Gender and Materiality in Early Modern English Gloves

James Daybell, Svante Norrhem, Susan Broomhall, Jacqueline van Gent, Nadine Akkerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the complex interactions of gender with the materiality of the processes of becoming and being a glove in the early modern period. Through an investigation of gloves, glove parts, and their ephemeral presentation (through leather, embroidery, and perfume), we argue that gender and materiality act in dialogic ways to produce power relations, and that considerations of gender, power, and materiality are central to our understanding of how material things function in a given society, embedded in social practices and cultural processes of production, consumption, and exchange. Using the glove as an indicative point of exploration, the article offers a new gendered interpretative methodology for analyzing other material artifacts (such as shoes, rings, porcelain, or books) in an early modern European context across their many itineraries from commission to conservation. As such, it critiques and complements traditional “object biography” approaches to things.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-606
Number of pages41
JournalSixteenth Century Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • History

Free keywords

  • Materiality
  • Gender history
  • Early Modern History


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