Any views expressed within media held on this service are those of the contributors, should not be taken as approved or endorsed by the University, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University in respect of any particular issue.

Renaissance Goo

Renaissance Goo

A historian of the body and a soft matter scientist experiment with Renaissance personal care recipes

Reading Time: 5 minutes In June 2022, Renaissance Goo and the Kings College London Centre for Early Modern Studies got together to host a workshop called  Ways of Knowing the Early Modern: Experimental Methods and Interdisciplinary Collaboration. Sarah Cockram, Hannah Murphy and Jill Burke  brought together representatives from some exciting cross-disciplinary projects that focused on the early modern period. […]

Reading Time: 8 minutes In this blog post, the IASH postdoctoral fellow for the Renaissance Goo project, Dr Sonia Wigh, tackles ideas about skin colour in Indian early modern texts. Having white skin was often fetishized in European texts about ideal beauty, and this has been linked to early colonial ideas and the formation of racial identity. How did […]

Reading Time: 2 minutes   One cliché about Renaissance make up is that it was generally made of materials that were either poisonous (eg mercury, lead, arsenic) or unpalatable (eg bird droppings, human urine, bats’ blood). This fed into a wide range of artistic and literary tropes that linked beauty to vanity and to death, as in George de […]

Reading Time: 2 minutes   As Adriaen Brouwer’s striking painting The Bitter Potion suggests, sometimes improvement takes a bit of suffering. Is the risk of failure the ‘bitter potion’ of remaking projects? The first recipe the Renaissance Goo project tried – for a mastic and olive oil sunscreen – did not work the way we expected it to, but […]

Reading Time: < 1 minute Please join us for the first of our monthly Renaissance Goo online work-in-progress meeting! (See here for more information about the group.) Please see below for Zoom joining info, and email to be added to our mailing list. First up at 1pm on Friday 14th Jan 2021 is the IASH postdoctoral fellow affiliated with […]

Reading Time: 4 minutes I was talking about the Goo project to A Publisher the other day. It was one of those conversations that you wish you could revise and resubmit. They (understandably) wanted to know what kind of audience I’d expect for a book of renaissance skincare recipes that also taught the reader about the fundamentals of soft […]

Reading Time: < 1 minute Aren’t words troublesome at times? We hit on the term ‘personal care’ (despite it sounding like a slightly dodgy euphemism) because that’s the industry term for the kind of stuff you buy in a pharmacy that’s not medicine. Things like shampoo, deoderant, shower gel, moisturiser, but also including ‘colour’ cosmetics like blusher, mascara, lipstick. The […]

Reading Time: < 1 minute Renaissance Goo: Historic Personal Care Recipes and Soft Matter Science is a 2-year research project lasting from September 2021-August 2023 funded by a Royal Society Apex Award. This award allows Professor Jill Burke, a historian of the body, to work with Professor Wilson Poon, a soft-matter scientist to investigate early modern personal care recipes. The […]


Report this page

To report inappropriate content on this page, please use the form below. Upon receiving your report, we will be in touch as per the Take Down Policy of the service.

Please note that personal data collected through this form is used and stored for the purposes of processing this report and communication with you.

If you are unable to report a concern about content via this form please contact the Service Owner.

Please enter an email address you wish to be contacted on. Please describe the unacceptable content in sufficient detail to allow us to locate it, and why you consider it to be unacceptable.
By submitting this report, you accept that it is accurate and that fraudulent or nuisance complaints may result in action by the University.