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.

Premodern Queenship and Diplomacy in Europe
11-13 September 2014
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury, UK

This conference, organised by Canterbury Christ Church University and Lancaster University in association with the Society for Court Studies, seeks to examine the role that premodern queens played in diplomatic relations throughout Europe. Traditionally, female involvement in diplomacy has focused upon the role of queens consort as pawns within marriage alliances and military treaties, or the foreign policy agendas of queens regnant. However, queens in the medieval and early modern period were central to developing international relations and promoting policies and individuals. These women could act not only independently of male influence, but also in their own personal dynastic interests, placing them sometimes at odds with their marital allegiance. This conference builds upon recent interest in diplomacy and elite women’s involvement in policymaking and politics. It aims to show that diplomacy was not a male-dominated area controlled by the monarch alone. For more information please visit

12th International Conference on Urban History
3-6 September 2014
Lisbon, Portugal

This major international conference will include a session on ‘The Court and Urban Sociability in Europe, c. 1400-1917’. Royal and imperial courts played a central role in urban development in Europe, from the Middle Age to the twentieth century. La cour et la ville, the court and the city, were the focal points of public life in medieval, early modern Europe and modern Europe. However, they were not opposing entities; there was intense and multilevel interaction between them.

Recent research has brought to light the political, cultural, economic and social importance of courts in cities. This session aims to explore the role of courts in urban society and establish a comparative European perspective for the topic. Proposals for papers on the following themes are invited:

1) Court, city and the civilising process: how did the urban and courtly civilising practices shape each other and which were the mechanisms of their interaction?
2) The impact of courtly politeness on the codes of urban sociability and vice versa.
3) Changing public roles: how did individuals play different parts on the courtly stage and in city life?
4) The comparative perspective: how did the interaction between courts and urban institutions develop in the different parts of Europe?
5) The court and the city in the literary imagination and artistic representations.
6) How did the revolutionary periods transform the role of the court in the urban milieu?

Any questions or suggestions should be sent to My Hellsing at Örebro University, Sweden ( and Johanna Ilmakunnas at the University of Helsinki, Finland (

More information about the conference is available at

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