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CFP: Lower-Class Dress, Fashion and Identity in Europe, 1450–1650

29 May 2018

Lower-Class Dress, Fashion and Identity in Europe, 1450–1650

Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, Toronto, 17-19 March 2019

In recent years there has been a surge in interest in Renaissance and Early Modern dress, especially in the context of European courts and wealthy households. Although revealing of important aspects of identity, consumption, social practices and more, these studies consider just a small segment of the population; what did average men and women wear and why? How and why did they create or cultivate particular looks? How did ideas about fashionable dress and appearance spread throughout the lower classes? How can modern scholars recover information about lower-class dress, when we rarely have extant examples, archival references or visual sources?

This panel aims to broaden our knowledge of dress and fashion in the past and seeks papers that ask questions about how the average person – for example artisans, shopkeepers, farmers, or peasants –  dressed in Europe from 1450–1650. Papers may utilise objects in museum collections, archival sources, visual and material culture, or printed or manuscript material and address questions around reconstruction, curatorial practice, production and/or consumption, gender, sexuality or other aspects of identity. Interdisciplinarity is strongly encouraged and speakers may bring knowledge from dress history, material or visual culture studies, economic history, archaeology, art/social/cultural history, digital humanities or other fields. Papers from PhD students, early career scholars and established academics are all welcome.

Please send an abstract of no more than 150 words, proposed paper title (15-words maximum), a short CV (300-words maximum), and a brief list of keywords along with your name, email address, and institutional affiliation to Michele Robinson at michele.robinson@aalto.fi by 1 August 2018.