Factions and Fictions in Early Modern Europe

Friday, November 1, 2002–Saturday, November 2, 2002
All Day

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street

—a conference organized by Malina Stefanovska, University of California, Los Angeles

The social landscape of early modern Europe was permeated by factions, which revealed the existence of opposed camps or allegiances in religious, political, and literary milieux. Factions were the much maligned predecessors to political parties, the organizing principle of court dynamics, the expression of political or religious dissent and disunity. In various literary, historical, and political writings, they were described or fictionalized—positively or negatively—as factions, cabals, or conspiracies. These representations were instrumental in the articulation of distinctions between the public and private spheres, in the staging of various forms of bonding, in the conceptualization of opposition to absolutism, in the formalization of a discourse of rights, and in the assertion of the notion of religious community. Focusing on “factions and their fictions” in a long seventeenth century, particularly in France and England, this conference aims to elucidate some of the underpinnings of group dynamics and of affiliation in political, religious, courtly, or salon circles.