PRIVACY Conference 2021 Archive

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Early Modern Notions of Privacy and the Private

At our June 2021 conference, Early Modern Notions of Privacy and Private, we examined how implicit or explicit privacy and private instances shape relations between individuals and society across diverse early modern contexts.

Ten international experts from a diverse spectrum of disciplines accepted the invitation and gave their insights into how notions of privacy and the private come to the fore in their respective research and to demonstrate which scholarly means they apply to grasp these.

We are proud to present the video productions of the keynote lectures from the conference here:  

Mette Birkedal Bruun

Centre for Privacy Studies, University of Copenhagen

Welcome – Opening address

Ann Thomson

Department of History and Civilization, European University Institute, Florence

Expressing oneself in the early 18th-century republic of letters: what can and can’t be said in private correspondence

The lecture by Ann Thomson has been paraphrased by PRIVACY Postdoctoral Researcher Fran Ejby Poulsen


Alec Ryrie

Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University

Alone with God: the practice of ‘public’, ‘private’ and ‘secret’ prayer in Reformation England

Ben Kaplan

The History Department, University College London

‘”Quietly in His Own Home”: The Language of Privacy in Early Modern Freedom of Conscience Laws’

Angela Vanhaelen

Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University, Montreal

Vermeer’s Secret Sphere: Domesticity and Global Sex

Paul Taylor 

The Warburg Institute, University of London

Iconography and Privacy in Seventeenth-Century Holland

Fabrizio Nevola

Department of Art History and Visual Culture, University of Exeter

Private lives in a public Renaissance: spaces and practices

Karl Härter

Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory

Ordering Privacy? The Implications of Early Modern Police Ordinances for Private Areas of Life