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Lecture: "The Power of Cloth: The Roles of Clothing and Textiles at the Court of a Carolingian Ruler"

Thursday, October 24, 2013
12:00 AM
1014 Tisch Hall

Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies <br> Thursday Speaker Series <br> Valerie Garver, Northern Illinois University

Abstract: The Carolingian ruler Charles the Bald (840-877), grandson of Charlemagne, used clothing and textiles to demonstrate and bolster his power and authority in his own lands and beyond their borders. His wife Ermintrud played a key role in these efforts by engaging in textile work meant to advance Charles’ interests. Surviving records and depictions of clothing and cloth from their court provide rich evidence of the political, cultural, and social meanings of this form of material culture and of the manner in which those same textiles shaped Carolingian conceptions of society and order as well as lasting western expectations of rule.

Biography: Valerie L. Garver is Associate Professor of History at Northern Illinois University where she teaches medieval history and medieval studies. She is the author of Women and Aristocratic Culture in the Carolingian World (Cornell University Press, 2009). Currently she is working on a book project entitled The Meanings and Uses of Dress and Textiles in the Carolingian World, c. 715 - c. 915.

Free and open to the public.

This lecture is part of the Thursday Speaker Series of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. It is made possible by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.