Cross-Dressing the Early Modern: Exploring Transformations through Dress

Sara van Dijk's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
June 15, 2022
Location: 
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Theatre & Performance History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Cross-dressing in the early modern period is a phenomenon that happened for various reasons in different contexts. Whether it was done to conceal one’s sex in order to protect the wearer or to resume a different identity, dress served as a powerful tool that could be used to disguise and blur gender expectations. From cross-dressing in literature, theatre and stage to cross-dressing in images and art, there are ample historical accounts of various social classes that reveal these transformations. From male actors dressing as women to female courtesans dressing as men the spaces of cross-dressing vary from public to private and the boundaries are often unclear. Disguise, whether it was done for pleasurable pursuits such as during masquerade balls or whether it was done for protection, or professional reasons, reveals various implications of dress in the early modern.

This conference aims to generate a discussion about cross-dressing in the early modern period and explore the significance of transformation through dress in various settings and spaces.

The conference is open to all, but we particularly welcome submissions from PhD candidates and early career researchers, who are invited to speak about the topic with reference to their current or previous projects. We invite potential speakers to submit the following as a single document to the Dressing the Early Modern Network at info@dressingtheearlymodern.com: (1) a 300-word paper abstract, which should include the main question of the research project; (2) a paper title; (3) a short written biography (150 words max); (4) institutional affiliations; (5) subject of PhD thesis and (expected) date of completion; and (6) contact information. Each speaker will be allotted twenty minutes.

The deadline for submissions is 15 June 2022. Notification of the outcome will be advised by e-mail before 15 July 2022.

 Organised by Jola Pellumbi and Sara van Dijk, Dressing the Early Modern Network, and Ana Howie and Alessandro Nicola Malusà, University of Cambridge.

Contact Info: 

Jola Pellumbi and Sara van Dijk, Dressing the Early Modern Network