Dates: 21-22 June 2013

Location: University College London
London is at the heart of the world’s diplomatic scene, home to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and over 100 embassies and high commissions. University College London is a quick bus ride from Whitehall and serves as the centre of London’s academic quarter, Bloomsbury. Nearby can be found the British Library, the Senate House Library (of the University of London), the British Museum, as well as numerous transport links.

Theme: Spaces of diplomatic culture

The second workshop will focus on the spaces within and through which diplomatic culture is articulated and translated. If diplomacy is theorised as the process of negotiating estrangement between two groups, spatiality emerges as integral to any practice of ameliorating that estrangement. This has traditionally taken the form of either topological studies of diplomatic connections between places, systematic reviews of the location of diplomacy, or of case studies of particular diplomatic contexts. These concerns remain, but the contemporary moment begs new questions. How does the emergence of digital spaces produce new and different forms of diplomacy? Can ‘old’ diplomatic practices be translated for these ‘new’ spaces or does it require an entirely new theorisation? How are spaces produced as diplomatic spaces through the ritualised performance of actors? How does space shape the formation of diplomatic consensus?

Keynote speakers:
Prof. Iver Neumann: Iver Neumann is Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics. He was formerly Director of Research at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Professor in Russian Studies, Oslo University. Among his fifteen books are At Home with the Diplomats: Inside A European Foreign Ministry (Cornell University Press, 2012) and Diplomatic Sites: A Critical Enquiry (Hurst, 2013). [Abstract]

Prof. John Watkins: John Watkins is Distinguished McKnight University Professor of English at the University of Minnesota, where he holds affiliate appointments in History, Medieval Studies, and Italian Studies. He is the author of several books and numerous articles dealing with problems of historiography; cultural, political and economic exchanges between England and the Mediterranean; and the medieval underpinnings of early modernity: The Specter of Dido: Spenser and Virgilian Epic (Yale); Representing Elizabeth in Stuart England (Cambridge); and with historian Carole Levin, Shakespeare’s Foreign Worlds: National and Transnational Identity in the Elizabethan Age (Cornell). He is currently finishing a book on premodern marriage diplomacy. [Abstract]

Prof. Herman van der Wusten: Herman van der Wusten was Professor of Political Geography at the University of Amsterdam and dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at that university, now emeritus. He did a PhD on Irish resistance movements to the United Kingdom 1800-1922, and wrote on urban questions, nationalism and global politics. In recent times he has concentrated on the making of political centres, particularly in Europe, and has thus become involved in studies of diplomatic practice. This work has notably appeared in European Review (1993), Political Geography (2004), Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie (2006, 2010), several of Peter Taylor’s edited collections on Global and World Cities, and in Robert Denemark’s multivolume International Studies Encyclopedia (2010). Some of these contributions have been written in close co-operation with Virginie Mamadouh and that applies also to the paper for this conference. [Abstract]

Workshop participants:
Mr Robert Adelson [Bio and interests]
Dr Veit Bachmann
[Bio and interests]
Dr Matt Benwell
[Bio and interests]
Dr Ruth Craggs
[Bio and interests]
Ms Emma Davies
[Bio and interests]
Dr Jason Dittmer
[Bio and interests]
Dr Fiona McConnell
[Bio and interests]
Ms. Anna Moore
[Bio and interests]
Dr Tracey Sowerby
[Bio and interests]
Ms Monika Sumberova
[Bio and interests]
Ms. Cathie Traynor
[Bio and interests]
Mr. Tobias Wille [Bio and interests]

Special guest:
Prof. Charles Forsdick: Charles Forsdick is James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool and AHRC Theme Leadership Fellow for 'Translating Cultures'. His research interests include travel writing, postcolonial literature and the Francophone Caribbean (especially Haiti). He is currently Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery, a collaboration with the International Slavery Museum.

Update: Audio for this workshop has been posted.

Photo credit: UCL Media