About

RESEARCH FOCUS

Dr. Cynthia E. McGinnis Riddle Chin is a material culture historian specializing in the dress textiles of Anglo-America & eighteenth-century Europe.

Her doctoral dissertation (Georgetown University, 2019) explored the intersections and ecologies of race, otherness, global exchange, emotion, memory, replicated experience, the body/wearing -- and how human dignity can be preserved through new ways of looking at objects.

Together with Philippe Halbert (Yale University), she founded and leads Materializing Race, a virtual community committed to fostering nuanced interpretations and meaningful dialogue on historical constructions of race and their legacies. Through a series of virtual “unconferences," scholarship on the intersections of identity and material culture in #VastEarlyAmerica is discussed and shared.

She is interested in the material culture historian as biographer and genealogist, and how personal genealogy and positionality affects the interpretation of objects, visual languages, and their temporalities.

Cynthia is currently a Research Fellow at the Washington Library in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Robe á l'anglais, detail

Date:1780–85

Cultures: China for the European market*

Medium: Silk

Credit Line: Gift of heirs of Emily Kearny Rodgers Cowenhoven, 1970

Accession Number:1970.87a, b

Public Domain

*This object description has been revised for accuracy.

(c) 2020 Cynthia E. Chin. All Rights Reserved.