The entrance to the Department of History’s office in Sidney Smith Hall

Women in Cross-Cultural Diplomacy in Late Eighteenth-Century Istanbul: A Social Approach

Start Date and Time:

Monday, October 29, 2018, 2:00PM

End Date and Time:

Monday, October 29, 2018, 4:00PM


Dr. David Do Paço (Centre For History, Sciences Po, Paris)

This paper argues that diplomatic delegations based in late 18th-century Istanbul can be analyzed through the anthropological model of the household. Taking into account the diverse components of the diplomatic delegations operating in Pera, and not only the ambassador and the ambassadress, it claims and demonstrates that the Austrian delegation was a connected, dynamic and well-organized agglomerate of ‘diplomatic working couples’ strongly embedded in the city. Based on the private papers of Peter Herbert of Rathkeal, the Austrian ambassador in Istanbul, it also explores the role played by women in the socialization of diplomats in cross-cultural contexts, in the structuration of the Perote diplomatic milieu, and in the promotion of their agents, clients and protégés. Doing so, it stresses how essential informal ties were to the good conduct of diplomacy and assesses the impact of urban social worlds on diplomatic action.


  • Seminar in Ottoman & Turkish Studies
  • History
  • NMC
  • Centre for European Russian and Eurasian Studies

Contact Information

E. Natalie Rothman


BF200B (Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations Conference Room), 4 Bancroft Ave. view full map




Faculty, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students

Portrait of Constance Herbert-Rathkeal, the internuncio’s daughter and the wife of the British chargé d’affaires John Spencer Smith (Rice University Library, Woodson Research Center, MS 267, 1.33
Rice University Library, Woodson Research Center, MS 267, 1.33