23 November, 2018
Seminar Room, Institute of Advanced Study, Millburn House
University of Warwick, UK
This workshop brings together historians interested in dyes and textiles, colour and clothing – with a concern for the social, economic, and cultural impact of their global circulation. Focusing on the period between 1750 and 1900 – embracing the rise of uniformed wear and the transition from natural to synthetic dyestuffs – our discussion will build up a global perspective from the bottom: through the simple, increasingly standardized wear of ordinary people.
Engaging dually with clothing and colour, this workshop aims to interrogate and reframe ‘ordinary’ and ‘local’ from a global perspective. We will pay close attention to the rise of uniformed wear, the role of colour and colour policies in the surge of ‘stock’ clothing. What global meanings could items coloured blue or red convey in the 18th and 19th century worlds? How were colours translated and transformed in the various social contexts of emerging empires? We will also be thinking about technological innovation and knowledge transfers in the production of ordinary, standard wear, again in relation to both colour and cloth. Fostering a dialogue between historians specialising in dyes and textiles, ‘Ordinary Blues and Uniformed Reds’ will reflect on global transfers and transformations in coloured clothing.
The organisers warmly acknowledge the Leverhulme Trust and JSPS Grants in Aid (15KK0059) for their funding and support.