Professor Stuard's scholarship focuses on social and women's history in medieval Italy. She recently published her book entitled Gilding the Market, Luxury and Fashion in Fourteenth Century Italy (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007). Focusing on the luxury trade in fashionable wear and accessories in Venice, Florence, and other towns in Italy, Gilding the Market investigates a major shift in patterns of consumption at the height of medieval prosperity, which, more remarkably, continued through the subsequent era of plague, return of the plague, and increased warfare. A fine sensitivity to the demands of "le pompe," that is, the public display of private wealth, infected town life. The quest for luxuries affected markets by enlarging exchange activity and encouraging retail trades. As both consumers and tradesmen, local goldsmiths, long-distance traders, bankers and money changers played important roles in creating this new age of fashion. In this work, Professor Stuard explores the arrival of fashion in European history.
Professor Stuard arrived at Haverford to help graduate the first class of women admitted to Haverford College in 1983-4. Responding to an interest in women's history, she taught a 200-level course on women's history until she retired in 2000. Professor Stuard also taught a courses in medieval and early modern economic history as well as senior seminars on historiography, emphasizing the revolution in history brought about by Annales School historians, like Fernand Braudel, Lucien Febvre and Marc Bloch.
Professor Stuard remains an active member of the community, interacting with students and colleagues and, in addition to her book, writing scholarly articles and book reviews.
- Gilding the Market: Luxury and Fashion in Fourteenth-Century Italy (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006).