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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
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 by 1 August 2018.

‘Art of Dyeing Silk’ Workshop in Amsterdam on 5–6 April

19 May 2018

On 5–6 April, Paula Hohti took part in ‘The art of dyeing silk’ workshop in Amsterdam, organsied by Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. This two-day workshop concentrated on historical methods of natural dyeing, aiming to give participants a thorough understanding of examining and testing processes of historical recipes. The participants worked with eight different natural red dyes;  brazilwood, madder, safflower, annatto, lac dye, American cochineal and kermes. They were introduced to the history of natural dyes, and presented with methods of analysing and reproducing them. After this, participants got the opportunity to mordant and dye their silks, as well as to build their own reference collections.

Read more about the workshop


Full-time Postdoctoral Research Position Available

9 May 2018

ERC funded Postdoctoral Research Fellow

The position is fixed-term and will be filled for 32 months. The starting date is 1 October 2018, or negotiable.

Job responsibilities

The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will work within the ERC funded research dress history project Refashioning the Renaissance: Popular Groups, Fashion and the Material and Cultural Significance of Clothing in Europe, 1550–1650, led by Professor Paula Hohti (PI). This project studies the meanings and dissemination of western fashion in early modern Europe, especially at the lower social levels, and develops new material-based experimental and scientific research methods in dress history.

The team consists of two postdoctoral researchers, a doctoral researcher, a research assistant and a project administrator, who will collectively work towards the Refashioning the Renaissance project’s research goals. The Postdoctoral Research Fellow’s task is to design and co-ordinate the project’s research on experimental work and textile artefacts, focusing on technical analysis of textiles and reconstruction and visualization of historical source material. The Postdoctoral Research Fellow is also expected to participate in the project’s teaching and training activities, organize workshops, seminars and other events, and publish articles both independently and in collaboration with other team members. The main duties of the Postdoctoral Research Fellow include:

  • To identify and record relevant visual and material evidence in European archives, archaeological collections and museums
  • To plan, co-ordinate and carry out scientific, technical and digital analysis on historical textiles
  • To design methods for historical and digital reconstruction of dress and textiles
  • To create a dataset for the project’s database and publish at least four articles
  • Other assisting work related to the project’s research and training activities


Qualified candidates for the Research Fellow’s position hold a PhD degree in early modern material culture history or in a related field. In addition, the successful candidates should have 

  • Fluent skills in English language
  • Previous experience of, or interest in, historical and digital reconstruction and scientific experimentation
  • Excellent research skills
  • Good communication skills and the ability to work in a team

The Postdoctoral Research Fellow’s position involves several research and training trips in Europe, and approximately 15% of the working time should be spent at the host institute.


Aalto University follows the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition to the monthly salary, the position includes an allowance towards research travel, conferences, training and publication costs.

How to apply

To apply for the position, please submit your application containing

  • Motivation letter (1 page)
  • CV

The applications for the postdoctoral researcher position are to be submitted through the eRecruitment system no later than on 25 May, 2018.

Aalto University reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

For more information

For additional information, please contact Professor Paula Hohti, paula.hohti(at) or in recruitment process related questions HR-coordinator Päivi Niemi paivi.j.niemi(at)