Cultural Histories of the Material World (workshop)

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Cultural Histories of the Material World: Early Modern Books and Objects

A Workshop in partnership with the Bard Graduate Center and the Folger Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Board Room

Adam and eve embroidered book cover.jpeg

Description: In collaboration with the Bard Graduate Center, the Folger Institute will host a day-long workshop on early modern material studies. Topics to be discussed may include books-as-artifacts, relations of texts and practices as exemplified by food knowledge, collecting practices and institutions, craft and design, and natural historical objects. The different perspectives on material culture of the anthropologist, art historian, archaeologist, literary critic, and historian will be highlighted.

The workshop participants examined multiple holdings in the Folger collections, including the 1615 embroidered binding depicted here from the Robert S. Pirie collection.

Organizers: Andrew Morrall and Deborah Krohn of the Bard Graduate Center, and Kathleen Lynch and Owen Williams of the Folger Institute.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Coffee and Pastries


Welcome and Introductions

Owen Williams (Folger Institute) and Kathleen Lynch (Folger Institute)


Early Modern Texts and Cultural Practices (Part 1: Embroidery)

Speakers: Anna Bertolet (Auburn); Andrew Morrall (Bard)

For this session, Georgianna Ziegler curated a collection of embroidered bindings from the Folger.

Other display items included:




Early Modern Texts and Cultural Practices (Part 2: Natural History, Food Knowledge)

Speakers: Deborah Krohn (Bard); Caroline Duroselle-Melish (Folger)


Lunch, including small group discussion

(Foulke Conference Room)


Circulation, Reception, Afterlives

Speakers: Stella Beddoe (Retired Senior Keeper of Decorative Art, Brighton Royal Pavilion & Museums); Claire Farago (University of Colorado Boulder)

Display items included:


Tea (Folger Tea Room)


Fashion, Through Time, and On the Stage and Off

Speakers: Michele Majer (Bard); Amanda Wunder (History, Lehman College (CUNY); and Department of Art History, CUNY Graduate Center);

Tatiana String (Associate Professor of Art, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

Display items included:


Reformulated Questions

Speakers: Kathleen Lynch (Folger); Deborah Krohn (Bard); Andrew Morrall (Bard)


Closing Reception