RSA 2018: Magical Wearables in the Medieval and Early Modern World (March 22nd-24th, 2018, New Orleans)
From Jones and Stallybrass's Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory (2000) to art historian Cordelia Warr's Dressing for Heaven (2010), to Patricia Lennox and Bella Mirabella's edited collection, Shakespeare and Costume (2015), the power of clothing on medieval and early modern subjects is being more thoroughly explored. This interdisciplinary panel is interested in the ways clothing, costume, and other articles, including wigs, false beards, and jewelry, had power to shape, transform, or otherwise exert material effects on the bodies who wore them. How do such "wearables" and/or their material effects relate to issues of (mis)recognition or identity creation, successful or otherwise? How do clothing, costuming, jewelry, and other material wearables speak to larger cultural issues, anxieties, or fulfillment, from the semiotics of stage or portraiture to questions of gender identity, race, religion, sexuality, or discussions of the afterlife? How does disguise, both on and off stage, also speak to the "magical" effects of clothing on the renaissance body? How are "wearables" used to exert force or power on the self and others, and how are they able to "transform" a person or object into someone (or something) else?
Papers are welcome from multiple fields, from 1300-1700, both in England and on the Continent.