Research and Publications

Charlotte Jirousek

My interest in Turkey is of long standing, going back to an undergraduate study abroad experience in 1959, followed five years later by a five year stay in Turkey with the Peace Corps. It was in this period that I first became aware of textiles. I also became aware of the enormous importance this region has had in the development of Euro-American design, commerce, and culture, and how little most people in this country seem to know about it.

My research has followed two paths. The first is an examination of the historic interaction of east and west as expressed in textiles and dress. This research has led me deeper into the history of western dress in the context of the Mediterranean world.

The second has been an attempt to capture the disappearing textile traditions of Turkey before industrialization completely ends these ancient patterns of production and trade. I see my work in the field as an extension of research done by historians of Ottoman textile design and economy. What I am finding is the last traces of networks of production and use that have existed for centuries; in some instances, perhaps for millenia. The rapid disappearance of the traditional weaving technologies in Turkey creates a great sense of urgency to continue the field studies. This is work that cannot be done from archives, and it is an important adjunct to archival work done by historians. The samples collected, video and slide records, and notes will provide basic data for future researchers long after the looms are abandoned.

This link will take you to a list of my publications and graduate student research . Charlotte Jirousek
Department of Textiles and Apparel
319 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607/255-8064
Fax: 607/255-1093
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