Friday, January 27, 2012

The Royal Body Conference, 2-4 April 2012, Royal Holloway

The idea of the king's two bodies, the body natural and the body
politic, founded on the distinction between the personal and mortal king
and the perpetual and corporate crown, has long been of interest to
scholars of medieval and early modern kingship. In later centuries the
natural body of the monarch remained a contested site, with the life,
health, sexuality, fertility and death of the king or queen continuing
to be an important part of politics. Now royal sex and scandal is the
very stuff that sells newspapers, and royal christenings, weddings and
funerals continue to capture the popular imagination. Indeed the 'royal
touch' of Aids victims or sick children remains a potent image. So what
is the significance of the natural body of the monarch to their subjects
now and the importance of it for the concept, and survival, of monarchy?

This conference will explore the bodies of monarchs across Europe
ranging form the medieval period to the present. By considering how the
monarch's body has been washed, dressed, used, anointed, hidden,
attacked and put on display, it will investigate how ideas of
king/queenship have developed over time.

Conference website:


Post a Comment

<< Home

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from