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Annual Distinguished Lecture on Europe. “Noble Academies as a European Model of Aristocratic Education.”

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
12:00 AM
1636 International Institute/SSWB, 1080 S. University

In this talk, Professor Boutier will argue that the education model of “cortegiano/courtier,” organized around the equestrian arts and fencing, was one of the principal actors in the modernization of the nobility—from initiation in modern languages, military mathematics, and “political sciences” to body discipline through dance and music. Noble academies of 16th-18th centuries in Europe were thus one of the sites of production of a new, increasingly and resolutely transnational aristocratic culture, which they helped diffuse, especially by accepting foreign nobles. Boutier will analyze the presence of nobles from Central and Eastern Europe in these academies from the second half of the 16th century.

Jean Boutier is Directeur d’Études at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Marseille) and former director of the Norbert Elias Centre in Social Sciences. A specialist in the comparative social history of early modern Europe, he has taught and lectured at many universities in Europe and the United States. His published works span a wide range of subjects, dealing with the social, political, and cultural dynamics of early modern European society. His early works studied the functioning of the French monarchy and the emergence of a new political culture through peasant protest and political associations. More recently, he has worked on transformations of Italian society in the 15th-18th centuries, examining new forms of the state, the metamorphosis of the urban elite into European aristocracies, and the development of new political practices and culture. He is currently working on a comparative study of the European nobilities through the Grand Tour (16th-18th c.).

Jean Boutier, Chair of Comparative History of the European Aristocracy from the 16th to the 18th Century, EHESS