Dr Valentina Zovko, Institute of Advanced Studies @ UWA Free Public Lecture

“The use of the term ‘freedom’ in diplomatic discourse of the Renaissance Dubrovnik”, by Dr Valentina Zovko (University of Zadar, Croatia)

Date: 23 August, 2016
Time: 6:00-7:00pm
Venue: Fox Lecture Theatre (G.59, ground floor, Arts building), University of Western Australia
RSVP: This is a free events, but RSVPs are requested: http://www.ias.uwa.edu.au/lectures/zovko

This lecture analyses the appearance and usage of the term “freedom” in speeches given by the Dubrovnik’s Renaissance ambassadors. Its meaning can be analysed over a longer period of time, depending on the person it addressed, the purpose it had to serve, and situations in which it appeared. Freedom speeches represent a permanent feature of the period. They were used to send messages of the community’s self-perception from the town leaders’ point of view. The government created an image of the city and used it for political purposes, always adapting it to specific social and cultural contexts. Written documents that witness Dubrovnik’s history confirm that the term “freedom” in its diplomatic discourse represented far more than a mere figure of speech. The chapters of this great city`s history began and ended with freedom.

Valentina Zovko completed a PhD in 2012 at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, with a thesis entitled ‘The role of the ambassadors of the Republic of Dubrovnik in expansion the borders onto the hinterland (at the turn of 14th in the 15th century)’, work which signalled the start of her main scientific interest in the political and socio-cultural issues visible throw the sphere of Dubrovnik`s late medieval diplomacy. She is currently an Assistant Professor and Head of the Department for Medieval History, University of Zadar. Her research focuses on issues of medieval and early modern diplomacy, medieval centres of power, identity, prosopography, emotions and perceptions in the Middle Ages. She has been guest professor at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and Institute of History in Warsaw, Poland.