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Bram van Leuveren awarded MSCA Individual Fellowship to study theatre as an Early Modern diplomatic tool

11 May 2021
Bram van Leuveren takes notes in a spiral-bound notebook. To its left lies a handwritten archival document on its typical tan folder. In the background a clear glass wall is criss-crossed by multicoloured lines.
Bram van Leuveren at the National Archives in The Hague

Did you know that in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries theatre was indispensable for managing diplomatic negotiations between England, France, and the Low Countries? Dr Bram van Leuveren, Lecturer in Arts, Culture, and Media Studies, recently won a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship from the European Commission to research the topic at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS).

Central to his research are the astonishing theatre productions, including ballets, plays, and tableaux vivants, which were organised by the Dutch city councils between circa 1577 and circa 1640 for the visits of prominent ambassadors and royals from England and France. Dr Van Leuveren is interested in the hitherto neglected role that these theatre productions played in the public diplomacy of England, France, and the Low Countries. He hopes to demonstrate how each of those three countries used the printing press and diplomatic correspondence to communicate their own vision of - and involvement in - the theatrical spectacles of the Dutch city councils to the widest possible international audience.

Project title: 'Public Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe: Theatrical Entertainments for the State Journeys of English and French Royals into the Low Countries, 1577-1642'.

Twitter: @bramvanleuveren

Last modified:11 May 2021 12.02 p.m.

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