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Ruler Visibility, Modernity, and the Ethnonational Mindset

18-19 May 2017

It is a widely accepted fact that in the aftermath of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, European monarchs were on the defensive. What is less well-known is that they employed a wide range of similar strategies for crafting their public images, engaged directly with the masses of their subjects along lines previously unknown, and in doing so met with, at the very least, considerable success for decades on end. Still less recognized is the comparability of the modernizing effects this new set of cultural policies and ceremonial events had on mass consciousness and the numerous resultant linkages and continuities between imperial and ethnonational mentalities, most of which can be traced to this very day.


Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS), Aarhus University, Buildings 1630-1632, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. See location on a map.


  • Frank Mueller, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, UK
  • Gavin Murray-Miller, Cardiff University, Wales, UK 
  • Endre Sashalmi, University of Pécs, Pecs, Hungary 
  • Robert Mevissen, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA
  • Klara Volaric, Independent researcher 
  • Ashley Dimmig, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, USA 
  • Arlen Wiesenthal, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Canada 
  • Andrei-Dan Sorescu, University College London, UK 
  • Cosmin Minea, University of Birmingham UK 
  • Amal Sachedina, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA 
  • Milinda Banerjee, LMU, Munich, Germany / Presidency University, Kolkata, India 
  • Betto van Waarden, KU Leuven, Belgium 
  • Peter Bugge, Aarhus University, DK
  • Darin Stephanov, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, DK 



Time schedule

Thursday 18 May

08:30-9:00: Registration
09:00-16:00: Talks

Friday 19 May
09:00-14:00: Talks 


The workshop welcomes external participants, but has a limited number of seats available for 10 people on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Call for Papers: CLOSED

This workshop invites scholarly presentations, both single-case and comparative, which address the state of the art in the study of these phenomena in Europe, inclusive of the Russian and the Ottoman Empires. What lines of causality or interconnectedness run between ruler visibility, modernity, and the ethnonational mindset? In what ways and to what degree were monarchs (and their courts, cabinets, etc.) instrumental in shaping imperial public space and forging credible direct vertical ties of subject loyalty, irrespective of language, location, creed or class? What is the relationship between monarchic/dynastic patriotism, conceived as an empire-wide belonging, and particular communal-cum-ethnonational modes of belonging?

These are the questions this workshop will tackle in an open atmosphere conductive to brainstorming and the generation of fresh insights. The aim is to draw up a new research agenda including a re-orientation regarding sources and a re-constitution of methods in late imperial, modernity, and nationalism studies.


Deadline: 1 October 2016.


The workshop is funded by: