Professor Susan Broomhall (University of Western Australia) is leading a team examining the role of gender in Europe’s 16th century conflict. In particular, the Australian Research Council Discovery Grant-funded project will provide ‘a critical re-evaluation of the Italian Wars as a European cultural movement, integrating the insight of feminism and gender studies with the theories and sources that have underpinned them.’ For further details visit the project website.

Dr John Gagné recently organised a workshop at the University of Sydney on ‘Agents in Times of War: Italy, 1500-1530’ at which two of the project members presented:

12:00-4:00pm, Friday 12 April 2019

Italy rattled with war in the early sixteenth century. An array of European disputants laid conflicting claims upon the peninsula; decades of violence followed (a period known as the Italian Wars, 1494-1559). This interdisciplinary workshop assembles specialists in High Renaissance Italy so as to spotlight individuals whose agency provides new perspectives on the conflicts, whether as managers, war- or peace-makers, diplomats, cultural agents, or artists. Each participant will introduce an “agent” as a way of articulating a critique of our current state of knowledge and drawing new histories from the shadows. We are particularly interested to reflect on unfamiliar agents’ contributions to the socio-cultural infrastructures of war-making. The workshop will feature short presentations and longer discussions of new or underused sources related to the early Italian Wars.


Workshop Participants & Timings

  • 12-1 pm
    Stephen Bowd, University of Edinburgh
    “Gender, War, Household, and the State: Women as Military Managers in the Italian Renaissance”
  • 1-2 pm
    John Gagné, University of Sydney
    “Galeazzo Sanseverino & Milanese Style as War Booty in Renaissance France”
  • 2-3 pm
    Carolyn James, Monash University
    “Divided loyalties: Clara Gonzaga as double agent and secret go-between in Franco-Italian diplomacy in the first decade of the Italian Wars”
  • 3-4 pm
    Lisa Mansfield, University of Adelaide
    “Rethinking Urs Graf’s Representations of Warriors, Wives, and Whores in the Italian Wars”

Supported by the Department of History, the Medieval and Early Modern Centre, and the International Program Development Fund.

Image: Urs Graf, Schlachtfeld (Battlefield), 1521. Kunstmuseum Basel, Kupferstichkabinett, Amerbach-Kabinett, Inv. U.X.91.

Published by Stephen Bowd

I am a Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Edinburgh, and a Leverhulme Research Fellow (2016/17).

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