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about dr cynthia chin kirk

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Dr Cynthia Chin Kirk (Dr. Cynthia E. Chin, Dr. Cynthia McGinnis Riddle Chin) is an material culture historian specializing in early Anglo-America & eighteenth-century European dress, textiles, and landscapes.

She explores the intersections and ecologies of race, otherness, global exchange, designed landscapes, emotion, memory, replication as research, the body/wearing -- and how human dignity can be preserved through new ways of looking at objects.



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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 “un-conferences," scholarship on the intersections of identity and material culture in #VastEarlyAmerica is discussed and shared. Follow Materializing Race on on Instagram: materializingrace, and on Twitter: @material_race.


affliations & Fellowships

Dr Chin Kirk is a PhD researcher at the University of Glasgow where she examines the intersections of eighteenth-century British and French art, identity, gender, and designed landscapes in textiles, and the dressed body as an extension of these spaces.


She was a 2020-21 Research Fellow at the Washington Library in Mount Vernon, Virginia, and earned her doctorate in early American material culture from Georgetown University in 2019.

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