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Gendering Political Relationships in Genoese Ceremonial Entries

A public lecture by Elizabeth Reid (The University of Western Australia) at The University of Western Australia

Image: Jean Bourdichon, “Louis XII entry” miniature in Jean Marot, Relation, en vers mêlés de prose […], Bibliothèque nationale de France, c.1507, 22v. Wikimedia Commons

Date: Monday 15 July 2019
Time: 6–7pm
Venue: Arts Lecture Room 10 (First Floor), Arts Building, The University of Western Australia
Register: All welcome. 

Gender is a valuable lens for interpreting the hierarchies at play in political performances and entry iconography. Throughout the preparation, enactment, and chronicling of ceremonial entries during the Italian Wars (1494–1559), cities and their entrants utilised gendered performance and allegory to articulate and negotiate their political relationships. The northern coastal republic of Genoa was a pivotal ally, first for Valois, and then for Hapsburg rulers, and in this capacity was the stage for both triumphant entries and entries-in-arms. Viewed collectively, the respective entries of King Louis XII of France, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, and his son Prince Philip of Spain, demonstrate the entered city’s subjection to foreign interpretation as well as its flexibility of self-representation. Political interpreters, be they organisers tasked with staging an entry or poets tasked with shaping its cultural memory, drew upon familiar gendered scenarios to place the city in relation to the entrant. In this talk I will suggest that Genoa’s allegorical identity shifted from that of a dependent mistress, to a ruined woman under the French Valois; and then to a supportive brother, and ‘uncle’ under the Austro-Spanish Habsburgs.

Elizabeth Reid is an Honorary Researcher Fellow in History at The University of Western Australia. In 2018 she was a post-doctoral research assistant with the ARC funded project ‘Gendering the Italian Wars 1494–1559’ for which she conducted of a survey of ceremonial entries to examine how gender mattered for the way entries were staged, experienced and recounted. Prior to this Elizabeth worked as a project officer for the Zest Festival produced by the Centre for the History of Emotions. She has coordinated and taught postgraduate and undergraduate units in history and social science at the universities of Western Australia, Western Sydney, Macquarie, and Open Universities. Her research interests are Renaissance Europe, gender studies, practice theory, material culture, and pedagogy.

This public lecture is organised by the Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group (PMRG) and the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMEMS) at The University of Western Australia and sponsored by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions.