CONVERSATIONS: Love Hurts? Gender, Clothing, and Health

February 2017
Love Hurts? Historical bodies, gender, clothing, and health

How does clothing influence the body? The mind? Consider corsets–tight lacing dramatically altered the skeleton and organs (to bizarre proportions!), but it also gave us the 19th century phrase “straight-laced,” meaning propriety and morality. Women’s clothing, in particular, had deeply historical significance both as a marker of class and culture and as a binding, restrictive type of dress. But the story is more complicated than 220px-thomas_stewart_-_chevalier_deonthat–and it isn’t all about repression. In the 18th century, the Chevalier d’Eon, a soldier and spy, chose to live as a woman–and was recognized as female by the French king so long as she swore to always wear women’s clothing!  Join us to hear about how clothing has historically and presently altered our health (from corsets to high heels!), but also about how dress becomes a means of “fashioning” identity.

Come early to get a look at our temporary exhibit on corsets in the Castele Gallery, and stay for the talk, panel, and round-table discussion!

Discussion Panel: Patty Edmonson,  Museum Advisory Council Curator of Costumes and Textiles, Western Reserve Historical Society; Jennifer Nieves, Archivist and Registrar, Dittrick Medical History Museum; Liz Roccoforte, Director, LGBT Center, Case Western Reserve University; Erin Tomlinson MD, Assistant Professor, Case School of Medicine, Faculty, Pride Clinic at MetroHealth, pronouns she/her/hers
Where: Dittrick Museum Zverina Room (3rd floor, Allen Library Bldg.)
Thursday, Feb 9th, 5:30 PM
Special Exhibition: Willingness to Bear Suffering: the adverse effects of tight lacing. Dittrick Museum Castele Gallery