Clothing Identities Conference
04. – 06.05.2022
The conference is organised as part of the international research network Euroweb, which seeks to rewrite the History of Europe based on its production, trade, consumption and reuse of textiles and dress. EuroWeb fosters a pan-European network of scholars from academia, museums, conservation, as well as cultural and creative industries. Scholars from several disciplines of the Humanities (philology, art history, archaeology, history), Social Sciences (e.g. social anthropology, ethnology) and Natural Sciences (e.g. geochemistry, conservation) join forces to bridge current cultural and geographical gaps and facilitate interdisciplinary research.
Among the aims of this research network is to explore the clothing as an expression of identity through various methodological and theoretical approaches, spanning the whole geographical area of Europe and surrounding countries.
With clothing, humans express aspects of identity such as their gender, age, beliefs, and social status. Ancient costumes combine skin and textile, wrapping and tailoring. Many clothing elements in antiquity are unisex but are worn differently according to gender and age. Children’s clothes are generally simple, but Roman children, for example, expressed their civil status and gender through clothing. Adults negotiate the changes in their age, body and status through garments. Poor people, slaves, and workers performing hard physical work, wear loose-fitting garments allowing freedom of movement and Late Antique sources report on second-hand clothing as an important part of the economy. Members of the elite, on the other hand, display their wealth through luxurious garments, decorated with complex patterns including precious metals and stones as well as precious dyes. A legal framework of sumptuary laws and prohibitions, and a normative framework of appropriate dress, accompany dress history for at least 2500 years. Fashionable items are generated from innovations and trade, and they have the capacity to alter body perceptions and gendered features of dress.
The objective of this conference is to bring together experts from various disciplines and working on diverse chronological periods (from Prehistory to 21st c.) and geographical areas to address the question of clothing as an expression of identity.