Underpinnings: The Evolution of Underwear from the Middle Ages through Early Modernity

A conference at noon on Saturday, April 24, 2010 in the Fine Arts 258 & Grand Corridor , organized by the undergraduate students of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Binghamton University (Binghamton, NY) in conjunction with Troubadours and Trebuchets, The Medieval Studies Club
From the trailing sleeves and towering headdresses of the High Middle Ages to the ornate, jewel-encrusted ensembles of Elizabethan England and the elaborate turbans of the Mamluk and Ottoman empires, clothing and headgear have captured the imagination of historians for decades. Few, however, have given thought to what lies beneath, which, even while having a functional role, comprises a system of sartorial signs that tell much with respect to social mores and shifting views of the body. This conference aims to explore the evolution of undergarments from the Middle Ages through the early modern era in a variety of contexts, from the material forms of the garments themselves to their symbolic associations and latent meaning.
The event is at noon, FA-258. Free. Speakers: Kristen Stewart, research associate, The Costume Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC and Carole Collier Frick, associate professor of history, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Convocations Fund. Call 777-2730 or e-mail or visit