PhD Candidate and Graduate Research Teaching Fellow in Art History, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne.
Samantha Happé specialises in the role of the gift in negotiating diplomatic relationships during the long eighteenth century. Her doctoral thesis examines the visual and material culture surrounding the Persian embassy to Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV in 1715, with a particular focus on the gifts as they travelled between cultural spheres that lacked a common symbolic vocabulary. Her research privileges the objects of exchange as being crucial and active tools of cross-cultural mediation, creating a new diplomatic history that considers the gifts as well as allowing for the performative aspects of the diplomatic encounter. Samantha is also working as a Research Officer at the Centre of Art History and Theory at ANU on a project mapping patterns of cultural exchange between France and non-European countries during the ancien régime, with an emphasis on Louis XIV prints and medals. Samantha’s research connects with several ERCC themes including Worldliness, Cosmopolitanism, Globalisation, and non-European Enlightenments and Romanticisms.