Charlotte Jirousek
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies

Web Bio Page

Current Activities

Current Research Activities
Centers around the history of dress and textile technologies. I am particularly interested in the relationship of Islamic dress and textiles to European dress, and the history of Ottoman textile industry and trade, particularly as evidenced by surviving vestiges of traditional textile production technologies and systems.


Biographical Statement
I am an associate professor at Cornell University in the Department of Textiles and Apparel. My PhD and MA degrees were in Applied Design at the University of Minnesota; at the Masters level I specialized in theory of design and color with particular emphasis on textiles, and a minor in Museology; at the PhD level I pursued design foundations education practice and theory, and minored in Art History. 

I teach courses in design foundations and cultural/historical aspects of textile and apparel design. I was an early adopter of new computer teaching technologies, recognizing the computer as a very apt tool for visual studies and creative design production. I created the first full-blown online course textbook for FSAD 125 Art Design and Visual Thinking; I also introduced the teaching of Photoshop to the FSAD curriculum when I developed a course on Photoshop in Textile Design; a course that was subsequently folded into the foundation CAD course taught to all entering freshmen. I also teach FSAD 370 History of color and design in textiles and FSAD 675 Aesthetics and meaning in world dress.

My life-long connection to Turkey and past development work there has led me to take advantage of my networks, knowledge of the language and culture to pursue my research there on historical and cultural aspects of the design of textiles and dress. This research has led to publications on these topics, but also to long-term collaborations with Universities in curriculum development projects as well as joint research efforts that have resulting in visiting scholar collaborations here at Cornell as well as joint publications and presentations. More recently this experience has been applied to a collaborative USDA-funded educational development project on issues of social responsibility in the global textile and apparel industry, the end product of which will be a series of online distance learning courses.

Administrative Responsibilities
FSAD Director of Undergraduate Studies (July 1, 2009- present). Manage 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.

FSAD Director of Graduate Studies through (July 1, 2009). Manage Graduate Program for FSAD; monitor and advise regarding grad student progress; monitor and manage graduate admissions process.

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

Current Collection activities are listed in the section on Teaching Goals and Initiatives.

costume history, fashion history, dress history, dress, ethnographic dress, traditional dress, Turkish dress, textiles, Turkish textiles

Courses, Websites, Pubs

Courses Taught

FSAD 1250 - Art, Design, and Visual Thinking

FSAD 3250 - Color and Design in the Surface Design of Textiles

FSAD 4200 - History of Color and Design in Textiles

Related Websites
Cornell Costume Collection

FSAD 1250 online textbook:

Personal Website: 

Selected Publications
Jirousek, Charlotte. “Turkish Dress.” Encyclopedia of World Dress, Berg Publications, 2009

Jirousek, Charlotte. “The Kaftan.” Encyclopedia of World Dress, Berg Publications, 2009.

Jirousek, Charlotte. Rediscovering Camlet: Traditional mohair cloth weaving in Southeastern Turkey. Proceedings of the 2008Textile Society of America Biennial Symposium, 2009

Jirousek, Charlotte. “Carry it close to your heart: Exchanges of textiles associated with courtship and marriage.” In The Fabric of Life: Cultural Transformations in Turkish Society. Global Publications, State University of New York, Binghamton, 2005.

Jirousek, Charlotte. "Finding the Cloth for the Clothes: Traditional Weaving Technologies in Anatolian Turkey.” In The Fabric of Life: Cultural Transformations in Turkish Society. Global Publications, State University of New York, Binghamton, 2005.

Jirousek, Charlotte. “Ottoman Influences in Western Fashion.” In Costume and Identity in the Ottoman Empire Istanbul: Bogazici University, Eren Publications, 2005]

Jirousek, Charlotte. "Clothing." In Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World. Vol. 1. Edited by Richard C. Martin. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004.

Jirousek, Charlotte. “Islamic Textiles.” In Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion, Valerie Steele, ed. New York: Scribners, 2004]