1st Edition

Dressing Global Bodies The Political Power of Dress in World History

Edited By Beverly Lemire, Giorgio Riello Copyright 2020
    332 Pages 79 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    332 Pages 79 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Dressing Global Bodies addresses the complex politics of dress and fashion from a global perspective spanning four centuries, tying the early global to more contemporary times, to reveal clothing practice as a key cultural phenomenon and mechanism of defining one’s identity.

    This collection of essays explores how garments reflect the hierarchies of value, collective and personal inclinations, religious norms and conversions. Apparel is now recognized for its seminal role in global, colonial and post-colonial engagements and for its role in personal and collective expression. Patterns of exchange and commerce are discussed by contributing authors to analyse powerful and diverse colonial and postcolonial practices. This volume rejects assumptions surrounding a purportedly all-powerful Western metropolitan fashion system and instead aims to emphasize how diverse populations seized agency through the fashioning of dress.

    Dressing Global Bodies contributes to a growing scholarship considering gender and race, place and politics through the close critical analysis of dress and fashion; it is an indispensable volume for students of history and especially those interested in fashion, textiles, material culture and the body across a wide time frame.

    Beverly Lemire and Giorgio Riello, ‘Introduction: dressing global bodies’

    1. Susanna Burghartz, ‘The fabric of early globalisation: skin, fur and cloth in the de Bry travel accounts, 1590–1630’

    2. Giorgio Riello, ‘Fashion in the four parts of the world: time, space and early modern global change’

    3. Beverly Lemire, ‘Shirts and snowshoes: imperial agendas and Indigenous agency in globalizing North America, c.1660–1800’

    4. Sophie White, ‘Dressing enslaved Africans in colonial Louisiana’

    5. Miki Sugiura, ‘Garments in circulation: the economies of slave clothing in the eighteenth-century Dutch Cape Colony’

    6. Jody Benjamin, ‘Clothing as a map to Senegambia’s global exchanges at the turn of the nineteenth century’

    7. Sarah Fee, ‘The king’s new clothing: re-dressing the body politic in Madagascar, c.1815–1861’

    8. Jane Malthus, ‘Dressing settlers in New Zealand: global interconnections’

    9. Laura Jocic, ‘"Anything for mere show would be worse than useless": emigration, dress and the Australian colonies, 1820–1860’

    10. Tara Mayer, ‘Dressing apart: Indian elites and the politics of fashion in British India, c.1750–1850’

    11. Cory Willmott, ‘Visual assimilation and bodily regimes: Protestant programs and Anishinaabe everyday dress, 1830s–1950s’

    12. Hissako Anjo and Antonia Finnane, ‘Tailoring in China and Japan: cultural transfer and cutting techniques in the early twentieth century’

    13. Karen Tranberg Hansen, ‘Global fashion encounters and Africa: affective materialities in Zambia’


    Beverly Lemire is Henry Marshall Tory Chair, Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta, Canada. She publishes widely on early modern consumer practice, fashion, material culture, textiles and trade, most recently Global Trade and the Transformation of Consumer Cultures: The Material World Remade, c. 1500–1820 (2018).

    Giorgio Riello is Chair of Early Modern Global History at the European University Institute, Italy. Among his books are Cotton (2013), Luxury (2016) and Back in Fashion (2020). Giorgio has published extensively on fashion, textiles and global trade between Europe and Asia in the early modern period.