The Society organises regular conferences on major topics in court studies and on particular aspects of court culture. Often held at locations of historical interest, the Society’s conferences combine papers from scholars, writers and research students, and always present ground-breaking research.

Upcoming Conference

Courts and Viceroys: Viceregal Courts in Comparative Perspectives

This international conference, co-organized by professors Alejandra B. Osorio (Wellesley College) and Malcolm Smuts (University of Massachusetts-Boston) explores the role of viceroys and viceregal courts in the European, American and Asian empires of Britain, Spain, Portugal and Denmark-Norway from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century.

Viceregal courts allowed monarchies to establish and also maintain authority in the (near and distant) kingdoms and provinces of their empires. While viceregal courts bore close resemblance to the royal courts they represented, they were also shaped by complex local dynamics that rendered them distinct from one another. The conference will also address, therefore, central aspects of legitimacy and sovereignty (and of courtly culture) that arose in those most distant possessions governed by officials other than viceroys. Attention will be given to visual and representational culture as well as politics and imperial structures, with the goal of exploring how viceregal systems managed to extend imperial power and authority across vast geographic distances, and over peoples with very different cultures from imperial centers of power.

The conference includes papers on Goa, Ireland, India, Lima, Manila, Mexico, Naples, and Norway.

We should like to acknowledge the generous support of New York University in London in making this event possible.

Monday 15 June 15

Morning sessions:

10.00-10:30 Introductions and welcome by organizers

Political Cultures and Strategies of Empire

“Political providentialism in 16th century Estado da Índia Afonso de Albuquerque, João de Castro and Luís de Camões”— Ângela Barreto Xavier, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon

11:15-11:30 Tea break

“Viceregal rule, prerogative rule: reassessing the chief governors of Tudor Ireland”—David Edwards, University College Cork

“Where there is no viceroy, the governor is king: Courtly culture in Viceregal Lima, and the governorship in Manila”—Alejandra B. Osorio, Wellesley College

1:00-2:30 Lunch break

Afternoon sessions:

Art and Representations of Viceregal Courts

“The Viceroys of Naples and the Spanish Monarchy’s Image in the Baroque”—Joan Lluís Palos, Universitat de Barcelona, and Diana Carrió-Invernizzi, UNED-Madrid

“Picturing imperial India: Queen Victoria and her vicereines”—Tracy Anderson, University of Sussex

4:00-5:00—Tea and Paper Discussion


Tuesday 16 June

Morning sessions:

Art and Representations of Viceregal Courts (continued)
“Lampooning the Viceroy: caricatures of Lord Curzon in Britain and India”—Ruth Brimacombe, National Portrait Gallery

10:45-11:00—Tea Break

Political Culture and Transformations to Viceregal Rule

“Between Habsburgs and Bourbons: Ceremonial and Festivities in the Viceroyalties of Early Modern Naples (1504-1734)”—Gabriel Guarino, University of Ulster

“Military Administrators for a Soldier King: The Changing Profile, Ceremonial and Entourage of Spanish American Viceroys in the Transition from Habsburg to Bourbon Rule”—Francisco A. Eissa-Barroso, The University of Manchester


“Dancing and dice': the court of the vicereines of Ireland, 1703-1746” — Rachel Wilson, Queen’s University Belfast

“From patriotic desire to colonial stigma: the viceroyalty of Norway, 1814-1891” — Trond Norén Isaksen, Independent Scholar

4:30-5:30—Tea and Plenary and closing remarks

The conference is free to members but places are extremely limited. To register please click here.

Past Conferences

For a list of past conferences organised by the Society for Court Studies, click here.