Clothes Make the (Wo)man: Dress and Cultural Difference in Early Modern Europe

Clothes Make the (Wo)man: Dress and Cultural Difference in Early Modern Europe

Leibniz-Institute of European History (IEG) Mainz
Leibniz-Institute of European History, Alte Universitaetsstr. 19, 55116 Mainz
Vom - Bis
26.10.2017 - 28.10.2017
Mainz, Stefanie

Scholars of different disciplines have for a long time regarded dress as a key marker of difference in the early modern period. Dress was not just to signify identity, but rather to make identity, expressing social, gender, geographic, or occupational belonging. Individuals and groups used dress and fashion to express or challenge various and sometimes overlapping identities and thus challenged the image of a well-ordered society. However, dress has – for the most part – been dealt with in local studies or as part of national historiography. Comparative works or transcultural approaches are still rare. This conference, by contrast, looks at early modern dress from a transcultural perspective. The papers focus on dress as a marker of social status, regional identities and foreignness. They also discuss dress as signifiers and symbols, items of fashion and cultural transfer, as well as liturgical dress.


Thursday, October 26

3 pm
Welcome and Introduction
Johannes Paulmann (Mainz)
Cornelia Aust (Mainz)

3:30 pm
Keynote lecture
Chair: Thomas Weller (Mainz)
Ulinka Rublack (Cambridge)
The Right to Dress: Sumptuary Laws, Dress Practices and Political Change in the Early Modern World

5 pm
Dress and Social Status
Chair: Jan Kusber (Mainz)
Beata Biedronska-Słotowa (Cracow)
Polish National Dress as an Expression of Tradition and of Political and Cultural Independence
Cornelia Aust (Mainz)
From Noble Dress to Jewish Attire: Jewish Appearances in the Polish- Lithuanian Commonwealth

Friday, October 27

9:30 am
Signifiers and Symbols
Chair: Sebastian Becker (Mainz)
Susanna Burghartz (Basel)
Transparent or Opaque? The Veil, a Major Signifier of Difference
Flora Cassen (Chapel Hill)
Marking the Jews in Renaissance Italy: Politics, Religion, and the Power of Symbols

11:30 am
Regional Identities
Chair: Henning P. Jürgens (Mainz)
Constanţa Vintilă-Ghiţulescu (Bucharest)
Shawls and Sable Furs: How to Be a Boyar under the Phanariot Regime (1710–1821)
Denise Klein (Mainz)
Becoming an Istanbulite: Immigrant Clothing, Lifestyle, and Identity

2:30 pm
Liturgical Dress
Chair: Christopher Voigt-Goy (Mainz)
Nikolaos Vryzidis (Athens)
Communicating Multiplicities: The Compositeness of Greek Ecclesiastical Dress Code during the Ottoman Period
Christopher König (Bochum)
…ehrlich vor den Altar gehen.« Church Vestments, Religious Identity, and the Lutheran Reformation

4:30 pm
Historic Dress and Costume in Film and Theater
Moderation: Denise Klein (Mainz)
Maria Molenda (Nowy Sącz)
Constanţa Vintilă-Ghiţulescu (Bucharest)
Ann-Christin Eikenbusch (Mainz)

Saturday, October 28

9:30 am
Dress and Foreignness
Chair: Róisín Watson (London/Mainz)
Gabriel Guarino (Coleraine)
Fit for a Queen: Female Education, Dress, and Body Image in the Early Modern Spanish Court
Thomas Weller (Mainz)
»He knows them by their dress.« Dress and Otherness in Early Modern Spain

11:30 am
Fashion and Cultural Transfer
Chair: Ulinka Rublack (Cambridge)
Maria Hayward (Southampton)
»a sutte of black which will always be of use to you«: Difference, Similarity and the Value of Transculturalism in the Clothing Choices of the 17th Century Scottish Male Elite
Giulia Calvi (Siena)
Imperial Fashions: Cashmere Shawls between Istanbul, Paris, and Milan (XVIII-XIX Centuries)

1 pm
Concluding Discussion


Cornelia Aust
Denise Klein
Thomas Weller
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