Medieval Fabrications / Edition 1

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Medieval Fabrications investigates the material and ideological history of clothing and textiles. Choosing dress as a category of analysis yields important data and insights concerning its cultural importance. These essays investigate such topics as the symbolic functions of dress, its social meanings, and its coparticipation with the body in producing identity."--Susan Crane, Columbia University

"A fitting sequel to Jane Burns's Courtly Love Undressed, this innovative collection makes a major contribution to the opening of a new and genuinely interdisciplinary field within medieval studies. Both building on and complicating the recent scholarly focus on the body, this collection explores the multifaceted coverings that overlay medieval sartorial bodies and through which, as the authors amply demonstrate, they must be understood. Especially significant is the way this careful attention to material culture participates in the current reconfiguration of our understanding of the valences assigned to Islamic and Byzantine cultures in the medieval West. This exemplary book irrefutably demonstrates the importance of clothing to medieval studies and has made this reader aware of how much she has taken for granted in representations of the clothed medieval subject."--Pamela Sheingorn, Baruch College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403961877
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/4/2004
  • Series: New Middle Ages Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

E. Jane Burns is L.M. Slifkin Distinguished Term Professor in the Ciuriculum in Women's Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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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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