History Conferences

The Making of France - from Clovis to Louis XVI

Though a fiercely republican country, France lives with the lasting legacy of its royal past. The Revolution, and the following republics, tried to erase that legacy but the symbols, traditions, castles and cultural artefacts shaped by the Houses of France remain present in the life of French people.  

This cycle of conferences wishes to present the formation of a country – France – through the study of its different royal Houses, kings and queens, from Clovis (466-511) to Louis XVI (1754-1793). 

Stretching over a millennium, the conferences recount the life of key kings and queens and turning points in French history and their lasting impacts on the country’s history, culture, arts and architecture. This conference cycle aims to give insights into both France’s past and present, simultaneously providing a historical narrative of the past and analysing the French people’s relationship with their glorious - and infamous - royal heritage. 

For all 3 Conferences: $45 for members & students - $50 for non-members
For Single Conferences: $15 for members & students - $20 for non-members

When + Where:
CONFERENCE I : Friday 21 May - 6pm to 7pm
CONFERENCE II : Friday 11 June - 6pm to 7pm
CONFERENCE III : Friday 2 July - 6pm to 7pm
Alliance Française d'Adélaïde, 319 Young Street, Wayville

Booking is available on the website until the day prior of the event
All 3 Conferences  |  Conference I Only  |  Conference II Only  |  Conference III Only

For more information:
Please contact Reception if you have any questions.

Conference I: The Merovingians and the Carolingians: the origins of France?

Clovis (466-511) was the first king of the Francs. And so begins our national history – or so we are told, during primary schooling. But who is Clovis, who are the Merovingians and why do they occupy such a prominent position in the country’s national tale? Looking at a period stretching from the fifth to the tenth century, the conference will consider the establishment of France as a kingdom in a very fragmented Europe under the Merovingians, and its strengthening, under the Carolingians.

Conference II: The House of Capet and the House of Valois: strengthening the kingdom and the monarchy.

The House of Capet (987-1328) and the House of Valois (1328-1589) played an important role in the transition of France from a kingdom to an early-modern state and gave France memorable kings such as Philippe Auguste, Saint Louis or François Ier. The late Middle Ages was a period of considerable evolutions with regard to faith, techniques and arts. It was also a period of considerable turmoil and divisions with the Hundred Years’ War and the Wars of Religion between Catholics and Protestants. This conference will look at the challenges faced by the French monarchy in turbulent times and how it overcame them. 

Conference III: The Bourbons and the monarchie absolue

Simultaneously the apex and the nadir of the French monarchy, the Bourbons have left a most enduring legacy. The state they shaped, the wars they waged and their impacts, their castles and their patronage of the Arts can be felt and observed in so many ways when walking the streets of France. Their absolute monarchy and their hubris have left particularly memorable records in French history. From Henri IV (1553-1610) to Louis XVI (1754-1793), this conference will present the heydays of the Bourbons, at Versailles in particular, to their fall under the Revolution.

Author’s Bio

Dr. Romain Fathi

Dr. Romain Fathi is a French historian whose longstanding research interests are concerned with Australian national identity, the First World War and the history of public health. While researching Australian history, Romain is also passionate about the history of his own country, France, where he was born and raised.

He obtained a jointly awarded PhD with Sciences Po (Paris, France) and The University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia). Romain studied and taught in several universities including Sciences Po, Yale, the University of Queensland. He now holds a position of Senior Lecturer in History at Flinders University.

For more information on Romain’s research and publications, please see: https://romainfathi.com/my-story

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