Persia, or, Why Not To Look a Gift-Horse in the Mouth'
-Gerald Maclean (University of Exeter), 'Courting the Porte: Early Anglo-Ottoman Diplomacy'

5.00pm - 5.30pm Coffee

5.30pm - 6.45pm Session 7
Material Culture
-David Humphrey (Royal College of Art, London), 'An extraordinary history
and a murky tale: The Three Brothers Jewel during the reign of King Charles I'
-Maartje Van Gelder (University of Amsterdam), 'Daniel Nijs: merchant, art agent and intelligencer in early modern Venice'
-Peter Barber (British Library, London), Title TBC

7pm Drinks Reception, Eliot Cloister Gardens

Day 3
9.00am - 10.30am Session 8
Secret Networks and Ciphers
-Robyn Adams (CELL, Queen Mary, University of London), 'William Herle and
the Circulation of Intelligence'
-Alan Stewart (Columbia University, CELL), 'Bacon's Ciphers'
-Simone Testa (Royal Holloway, University of London/British Library,
London), 'The Duke of Nevers and his Informers'

10.30am - 10.45am Coffee

10.45am - 11.30am Session 9
Endnote Paper
-William Sherman (University of York), 'Scholar, Statesman, Soldier, Spy:
Renaissance Intelligence and its Legacies'

11.30am - 12.45pm Session 10
Round table discussion


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