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IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 1722: Conspicuous Consumptions: When More is More

Thursday 7 July 2016, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Royal Studies Network
Organiser:Zita Eva Rohr, Department of History, University of Sydney
Moderator/Chair:Zita Eva Rohr, Department of History, University of Sydney
Paper 1722-aA Feast Fit for a King?: Henry III, Feasts, and the Cult of Kingship
(Language: English)
Paul Webster, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1722-bJoan of Navarre: A Spendthrift and Avaricious Queen?
(Language: English)
Elena Woodacre, Department of History, University of Winchester
Index terms: Gender Studies, Historiography - Medieval, Politics and Diplomacy, Women's Studies

The session explores the crucial role played by 'conspicuous consumption', liberality, and display in the establishment and retention of political legitimacy, power, and influence in medieval Europe. The papers will discuss and propose new political interpretations of, respectively, the place of food and feasting in rulership and display; expenses upon luxury items for daughters at times of severe financial strain; and the use of expenditure and display as a means by which to assert the sometimes precarious status of a foreign-born queen. The session will discuss whether facile appreciations of greediness and avariciousness (and a sovereign's apparent inability or reluctance to live within his or her means) are sustainable when set against archival evidence and the political imperatives of the times in which they lived.