Cambridge New Habsburg Studies Network – Upcoming seminars

· Austrian Research (general)

The Cambridge New Habsburg Studies Network is delighted to announce two seminars on Material Culture and The Habsburg Army this term. They will both be held at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. All welcome!

Wednesday 18th February 2015, Auditorium, 5-6pm

Harriet Rudolph (Regensburg)

Entangled Objects? The Material Culture of Cross-Cultural Negotiations: Habsburg–Ottoman Diplomacy (1527–1648)

The paper examines the various forms, functions, and semantics of objects in diplomatic interaction between representatives of the Habsburg Empire and the Ottoman Empire. It applies the methods of Material Culture Studies to the fields of diplomacy, foreign policy, and international law. The paper thus aims at a more profound understanding of individual political processes of negotiation between these two empires in peace and war.

Harriet Rudolph is Professor of Early Modern History at Regensburg University. She specializes in European political cultures, the history of diplomacy, and material cultures. Her publications include Eine gelinde Regierungsart. Peinliche Strafjustiz im geistlichen Territorium: Das Hochstift Osnabrück, 1716–1803 (2001); and Das Reich als Ereignis: Formen und Funktionen der Herrschaftsinszenierung bei Kaiserauftritten, 1558–1618 (2011).
Wednesday 4th March 2015, Senior Parlour, 5-6pm

Richard Bassett (former The Times correspondent for Central and Eastern Europe)

The Habsburg Army 1619-1918

“To understand the milieu in which he lived it seems necessary to say a few words about that vanished entity, the Austrian army which was a world in itself—it was quite unlike the British army and bore no resemblance whatever to the Prussian army which eventually infused its spirit into the whole German military machine……” (Nora Wydenbruck: Rilke: Man and Poet, London 1950)

In this paper, Richard Bassett, author of a forthcoming history of the Imperial Austrian Army, will explore the eccentricities and structure of an institution whose study offers many insights for historians of Europe and students of literature. The evolving structure of the Army reflected the development of the Habsburg Empire between 1619 and 1918. During that period the institution confronted national and confessional challenges which were resolved more successfully than in other European armies. At the same time it fought with great distinction on the battlefields of Europe, often proving a critical factor in maintaining the balance of power. The demise of the Habsburg Empire in November 1918 brought the end of the k. (u.) k. Army but its international traditions and accomplishments continued to inspire a later generation. Joseph Roth, Alexander Lernet-Holenia and in Hollywood, Erich von Stroheim, all bestowed upon it the literary and cinematographic equivalent of its “Last Rites”.

About the network:

Initiated by a group comprising Dr Janine Maegraith and Susanna Ivanič (History) and Dr Annja Neumann and Professor Joachim Whaley of the Department of German and Dutch, the Cambridge New Habsburg Studies Network aims to promote Habsburg studies in Cambridge by exploring new approaches to the history and cultures of Central and Eastern Europe, including the new methodologies of gender studies and social history. The network offers scholars the opportunity to present their research on any aspect of Central and East Central European history and to discuss current debates within the field. It provides a forum in which Cambridge researchers can exchange ideas both with others in Cambridge and with visiting scholars, especially those from Central and East Central Europe.

For further information please see: 

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