Medieval Fabrications Dress, Textiles, Clothwork, and Other Cultural Imaginings

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2004-09-04
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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The varied cultural functions of dress, textiles and clothwork provide an especially cogent lens through which to re-examine our assumptions about the Middle Ages because of the topic's conceptual breadth. Its implications range from the highly theoretical to the very concrete. At one end of the spectrum, questions of dress call up feminist theoretical investigations into the body and subjectivity, while broadening those inquiries to include theories of masculinity as well. At the other extreme, the production and distribution of textiles carries us into the domain of economic history and the study of material commodities, trade and cultural patterns of exchange within western Europe and between east and west. Contributors to this volume represent a broad array of disciplines currently involved in rethinking medieval culture in terms of the material world.

Author Biography

E. Jane Burns is L. M. Slifkin Distinguished Term Professor in the Curriculum in Women's studies at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is the author of Courtly Love Undressed: Reading Through Clothes in Medieval French Culture, Bodytalk: When Women Speak in Old French Literature, Arthurian Fictions: Rereading the Vulgate Cycle, and translator of The Quest for the Holy in Lancelot-Grail: The Arthurian Vulgate and Post-Vulgate in Translation. She co-edited with Roberta L. Krueger the special issue of Romance Notes on "Courtly Ideology and Woman's Place in Old French Literature," and is one of the founding editors of the Medieval Feminist Forum.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Textiles Make a Difference--E. Jane Burns * Text and Textile: Lydgate's Tapestry Poems--Claire Sponsler * Tristan Slippers: An Image of Adultery or a Symbol of Marriage?--Kathryn Starkey * Dressing and Undressing the Clergy: Rites of Ordination and Degradation--Dyan Elliott * Uncovering Griselda: Christine de Pizan, "une seule chemise" and the Clerical Tradition--Roberta L. Krueger * "This Skill in a Woman Is by No Means to Be Despised": Weaving and the Gender Division of Labor in the Middle Ages--Ruth Mazo Karras * Tucks and Darts: Adjusting Patterns for Stained Glass Windows Around 1200--Madeline H. Caviness * Sumptuary Legislation in Thirteenth-Century France, Languedoc, and Italy: Limiting Yardage and Changes of Clothes--Sarah-Grace Heller * Material and Symbolic Gift Giving: Clothes in English and French Wills--Kathleen Ashley * Cloth from the Promised Land: Appropriated Islamic Tiraz in Twelfth-Century French Sculpture--Janet Snyder * Almeria Silk and the French Feudal Imaginary: Towards a "Material" History of the Medieval Mediterranean--Sharon Kinoshita * How Philosophy Matters: Death, Sex, Clothes and Boethius--Andrea Denny-Brown * Flayed Skin as objet a: Representation and Materiality in Guillaume de Deguileville's Pelerinage de la vie humaine--Sarah Kay

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