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

She explores 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. Follow Materializing Race on Twitter: @material_race.

Her interests include 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


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) 2021 Cynthia E. Chin. All Rights Reserved.