Uncovering the Animal: Skin, Fur, Feathers 1450-1700

Event Date: 
29 Jun 2018


King’s College London 






This half-day workshop will reflect on the multiple ways in which animal skin, fur, feathers, hair, scales and shells were conceptualised and used between 1450 and 1700. Combining different historiographical approaches and sources (textual, material, and visual), the workshop aims to open the field up to a wider audience, strengthen the need to consider animals compared to similar work on human skin and hair, and facilitate an interdisciplinary conversation, from natural history to material culture, on animal skin in a globalised world.



1.00pm                        Welcome and introductions


1.15pm                        Natalie Lawrence, Independent Scholar

Scaly devils and armoured innocents: the pangolin in Early Modern Europe


1.45pm                        Tom Rusbridge, University of Birmingham

'Smooth places, a great blemish': Reconciling material and visual representations of shagreen in early modern England


2.15pm                        Maria Cristina Bastante, Università degli Studi di Roma ‘La Sapienza’

‘Nautilus ab Indis’: the curious successful story of a mysterious beast and its shell, between Mannerism and Baroque, visual culture and scientific representation


2.45pm                        Coffee break


3.00pm                        Stefan Hanß, University of Cambridge

Plumas para gorras y sombreros: Feathers and Hats in the Early Modern Spanish World


3.30pm                        Lianming Wang, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Kingfisher Feather and Qing Material Culture, 1660-1790


4.00pm                        Coffee break


4.15pm                        Patricia Lurati, Universität Zürich

Fur, animality and erotism in Italian Renaissance art


4.45pm                        Sara Ayres, Independent Scholar

Fur against Fur: Animal Bodies as Agents of Transformation in the Ritual of the Courtly Hunt


5.15pm                        Roundtable discussion



6.00pm                        Workshop close


The workshop is organised as part of the Renaissance Skin project (www.renaissanceskin.ac.uk).


Follow us on Twitter @RenSkinKCL and use #uncoveringanimals

Submission date for papers: 
15 Mar 2018
PDF icon CfP354.66 KB
PDF icon Programme457.96 KB