Hannah Carlson

Prior to joining the History of Art and Visual Culture and Apparel Design departments at RISD, Hannah Carlson trained as a conservator of costume and textiles at the Fashion Institute of Technology and then earned a PhD in Material Culture at Boston University in 2009. She teaches classes on the history of dress, 20th-century American visual and material culture and research methods for graduate and undergraduate students.

Carlson is currently working on a history of pockets and pocketed possessions. Her article, Vulgar Things: James Fenimore Cooper’s “Clairvoyant” Pocket-Handkerchief, appeared in Common-Place (2007) and won the journal's Uncommon Voice Prize. With research supported by Stella Blum Research Grant from the Costume Society of America, her article Idle Hands and Empty Pockets: Postures of Leisure was published in Dress (2010). Her research has been funded by the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Antiquarian Society, the Huntington Library, the Winterthur Library, the Costume Society of America and the Boston University Humanities Foundation. She was faculty fellow in Costumes and Textiles at the RISD Museum from 2012–14.

Fall 2017 Courses

  • GRAD-155G-01 Encountering Things
  • LAEL-1035-01 History Of Dress
  • LAEL-8900-03 LAEL Independent Study

Spring 2018 Courses

  • HAVC-H414-01 Introduction To Material Culture: Makers, Objects and Social Lives
  • LAEL-1036-01 Topics In Fashion Theory
  • Hannah Carlson's CV
  • BA, Wesleyan University
  • MA, Fashion Institute of Technology
  • PHD, Boston University


Apparel Design Architecture Ceramics Digital + Media Experimental and Foundation Studies Film / Animation / Video Furniture Design Glass Graduate Studies Graphic Design History of Art + Visual Culture History, Philosophy + the Social Sciences Illustration Industrial Design Interior Architecture Jewelry + Metalsmithing Landscape Architecture Literary Arts + Studies Painting Photography Printmaking Sculpture Teaching + Learning in Art + Design Textiles