Dr. Lacy Gillette defended her dissertation, “People Watching in Paper Worlds: Jost Amman (1539-1591) and Picturing the ‘Type’ in the Sixteenth-Century Illustrated Book,” under the direction of Dr. Stephanie Leitch in the fall of 2022. Dr. Gillette’s research examines the way singular types of people, representative of collective groups, were created, manipulated, and transmitted via the printed book format.
Dr. Gillette specializes in the early modern art of northern Europe (c. 1400-1600) with special interests in printed illustrations, the early modern history of the book, costume, and early modern games. Her dissertation research in Wolfenbüttel, Germany was funded by the Penelope Mason Dissertation Research Award, and she was the recipient of a Fulbright Research Fellowship for dissertation research conducted at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nurnberg in Erlangen, Germany (2019-2020). Her work has been further supported by grants from the American Friends of the Herzog August Bibliothek, The Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies, and the German Studies Association.
Dr. Leitch writes,
Lacy’s dissertation argues that some of the genres currently recognized by our field, such as the costume book, have edged out the consideration of peoples under scrutiny in other books devoted to the trades, labor, morality, and social strata. Lacy’s examination of the degree to which shortcuts such as copied illustrations were undertaken by printshops active in Nuremberg and Frankfurt has resonance for how early modern “genres” were formed. Publishers’ embrace of audiences of increasing diversity is what spurred the circulation of costume books and related manuals that attempted to organize the world’s peoples. In light of this, her project provides a very timely look into the formation of global subjects; Lacy’s dissertation sensitizes current scholarship to historical models of integration and assimilation.
Dr. Gillette was a Patricia Rose Teaching Fellow, teaching survey and art appreciation classes for the Art History department, as well as for the FSU Florence Study Center in the summer of 2019 through the FSU International Programs and Department of Art History Florence Teaching Appointment. As a graduate student, she also guest lectured for the Women’s Studies Program at FSU and served on various departmental and university committees. Dr. Gillette has presented at several national and international conferences and will be presenting research from her completed dissertation at the Renaissance Society of America’s conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico in March 2023.
An initial publication from Dr. Gillette’s dissertation titled “Crowd Control: Organizing Peoples with the Habitus Praecipuorum Populorum (1577),” has been published this month in SPEKTRUM, with a second publication titled, “The Monster Within: Death, Disease and Demons in the Holkham Bible Picture Book,” forthcoming in an edited volume published by Trivent Publishing. Dr. Gillette joined the Department of Literature, Languages, & Culture at Jacksonville University in Fall 2022 and the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in December 2022.
My time spent in the Art History Department at Florida State University will always be remembered as transformative, inspiring, and rigorous. I will be forever appreciative for my colleagues, mentors, and faculty who supported me in my work and progress towards the PhD. Dr. Stephanie Leitch consistently encouraged me with her enthusiasm for my project and faith in my abilities as an emerging scholar. I will be eternally grateful for her patience and humor as my advisor. While I will also miss the camaraderie found at the Strozier Library Starbucks and in the WJB seminar room, I take with me many wonderful memories including the joy of friendships and the awe of many firsthand experiences with art.