RSA Berlin 2015: 26-28 March

Session: Transregional networking in the Habsburg Netherlands

Fri, March 27, 3:00 to 4:30pm, Hegelplatz, Dorotheenstrasse 24/3, First Floor, 3.103

Session organizer: Violet Soen (Leuven)

Chair: Samuel Mareel (Ghent)

Respondent: Anne-Laure Van Bruaene (Ghent)

Transregional collaboration behind the printing production of the church province of Cambrai (1559-1659)

Violet Soen, KU Leuven

During the crucial century of civil, religious and territorial war between 1559 and 1659, the church province of Cambrai at the southern border of the Habsburg Low Countries developed into an important printing centre for Catholicism, even if the presses were introduced rather late compared to printing centres such as Antwerp and Lyon. Simultaneously, it hosted Catholic refugees from different regions, such as the British Isles, Ireland, France and eventually the Dutch Republic, which turned the printing production into a multilingual and multicultural enterprise. Hence, Catholic print culture in Cambrai was not only impressive in terms of numbers, but also because of its remarkable variety in social and regional backgrounds of patrons, printers, booksellers, authors, translators and censors. This contribution will identify the configurations in which transregional networks came into being within the context of the local printing press.

A transregional translation center: the church province of Cambrai in the 16h and 17th centuries

Alexander Soetaert, KU Leuven

In the late 16th and early 17th centuries the church province of Cambrai functioned as a transregional translation center. Between 1560 and 1600, for instance, translations covered almost a fourth of all publications printed in the region. In some cases printers in Douai and Arras reprinted translations first issued in Paris or Lyon, but besides this reissues there was also a local translation activity, stimulated by local abbeys and the intellectual climate of the University of Douai. Local clergymen and laypeople prepared French editions of Italian, Spanish and Latin religious literature, making a valuable contribution to the literary South-North exchange that has been singled out by Andrew Pettegree. From the start of the 17th century, the English Catholics that had chosen the region as their refuge, started to issue English translations of the same Southern-European authors. To some extent these latter translations were based on the earlier French editions.

Upholding a mixed identity: Hispano-Flemish elites in public ceremonies (1657-1702)

Sophie Verreyken, KU Leuven

From 1648 onwards the Habsburg Netherlands saw fewer royal festivities, in which a coming and going of governor-generals took the place of the Spanish King in short, austere processions. Entries no longer functioned as mere instruments of propaganda but mainly as formalized rituals, yet historians also acknowledge in this period a renewed Christianisation of public ceremonies in a period of growing autonomy of local governments. My paper will be investigating three royal entries in Brussels during the second half of the seventeenth century, by focussing on the contribution of the local nobility and Hispano-Flemish elites to the preparation and the course of these festivities. Analysing the organisation and commemoration as well as the performance of public royal ceremonies and the display of mixed Hispano-Flemish identities, this paper nuances current research on the construction of proto-national identities in the Southern Netherlands.

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