Julia Gebke

University Assistant (post doc) for Early Modern History, completed her PhD thesis “(Foreign) Bodies. Stigmatizing New Christians in Early Modern Spain” at the University of Graz (Austria) in March 2015. Since May 2015 she is working at the University of Vienna.

Current research project:

Chess(wo)men’s Agency? Habsburg Princesses and their Networks


Verschachert? Agierende Schachfiguren.
Habsburger Prinzessinnen und ihre Netzwerke

Fortunately, since the groundbreaking study of Magdalena Sánchez about the political impact of three Habsburg women our perspective on female members of the Habsburg family changed considerably. The case studies of Empress Maria of Spain, Margaret of Austria and Margaret of the Cross, i.e. the Empress, the Queen and the Nun, proved to us that these Habsburg women were not exclusively restricted to domestic and family affairs but instead deeply involved in political issues.

Introducing the term chess(wo)men and pointing to their agency, the project argues that the Habsburg Princesses were far more than simply pawns in an international political game. Therefore, the examination of the bulk of different expectations originating from family members, their own royal household and the court will lay the foundation for the analysis and serve as a suitable foil. Considering this complex setting the project aims to verify how the female members of the House of Habsburg not only reacted, but also acted in their own way, thereby keeping in mind the expectations and requirements with which they were constantly faced. After all it is important to remember that for the Habsburg Princesses it was not simply about playing a game or solely being part of a game but living their lives.

Research Fields:
Cultural History of Diplomacy
Early Modern Court Studies
Gender History
History of Science

For further information, click on the links below:
Julia Gebke, Personal Homepage (University of Vienna)
Julia Gebke, Academia Profile