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The Politics of Cultural Exchange: Anna of Denmark and the Uses of European Identity

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Mapping Anna (The Politics of Cultural Exchange: Anna of Denmark and the Uses of European Identity)

Período documentado: 2017-01-16 hasta 2019-01-15

My project, Mapping Anna, confirms that cultural exchange and transfer through the person of the queen consort is critical to the recognition and validation of women’s political significance in early modern patriarchal societies. This case study examines the distinctive patterns in queen consort Anna of Denmark’s (1574-1619) patronage, who provides a particularly germane example of cross-cultural exchange as the first European queen consort to move to Britain in almost 50 years. Born into the Danish Oldenburg dynasty, in 1589 Anna moved to Scotland with her marriage to James VI (1566-1625), later King of England and Great Britain. Throughout, Anna maintained an important diplomatic relationship with her brother Christian IV of Denmark, and supported major European alliances including Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Florence, Rome, Spain, and Württemberg. Her courts in Scotland and England produced a variety of important expressive media including art, architecture, garden design, music, and theatre.

The project integrated five main research, teaching, and public engagement objectives:
• redefine female agency and enhance scholarly and public awareness of Anna of Denmark’s transcultural significance;
• analyse court spaces as sites of concrete and intangible cultural exchange and understand the symbolic and political value of behaviour and ritual;
• examine notions of national and international culture in pre-modern Europe and restore the importance of northern European influences on Britain at the turn of the seventeenth century;
• utilise new performative models of research to engage the public and promote broader cultural literacy;
• build international scholarly connections and access unpublished documents and primary objects in British and European holdings
"Extensive archival research was carried out at major repositories in the United Kingdom and Europe including: Royal College of Arms; Parliamentary Archives; National Archives; British Library (all London); National Archives (Copenhagen); National Archives (Stockholm); National Library of Scotland; National Archives of Scotland (both Edinburgh). This was supplemented by object-based research of extant artefacts associated with Anna of Denmark at Rosenborg Castle (Copenhagen); Drottningholms Slot; Livrustkammaren (both Stockholm); Frederiksborg Castle (Hillerød); Holyroodhouse; Stirling Castle; National Galleries of Scotland (all Edinburgh); Royal Collection (London). The textual and material findings allowed me to formulate a new history of Anna of Denmark through a transnational European framework resulting in outputs that have helped, and will continue to help, shift our understanding of Baltic influences on the formation of early modern British culture, and the central role played by royal women in the transfer and dissemination of cultural modes, precepts, and traditions.

The main scholarly result is a monograph, ""Anna of Denmark and the Politics of Visual and Material Culture at the Stuart Courts, 1589-1619"", under contract with Manchester University Press and due for publication in December 2019/January 2020. Additional scholarly outputs include the completion of five peer-reviewed journals (in Costume, The British Art Journal; Northern Studies, Women’s History Review; The Court Historian) published between March 2017 and July 2019, and the delivery of nine conference and seminar papers in Australia (Melbourne), England (Cambridge; London various; Winchester), New Zealand (Auckland); Scotland (Edinburgh; St Andrews), and the United States (New Orleans), during the course of the Fellowship.

Outputs beyond traditional academic avenues include publishing on Anna of Denmark’s political role with the online news and opinion platform, ""The Conversation"", and current, ongoing research for the production of a piece on Anna of Denmark for the BBC Radio Scotland series “Time Travel”, and an essay in the catalogue to accompany the 2020 public exhibition on court culture under King James VI and I (1566-1625) at the National Galleries of Scotland (Edinburgh)."
This project has contributed to a redefinition of early modern female agency at the Stuart courts while enhancing scholarly and public awareness of Anna of Denmark’s transcultural significance. By examining notions of national and international culture in pre-modern Europe, it has helped to restore the importance of northern European influences on Britain at the turn of the seventeenth century. One wide societal implication of this project is the promotion of broader cultural literacy. The awareness of Anna’s cultural activities and political importance among scholars and the general public has been, and continues to be, extended through the outcomes of this project. By mid-2019, these outputs will have been disseminated across a broad range of platforms including radio interviews, printed and electronic journals, Tweets, online journals, a dedicated website, a monograph available in print and e-book format, public seminars, academic conferences, university lectures, and exhibition catalogues.
Frederiksborg Slot, Hillerød, holding numerous artefacts associated with Anna of Denmark
A seventeenth-century stomacher studied at The School of Historical Dress, London
Detail of the seals affixed to the 1589 marriage treaty of King James VI and Anna of Denmark
Setting a ruff with hot tongs, handmade by one of the students at The School of Historical Dress