Professor of History Christine Adams recently published the book “Female Beauty Systems: Beauty as Social Capital in Western Europe and the United States, Middle Ages to the Present” (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2015).
The book is a collection of nine essays examining a variety of Western female beauty systems over the centuries, considering how women have complied with, contributed to, profited or suffered from, and resisted them. Adams co-edited the book with her sister, Tracy Adams. St. Mary’s College Professor of English Jennifer Cognard-Black and Professor of History Gail Savage were contributors.
“This book was the fruit of a conference that Tracy Adams and I arranged at The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in November 2013,” said Adams. “The colloquium and book included participants from the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, New Zealand, and the U.S. For all of us, it was fascinating to explore how women across time and space have navigated the conflicting demands that their society’s beauty systems place on them and to consider the complicated relationship between nature and culture that structures those systems.”
Adams is author of “A Taste for Comfort and Status: A Bourgeois Family in Eighteenth-Century France” (Penn State Press, 2000) and “Poverty, Charity and Motherhood: Maternal Societies in Nineteenth-Century France” (University of Illinois Press, 2010). She is also co- editor of the book “Visions and Revisions of Eighteenth-Century France (Penn State Press, 1997).