In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in Early Modern Festivals.
Early Modern Festivals were ‘multimedia’ spectacles that performed the tensions of the diverse social stratums.Court and city spaces were converted for a few days in a dramatic tableau were everyone was part of the theatre cast, the main role being performed by the ruler, clergy, or foreign dignitaries.

Books of festivals and chronicles played a critical role in the dissemination of political propaganda and of the achievements of participants. Representations of power were highly mediated and were ambiguous reflections of royal authority and rites of passage, since the demands and desires of the ruled, as well as of the ruler, often had to be reflected in words, images and gestures. Ephemeral architecture, theatre, musical performances and delicate objects such as tapestries, paintings, engravings and books were created solely to commemorate these events.


The study of Festivals is therefore challenging:  Musicians and Music and Drama Historians, Historians, Art and Architectural Historians among other disciplines have been interested traditionally in the study of these events. Nonetheless, is it possible to comprehend a multimedia spectacle from the point of view of solely one discipline? Furthermore, could these celebrations be re-created somehow; by e.g. interpreting the meaning of the iconography, analysing the depictions, or re-creating the music played? What are the limitations of these re-creations? The aim of this project is to explore the boundaries of historical research by re-creating or reconstructing Early Modern Festivals with interdisciplinary approach, including scholars from diverse disciplines, i.e. architectural history, music, history, digital reconstruction etc. 

This project is possible with the generosity of the Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh, Architecture and Art History Departments, Prokalo Seminars and the Edinburgh Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Edinburgh, UK.  The Society of Renaissance Studies of Great Britain has generously granted some bursaries for students to attend to the conference, and also the Roberts Fund for students of the Arts, Culture and Environment School at the University of Edinburgh.


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