CFP: The International Thread: Lace and Commerce in Eighteenth-Century Europe

“The International Thread: Lace and Commerce in Eighteenth-Century Europe”: Panel at the ISECS Quadrennial Congress on the Enlightenment

July 27-31, 2015

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Chairs: Tara Zanardi (Department of Art & Art History, Hunter College/CUNY 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065;, and Michael Yonan (Department of Art History and Archaeology, University of Missouri, 21 Parker Hall, Columbia, MO, 65211;

Enormous amounts of lace flooded the marketplaces of eighteenth-century Europe, which fostered a vibrant international trade.  This marketplace centered on competition between the Low Countries (especially the regions that now comprise Belgium) and northern France, two areas that included Europe’s most technically accomplished lacemaking centers, including Alençon, Argentan, Brussels, Mechlin, and Valenciennes. These towns exported huge quantities of lace to an international clientele and competed with locally manufactured lace. Our panel seeks papers that examine how lace operated within eighteenth-century mercantile networks, economic systems, and black markets. What were the trade factors the affected the distribution of lace, both locally and globally, and how did those factors affect working conditions, design choices, and the objects created?   How did these market conditions affect what lace was used for, be it garments, decorative items, or household textiles?  Topics might include:

  • Treatments of lace and lace making in gendered terms
  • Lace and lace making as statements of regional or national pride
  • Labor practices in lacemaking
  • Techniques and materials
  • The industry’s global ambitions

Interdisciplinary papers are especially welcome. 

Submissions should be sent to both chairs by  June 15, 2014.

For more information, visit the congress websites:

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