On a Pedestal: A History of High Heels | Newberry

On a Pedestal: A History of High Heels

Led by Emilie M. Brinkman.
Saturday, November 6, 2021
Two sessions. Saturdays, November 6-November 13.



For the Fall 2021 term, we’re offering a mix of virtual and in-person classes. Although we are still primarily virtual, you will find a smaller selection of in-person seminars in the schedule. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. Registration opens on September 1st at 9am (Central time). Registration will take place through our online platform, Learning Stream.

Seminar Description

Have you ever wondered about the origins of today’s high heel? Did you know that high heels were once a male style in the Western world, worn by warriors, aristocrats, and kings? Were you aware that red soles, made so iconic by Christian Louboutin, actually date back to Louis XIV and seventeenth-century France? Come explore the rich cultural history of heeled footwear and discover how the high heel was transformed into a thoroughly female fashion and symbol of sexualized femininity by the late nineteenth century

Two sessions. Registration – $120

A cultural historian and lecturer, Emilie M. Brinkman holds a PhD in European history from Purdue University. She specializes in the history of British politics, queenship, and fashion.

Materials List


  • Instructor-Distributed Materials.

First Reading:

  • There is no first reading assignment..

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration Information

Registration opens at 9 am (CST) on Wednesday, September 1st . Newberry Associates members at the Literati level and above will have access to early registration beginning August 25th at 10am. Learn more about membership benefits and becoming a Newberry Associate.

Please note: The Newberry is moving to a new registration system called Learning Stream. This will simplify the registration process for participants, instructors, and staff. For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at seminars@newberry.org.

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.