Charlotte Jirousek


Charlotte Jirousek

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Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:

Charlotte's PhD and MA degrees were in Applied Design at the University of Minnesota. At the Masters level she specialized in theory of design and color with particular emphasis on textiles, and a minor in Museology; at the PhD level she pursued design foundations education, practice, and theory, and minored in Art History.

Her courses were in design foundations and cultural/historical aspects of textile and apparel design. She was an early adopter of new computer teaching technologies, recognizing the computer as a very apt tool for visual studies and creative design production. She created the first full-blown online course textbook at Cornell for FSAD 1250: Art Design and Visual Thinking and also introduced the teaching of Photoshop to the FSAD curriculum, a course that was subsequently folded into the foundation CAD course taught to all entering freshmen. She also taught FSAD 4200: History of Color and Design in Textiles and FSAD 6750: Aesthetics and Meaning in World Dress, a course known for its integration of the study of Euro-American and world dress. As Curator of the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection, she incorporated the collection in all of her teaching, encouraged its use by other faculty, and installed regular exhibitions in the Elizabeth Schmeck Brown Gallery.

Her life-long connection to Turkey and past development work there led her to take advantage of her networks and knowledge of the language and culture to pursue research there on historical and cultural aspects of the design of textiles and dress. This research led to many publications, but also to long-term collaborations with Turkish Universities in curriculum development projects as well as joint research efforts that resulted in visiting scholar collaborations at Cornell as well as joint publications and presentations. More recent was a collaborative, USDA-funded educational development project on issues of social responsibility in the global textile and apparel industry. Her committment to cross-cultural studies and the global nature of the textile and apparel industry led to the development of the first FSAD international field trip to India in January 2011, repeated in 2012 and 2013. 


Teaching and Advising Statement:

Charlotte's fundamental approach to teaching was to contribute to the visual literacy of design students through exploration of design foundation concepts, application of color theory in design, and development of foundational literacy in the visual history of dress, fashion, and textile design. Her teaching included lectures, but always incorporated visual images and materials that encouraged hands-on exploration of visual design ideas and deveiopment of skills to enhance design work and assist in the development of critical skills in relation to visual material.

In advising and in teaching her goal was to help the student realize their own objectives in their education.

Current Professional Activities:

She was Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design. In this capacity, she led the program through the logistics of a substantial change in curriculum, particularly in Apparel Design. In view of the expected personnel changes, she initiated a series of planning sessions in which the philosophy and goals of department programs were defined. Based on these planning sessions, several initiatives were undertaken. One was a proposal to divide the name of the major (currently Fiber Science & Apparel Design) into two majors: Fiber Science, and Apparel Design. This would permit a more clear and focused presentation of FSAD's two programs, while keeping them integrated under the same department name.

In 2013 she was appointed Editor of Dress, the journal of the Costume Society of America.

Current Research Activities:

Her focus was the history of dress and textile technologies, particularly the relationship of Islamic dress and textiles to the evolution of European fashion, and the history of Ottoman textile industry and trade, particularly as evidenced by surviving vestiges of traditional textile production technologies and systems.

Courses Taught:

FSAD 1250 - Art, Design, and Visual Thinking  Fall; (3) (instructor of record in a supervisory role; course taught by a PhD teaching assistant )

FSAD 3250 Color and Surface Design of Textiles Spring (3)
FSAD 4200 History of Color and Design in Textiles fall; (3) 
FSAD 4010 - Empirical Research Fall/Spring; (var cr)
FSAD 4020 - Supervised Fieldwork Fall/Spring; (2)
FSAD 4030 - Teaching Apprenticeship Fall; (var cr)

FSAD 4990- Honors Thesis Research (var cr)

FSAD 6000 - Special Problems for Graduate Students (var cr)

IARD 4940- Special Topics Latin America: Ecuador Service Learning.

Related Websites:

Cornell Costume Collection

FSAD 1250 online textbook 

Personal Website

Administrative Responsibilities:

FSAD Director of Undergraduate Studies (July 1, 2009- Feb. 2014). Included management of Undergraduate programs for FSAD, oversight of recruitment, admissions process, curriculum and course development; monitoring of student progress and requirements, and other matters pertaining to programming and individual concerns of undergraduates.

Curator of the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection. This involved establishing accessions and collections management policy for the collection, training and supervising volunteers and student staff in these practices, organizing, researching and supervising special projects and exhibition installation,  maintaining storage conditions, and managing the collection budget.

Selected Publications:

Jirousek, Charlotte. “Ottoman influences in Balkan dress.” in Resplendent Dress from Southeastern Europe, Fowler Museum, UCLA, 2013.


Roman, Mario J.and Jirousek, Charlotte “Emplaced/Displaced Dress: Diasporan Dress amongst South Asian Immigrants in West Virginia.” In Fashion: Exploring Critical Issues, Barbara Brownie, Laura Petican and Johannes Reponen, eds. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2013.


Green, Denise; Lewis,Van Dyk; Jirousek, Charlotte. “Fashion Cultures in a Small Town: An ethnography of fashion- and place-making.” In Critical Studies of Fashion and Beauty, Susan Kaiser, ed. Berg Publications, 2013.


Jirousek, Charlotte. “Turkish Traditional Dress.” Encyclopedia of National Dress, ABC-CLIO Publishing, 2013.


Jirousek, Charlotte. “Turkish Dress.”  Encyclopedia of World Dress, Berg Publications, 2010


Jirousek, Charlotte. “The Kaftan.”  Encyclopedia of World Dress, Berg Publications, 2010.


Dickson, Marsha; Eckman, Molly; Loker, Suzanne; and Jirousek, Charlotte. . “Components of Organizational Learning as a Tool for Integrating Sustainability into Business Education,” Journal of Management Development, April 2013.


Davis, Elizabeth and Jirousek, Charlotte. Ladies of Taste and Refinement: How lace democratized women’s dress. Dress, 2010. Costume Society of America Stella Blum  Research Award article.


Jirousek, Charlotte. “A patchwork history of textile use in Southeastern Turkey: Examination of a rare set of Kurdish work clothing”. Proceedings of the 2012 Textile Society of America Biennial Symposium, 2013.


Jirousek, Charlotte. “Aesthetics and Meaning in World Dress:  A Whole-World Approach to Teaching Dress.” In Special Topic Session: A History of World Dress: Part 2. Proceedings, ITAA Symposium, November, 2012.


Jirousek, Charlotte. “Rediscovering Camlet: Traditional mohair cloth weaving in Southeastern Turkey”. Proceedings of the Textile Society of America Biennial Symposium, 2009. . 

Searchable Keywords:
costume history, fashion history, dress history, dress, ethnographic dress, traditional dress, Turkish dress, textiles, Turkish textiles, design theory, design history

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.