Tudorism: Historical Imagination and the Appropriation of the Sixteenth Century

An interdisciplinary symposium to be held at the University of Bristol on 5-7 December 2008


Dr Tatiana String, Department of History of Art, Tel: +44 (0)117 954 6066

Dr Marcus Bull, Department of Historical Studies, Tel.+44 (0)117 928 8879


This three-day symposium to be held at the University of Bristol will bring together scholars from a wide range of disciplines to explore the ways in which the Tudor period, its monarchs (Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I), its artistic expressions, and its cultural heroes (for example, Holbein, Shakespeare, and Byrd) have been appropriated by later generations. Its focus is thus ‘Tudorism’, which may be defined as the modern reception of the history, literature, art, architecture, design and music of the Tudor age. The modern cultural imagination has often derived a substantial, sometimes even predominant, portion of its ideas and images of the past from the sixteenth century, inspiring architects, artists, designers, musicians and writers. Tudorism is a topic with enormous potential for fertile inter- and cross-disciplinary exchange, and the symposium will be the first forum for the study of this remarkable phenomenon, its express purpose being to set the agenda for future research. The timing of the event anticipates the quincentenary of Henry VIII’s accession to the throne in April 1509. There will undoubtedly be numerous types of commemorations of the anniversary across the UK, but this timely symposium will concentrate on the long-term impact of this monarch and his family.



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