Pravina Shukla, curator of Costume: Beauty, Meaning, and Identity in Dress, notes the periods of the Revolution and the Civil War remain foci of pride and contention, subjects of popular writing, and inspiration for costumed performance. According to Shukla, in 18th century garments at Colonial Williamsburg and in 19th uniforms on Civil War battlefields, modern Americans celebrate the nation’s history, and at the same time they take the opportunity to air their political and cultural opinions while exploring significant aspects of their identities. Her lectures will explore how these costumes, differing from daily dress, help their wearers fulfill personal desires while they join with others in collective public performance. Shukla is Associate Professor of Folklore at Indiana University, and author of Costume: Performing Identities through Dress (Indiana University Press, 2015), which examines how costume always functions to express identity in situated contexts full of intention and meaning. The lecture will be free and open to the public, and is sponsored by Themester 2016: Beauty, an initiative of the IU College of Arts and Sciences.
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Mathers Museum of World Cultures