Karin Sennefelt

Att göra skillnad: föremål, rum och praktik i det tidigmoderna Europa

Ansökan om medel till internationell konferens vid Nordiska museet i oktober 2014.
Konferensens abstrakt: Tidigmoderna samhällen var strikt hierarkiska, ständigt upptagna med att skapa ordning och att göra social status och ojämlikhet tydlig. Dessa samhällens upptagenhet vid presentation, ytor, utseende och det visuella visar hur européer vid denna tid sökte göra världen begriplig och igenkännbar i den sociala skalans alla steg, från de praktfulla till de utblottade. Trots att vi vet relativt mycket om konsumtion och ideal hos de högre stånden, liksom om de fattigas tunga lott, vet vi väldigt lite om hur människor utövade social åtskillnad i praktiken och hur utseendehierarkier skapades och uttrycktes i förhållande till varandra.
Ett ökat intresse för materiell och visuell kultur, liksom för historisk geografi och sociala praktiker, antyder att det är dags att gå vidare ifrån tidigare forsknings teoretiska utgångspunkt att materiella och rumsliga uttryck endast var manifestationer av socioekonomiska tillstånd. Konferensen bjuder in till diskussion av hur social hierarki fundamentalt hängde samman med människors interaktion med rummet, föremål och sina medmänniskor i det tidigmoderna Europa. På detta vis söker vi också att närma oss grunderna för åtskillnaden av människor.

Projektet Se ståndssamhället ordnade hösten 2014 en konferens som en del i sin verksamhet. För projektet som helhet se redovisning av projektnr RFP12-0385:1.

Syftet med konferensen var att jämföra metodiskt och empiriskt hur skillnadsskapande fungerade i olika kontexter under tidigmodern tid samt att öka projektets kontaktnät. Några av gästerna hade vi bjudit in i förväg medan vi också ville ta in en del bidrag via call for papers. Call for papers, vari konferensens syfte presenterades, gick ut på nyåret 2014 och löd som följer:
Early modern societies were strictly hierarchical bodies, constantly involved in making order, status and inequality obvious. Their preoccupation with presentation, surfaces, appearances and the visual, show how Europeans of the period attempted to render the world comprehensible and recognizable with all its degrees of social status from the most glorious to the lowly. Although we know relatively much about the consumption and ideals of the higher orders, as well as the travails of the poor, we have little understanding of early modern practices of social difference-making and of how hierarchies of appearance were created and articulated.
A growing scholarly interest in material and visual culture, historical geography and social practices indicates that it is now time to move beyond earlier research's theoretical premise that material and spatial conditions were mere manifestations of socio-economic conditions. The conference invites reflection on how social hierarchy was fundamentally bound up to people's engagement with space, objects and their fellow human beings in early modern Europe. In so doing, it also seeks to address the foundations for differentiation of people.
Questions that follow from this premise include how social order was experienced in everyday life in material, spatial and visual terms, how differences were created and upheld, and how differentiation was performed and made visible. Further, we might investigate how manifestations of social status were to be viewed together as a whole and how the importance of visualising social order shaped social hierarchy itself and interacted with contemporary understandings and conceptualizations of social order. Papers engaged with attempts to disrupt, re-order or challenge hierarchy using material, visual and spatial means are also welcome. Finally, the conference has the further aim to discuss the interconnections between disciplinary fields of material culture, visual culture and historical geography and to explore their methodological implications for studying social hierarchy in past societies.

Vi fick in över 50 förslag på papers av vilka ca en fjärdedel accepterades.
Konferensen ordnades på Nordiska museet, som varit en av projektets samarbetspartners. I samband med konferensen fick deltagarna möjlighet att se utställningar på museet. Programmet såg ut som följer:
Visualising difference: objects, space and practice in early modern Europe
Conference at Nordiska museet, Stockholm, 10-12 October 2014
Friday, 10 October 2014
11-12 Registration
12-13 Lunch
13-13.30 Welcome
13.30-15.30 Session 1: Performance and ceremony
Chair: Mikael Alm, Uppsala University

Ivo Raband, Bern University: Sovereignty and the city: the joyous entry of Ernest of Austria into Brussels and Antwerp as a site of social negotiation

Elaine Tierney, Victoria & Albert Museum: The high life? Temporary viewing platforms and the experience of public celebrations in late seventeenth-century London and Paris

Tali Berner, Tel Aviv University: Children and the synagogue in early modern Ashkenaz
15.30-16 Coffee
16-18 Session 2: Reading the signs
Chair: Johanna Ilmakunnas, Helsinki University

William Kynan-Wilson, Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin: From sultans to slaves: depicting and experiencing hierarchy in early modern Constantinople

Alex Kerner, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: 'Dressing-up the Indians' - nakedness, clothing and the European search for an understanding of the Amerindians: social and political hierarchies in the sixteenth century

Peter Gillgren, Stockholm University: Representing family and gender: portraits and memorials of the Vasa Renaissance
18-20 Drinks reception at Nordiska museet

Saturday October 11, 2014
9-10 Registration and coffee

9-10
10-12 Session 3: Ordering the everyday
Chair: Henrik Ågren, Uppsala University

Riitta Laitinen, Turku University: On the borders of houses - spatial practices and social differentiation in seventeenth-century Turku town court

Lennart Ryman, Uppsala University: New titles - new names. Designations of individuals ca 1500 and ca 1700 in Swedish sources: a comparison

Ruth Mather, Queen Mary University of London: Materialising politics in the English plebeian home, c.1790-1820
12-13 Lunch
13-15 Session 4: Colour and fabric
Chair: Leif Runefelt, Södertörn University

Ulinka Rublack, University of Cambridge: Dress, Subjectivity and Politics in Sixteenth-Century Germany

Eva Andersson, Göteborg University: Showing off - clothing and finery in Swedish 17th century bourgeois probates

Hanna Hodacs, Warwick University: Domestic dyes and fashionable colours in eighteenth-century Sweden
15-15.30 Coffee
15.30-17.30 Session 5: Practicing order
Chair: Mats Hallenberg, Stockholm University

Peter Wessel Hansen, University of Copenhagen: Hidden poverty and the Copenhagen middle-classes c. 1750-1850

Giulia Galastro, University of Cambridge: Fashioning difference: silk, space and sociability in sixteenth-century Genoese sumptuary law

Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin, Royal College of Art/ The Victoria and Albert Museum: 'Discords have arisen and brotherly love decreased': the spatial and material contexts of the guild feast in early modern London
19.00 Conference dinner (by invitation only)


Sunday October 12, 2014
9-10 Coffee
10-12 Session 6: Conflict and upheaval
Chair: Phil Withingon, University of Sheffield

Stefano Condorelli, London School of Economics and Bern University: Visualising equality and gender mixing: disaster and social overturning, the case of the 1693 Sicily earthquake

Giora Sternberg, University of Oxford: The material traces of spatial difference: the duke of Richelieu at Languedoc

Elin Jones, Queen Mary University of London: 'Murmuring & sculcking': space, material culture, and sedition on a British naval ship, 1756-1815'
12-13 Lunch
13-15 Roundtable comments
Leora Auslander, University of Chicago & Margaret Hunt, Uppsala University
15- Closing remarks
15- Coffee

Utöver de som presenterade vid konferensen kom upp till 40 åhörare till de olika sessionerna varav en betydande andel tillhörde museets personal.