Call for Essays for a book on the Material Culture of Color, 1400-1800

full name / name of organization: 
Beth Fowkes Tobin
contact email: 

Call for essays for an edited volume on "The MaterialCulture of Color in the Early Modern World" 


Andrea Feeser and Beth Fowkes Tobin are soliciting essaysfor a book on the material culture of color in the early modern world (14th -18th centuries).  The book will engage questions that deal with themanufacture, trade, and use of pigment for dye, ink, and paint and how thesesubstances inform the cultural, social, and political histories of peoples andplaces in all parts of the globe.  How did the creation or acquisition ofcolor shape knowledge production, work life, burgeoning economies, governmentrelations, and aesthetic experience?  What types of resources-textual,material, visual-shed light on these operations, and how do they do so?  Thebook will include essays that examine the objects and processes that vivifiedindividual or multiple colors in the early modern world.  Scholars fromall disciplines are encouraged to submit their work.



Topics of interest to the editors include the social andideological significance of color as well as the technology and manufacture ofspecific pigments and dyes, and their circulation and consumption in the formof paint, dye, and cosmetics. Possible topics might include: artists'participation in the making of their own pigments as well as their use ofcolor; the use of child labor in the production of colored book illustrationsand prints; cosmetics and textiles in theater productions; the use of arsenicand other toxic chemicals in pigments for cosmetics and paint; textilemanufacturing and the color trade between Europe and Asia; the production andconsumption of dyes and pigments in East Asia, South Asia, and theMediterranean World; the role of the empire in the production of organic andinorganic materials used in dyes and pigments; and the global circulation ofspecific pigments and dyes, such as indigo and vermilion.



Abstracts of 300-500 words and short cv due on December 15,2009 with the expectation that full-length essays will be due on June 15, 2010. 


Please send copies of abstracts and cvs to both Feeser andTobin at the following departmental addresses or email addresses. We willacknowledge receipt of your correspondence.


Andrea Feeser

Associate Professor of Art History

123 Lee Hall

Clemson University

Clemson, SC 29634


Beth Fowkes Tobin

Professor of English

Arizona State University

PO Box 870302

Tempe, AZ 85287-0302