Yale Hosts Symposium on Rise of Parliamentary Governments in Western Europe

The parliamentary governments that developed in Western Europe and North America during the 17th and 18th centuries are the subject of an international conference at Yale, April 7–9.

The three–day conference will span three locations, and the sessions for each day will be organized according to a different theme: “Parliaments,” the first day; “Peoples,” the second; and “Power,” the third.

The two sessions on April 7 will take place at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Wall and High streets. Presenters will speak on subjects ranging from “The Unrepresentable French” to “The Problem of Representation in Scandinavian Political Life.” Scholars from the UK, Germany, Scotland, Russia and Denmark will offer historical perspective on aspects of parliaments and analogous institutions in their respective countries.

On April 8 those attending the conference will be able to glimpse how parliamentary institutions affected society through images and artwork at the Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington and the Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St. At 5:30 p.m. William Vaughan, professor of the history of art, University of London, will give the keynote address, titled “Art Claims Liberty: Democracy and the Greek Ideal in the Later Enlightenment,” at the Yale Center for British Art Lecture Hall.

The sessions on April 9 are titled “Sovereignty and the Place of Parliament (Cortes Assembly) within the State; The Nature and Social Aspects of its Business; Implications of Power in Location, Architecture and Design.” Paper topics include “Power, Politics and Parliament in 17th–Century Ireland,” “Governing a Colony ‘pas comme les autres’: The Dilemmas of Unplanned Conquest,” “Monarchy, Cities and Cortes in Castile (1590–1664).” In the afternoon, Jesús Escobar, director of the art history program of Fairfield University will speak on “The Places of Government in Hapsburg Madrid: Architecture and Urbanism.” Steven Pincus, who teaches British history at the University of Chicago, will give the summation and conclusion.

The conference is free and open to the public, but prior registration is required. For more information, visit www.library.yale.edu/walpole/parlconf.html.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325