Call for Papers | Fashioning the Early Modern Courtier

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 9, 2017

From the Call for Papers:

Fashioning the Early Modern Courtier
St John’s College, Cambridge, 16 May 2018

Proposals due by 22 January 2018

Early modern courts were crucial sites for the elaboration and diffusion of specific corporeal models aspiring to shape the ideal man and woman. Fashion, then as now, provides a very material setting that has the power to promote specific patterns of thought and action. This one-day workshop sets out to explore the ways in which clothing contributed to the gendered (self)fashioning of the courtier in early modern Europe (ca. 1500–1750), examining both its symbolic significance and its action on and interaction with the body.

Embracing a corporealist perspective, we endeavour to integrate a semiotic reading of fashion with accounts of its fundamentally embodied nature, both in its creation and in its wearing. Topics examined may range from sartorial trends and beautification techniques to issues related to etiquette and courtly rituals more broadly. The circulation of such practices as well as the making and commercialising of fashionable goods within and beyond courtly circles will also be investigated. Methodological reflections concerning historical research in the field of fashion studies are also welcome, such as the juxtaposition of different types of sources or the epistemological significance of dress reconstruction.

We are delighted to announce two keynote lectures to be delivered by leading scholars, Evelyn Welch (King’s College, London) and Maria Hayward  (University of Southampton).

We warmly invite contributions broadly relating to this theme, which may approach questions of early modern fashion and courtly culture from a variety of disciplines including history, art, fashion, textile, and literary studies. Graduate students, early career researchers, and junior curators and conservators are particularly encouraged to apply. Those interested in delivering a paper are invited to submit a proposal of up to 300 words and a brief biographical note to Valerio Zanetti (vz218@cam.ac.uk) by 22nd January 2018.

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