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"'Hermaphrodite Embassy': Gender and French Diplomacy in the Reign of Louis XIV

April 11, 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Manoa Campus, Henke 325 Add to Calendar

This talk presents a small number of early modern French women and one transvestite who represented the French crown as diplomats during Louis XIV’s reign.

These extraordinary figures have received virtually no attention by historians, despite a widely held belief at the time that women should be formally excluded from directly exercising royal authority. Besides narrating the stories of a few of these diplomats, Professor Lauzon will also explore some of the ways in which different approaches to life writing can illuminate or obscure some of the ways in which their gender intersected with ideas and practices of early modern French diplomacy.

Matthew Lauzon is Associate Professor in the History Department at UH Mānoa. He has published in the areas of early modern European history, European intellectual history, and the history of historiography. He is the author of Signs of Light: French and British Theories of Linguistic Communication 1648-1789 (Cornell UP, 2010).

Lauzon is developing two research projects, one that focuses on drama and historical representation in 18th-century Europe and the other, to which today's’ talk is related, focuses on gender and French diplomacy under Louis XIV.

Event Sponsor
Center for Biographical Research, Manoa Campus

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