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Kings  &  Queens  13

​“Gift Giving and Communication Networks”

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The American University of Paris, France

27 - 29 May 2024

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K&Q13 Call For Papers

The Royal Studies Network is delighted to launch a call for papers for our thirteenth annual Kings & Queens conference: Gift-giving and Communication Networks. The 2024 conference is conceived to mark the fifth centenary of the death of Queen Claude de France (1499-1524). It will be hosted at The American University of Paris for the first two days (May 27-28). Then it will move to the Châteaudun castle in the Loire Valley where, on May 29, it will hone in on Claude de France and women in Loire Valley courts. The general theme piggybacks on three former conferences: K&Q#2 (Making Connections: Alliances, Networks, Correspondence & Comparisons), K&Q#5 (Dynastic Loyalties), and K&Q#10 (Royal Patronage: Material Culture, Built Heritage & the Reach of the Crown). 



















Call details: 


Natalie Zemon Davis, in The Gift in Sixteenth-Century France, invokes this line from Marguerite de Navarre’s Miroir de l’Âme Pécheresse as she conceptualizes the contributions of gift economies to early modern state-building. She defines gift exchange as “an essential relational mode” that seeks to ensure solidarity and social cohesion, “from the king’s bounty to the beggar’s alms.” It also seeks to sustain or advance local and international peace. 


Kings and queens, princes and princesses, courtiers, servants and royal subjects belong to a hierarchical network within which gifts consolidate alliances, expressing gratitude or signifying obligation, while they mark major ritual events such as baptisms, marriages and royal entries. Ambassadors move about, participating in pageantry, expediting missives and transporting goods. Conference participants will reflect on how theater, fashion, churches and residences, hospitals, pilgrimage sites, artworks, books, epistles, and charitable actions respond to and shape dynastic politics, loyalties, religion, commerce, diplomacy, culture. When connections break down, “gift-trouble” becomes a subsidiary theme. Gifts can generate social conflict, at times provoking iconoclasm and destruction; unwelcome “gifts” (including epidemics and contagious infections) might also be received. 


Presentations will be accepted in both English and French. In keeping with the spirit of the Royal Studies Network, proposals may deal with courtly gift-giving and communication networks in all times and places. We welcome submissions from professionals, postgraduate researchers, independent and early career scholars. While in-person presentations are preferred, the two days at The American University will be hybrid with online content, allowing for some degree of live streaming or recording of sessions. Please send your proposal to


The deadline for submissions (250 words for an individual proposal, 500 words for a panel) is 31 October 2023. Please specify whether your presentation will be in person or online, and include a title and a short CV. 

You should receive a notification of acceptance no later than 15 December 2023


All queries should be directed to Kathleen Wilson-Chevalier at The American University of Paris via email to

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