Workshop and Call for Papers – Luxury and Exoticism: Textiles and Dress in Museums and Historic Houses

Thursday 8 June 2017

University of Wolverhampton


CHORD invites submissions for a workshop that explores luxurious and ‘exotic’ textiles and dress in the collections of museums and historic houses.

Papers focusing on any historical period or geographical area are welcome. We define luxury and exoticism broadly, including luxury items with no exotic connotations, and everyday or mass-produced ‘exotic’ items. Both textiles and clothing, decorative and ‘useful’ items are of interest. Museum professionals, conservators, students, academic scholars or anybody with an interest in the topic are warmly invited to submit a proposal. We welcome both experienced and new speakers, including speakers without an institutional affiliation.

Potential speakers are welcome to discuss their ideas with the organiser before submission (please see details below). Some of the themes that might be considered include (but are not limited to):

§ The care, display and interpretation of precious, rare or exotic textiles and dress

§ Chinoiserie, empire and imported luxuries

§ The changing nature and perceptions of luxury and exoticism

§ Fancy dress and masques

§ The conservation, repair and care of luxury dress and textiles.

§ Ethnographical items and collections

§ Haute couture and designer fashions.

§ Collections and collectors, historical and contemporary

To submit a proposal, please send title and abstract of c.300 to 400 words to Laura Ugolini, at by 10 March 2017.

chinoiserie-detail2Individual papers are usually 20 minutes in length, followed by 10 minutes for questions and discussion. We also welcome shorter, 10 minute presentations, also followed by ten minutes of discussion, which might focus on a specific collection, object, new project or work in progress.

If you would like to discuss your ideas before submission, please e-mail Laura Ugolini at

Small bursaries will be available for speakers to subsidise the cost of travel (within the UK) and the workshop fee.

The workshop will be held on Wolverhampton City Campus, University of Wolverhampton, a short walk from Wolverhampton’s bus and train stations.

For further information, please see or e-mail Laura Ugolini at:


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