Sarah Bendall is a McKenzie Fellow in History. She is material culture historian of early modern Europe, specialising in the dress, jewellery, armour, and decorative arts of England, Scotland, and France from 1500-1800.
Her research explores gendered and embodied experiences, particularly those of women, as well as histories of production and consumption, and material ecologies. It furthers methodological approaches and disciplinary perspectives in the field of dress and material culture studies, particularly in relation to historical dress reconstruction and scientific analysis of objects.
Her current research project "Whaling, the Baleen Trade, and the Ecologies of Fashion Innovation in Early Modern Europe" examines the widespread use of baleen in dress and decorative arts between 1500-1800, and consequently the European relationship between fashion and ecology. It utilises records in British and French collections, alongside experimental and interdisciplinary methodologies like stable isotope anlaysis and mtDNA analysis, to trace the journey this animal product took from whale to toilette. Through collaborations with colleagues in the sciences this project also explores new ways of using scientific and archaeological technologies to examine early modern dress and decorative arts objects.
Her first monograph, Shaping Femininity, is forthcoming with Bloomsbury Academic/Visual Arts. It explores how sixteenth and seventeenth-century foundation garments (bodies and farthingales) shaped the dressed female body in early modern England, and consequently how enduring notions of western femininity were established.
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The Case of the "French Vardinggale": A Methodological Approach to Reconstructing and Unde..
Displaying the 5 most recent scholarly works by Sarah Bendall.
Honours, Awards and Fellowships
Society for the Study of Early Modern Women (SSEMW) Margaret Hannay Visiting Fellowship
David Walker Memorial Visiting Fellowship in Early Modern History
Research Project Grant
Historical And Philosophical Studies
The Art Association of Australia and New Zealand
The Costume Society UK
Australia and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (ANZAMEMS)
Doctor of Philosophy
University of Sydney