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Inside Out: Dress and Identity in the Middle Ages

March 17, 2018 - March 18, 2018
Center for Medieval Studies, Fordham University

McNally Auditorium
113 W. 60th St, Fordham University
New York 10023
United States

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Submission deadline: September 15, 2017

Conference dates: March 17-18, 2018

Conference venue:  Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus, New York City, USA


Dress was a primary expression of identity in the Middle Ages, when individuals made strategic choices about clothing and bodily adornment (including hairstyle, jewelry, and other accessories) in order to communicate gender, ethnicity, status, occupation, and other personal and group identities. Because outward appearances were often interpreted as a reliable reflection of inner selves, medieval dress, in its material embodiment as well as in literary and artistic representations, carried extraordinary moral and social meaning, as well as offering seductive possibilities for self-presentation.

This conference aims to bring together recent research on the material culture and social meanings of dress in the Middle Ages to explore the following or related issues:

·         The implications of being able to study medieval dress only in representation

·         The strategies that were served by dress, either embodied or in representation

·         The effects of cultural economic factors, such as cross-cultural contact and trade, commerce, and/or technology on dress and its uses

·         The development of the so-called ‘Western fashion system’ and the cultural changes which it inspired or reflected

Please submit an abstract and cover letter with contact information by September 15, 2017 to Center for Medieval Studies, FMH 405B, Fordham University, Bronx, NY 10458, or by email to, or by fax to 718-817-3987.

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March 12, 2018, 9:00am EST

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