CFP: Material Culture of Color


Essays for a book on the Material Culture of Color in the Early Modern World

Deadline: Abstracts of 300-500 words and short cv due on December 15, 2009 with the expectation that full-length essays will be due on June 15, 2010.

Andrea Feeser and Beth Fowkes Tobin are soliciting essays for a book on the material culture of color in the early modern world (14th – 18th centuries).

The book will examine the manufacture, trade, and/or use of pigment for dye, ink, and paint and ask questions about how these substances inform the cultural, social, and political histories of peoples and places in all parts of the globe. How do things that create or obtain color shape knowledge production, work life, burgeoning economies, government relations, and aesthetic experience? What types of resources-textual, material, visual-shed light on these operations, and how do they do so? The book will include essays that examine the objects and processes that vivified individual or multiple colors in the early modern world. Scholars from all disciplines are encouraged to submit their work.

Topics of interest to the editors include the social and ideological significance of color as well as the technology and manufacture of specific pigments and dyes, and their circulation and consumption in the form of paint, dye, and cosmetics. Possible topics might include: artists’ participation in the making of their own pigments as well as their use of color; the use of child labor in the production of colored book illustrations and prints; cosmetics and textiles in stage productions; the use of arsenic and other toxic chemicals in pigments for cosmetics and paint; textile manufacturing and the color trade between Europe and Asia; the production and consumption of dyes and pigments in East Asia, South Asia, and the Mediterranean World; the role of the empire in the production of organic and inorganic materials used in dyes and pigments; and the global circulation of specific pigments and dyes, such as indigo and vermilion.

Please send copies of abstracts and cvs to both Feeser and Tobin at the following departmental addresses or email addresses. We will acknowledge receipt of your correspondence.


Image: Rainbow Ocean by Thelma 1 at deviantART

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Monthly Archive


Available now: Punk Style by Worn Through founder, Monica Sklar, PhD. Find it at :, Powell's Books, or a bookseller near you.