CFP: Kentucky Foreign Language Conference

Kentucky Foreign Language Conference

Modern Bodies: Corporeality in Spanish Silver Age Literature and Culture

 April 23-25, 2015

The advent of modernity and the processes of modernization in early twentieth-century Spain, during the so-called Silver Age (1900-1936), radically changed the existing representations of the human body.  The advancement of science and technology, the rise and consolidation of disciplines like sexology, eugenics, and psychology, growing urbanization, the emergence of feminist debates, the appearance of new literary genres and movements, the development of mass culture, or the arrival of foreign fashion and ideas are some of the factors that contributed to the rethinking and reshaping of the body.

This panel seeks papers that analyze corporeality from different perspectives and disciplines. We welcome contributions on the following topics:

  • Naked bodies: nudism, naturism, erotic artifacts
  • Athletic bodies: sports and leisure
  • Sexed bodies: sexology, medicine, sex reform
  • Visual bodies: photography, film, art
  • Queer bodies
  • Technology and the body
  • The body and avant-garde literature and art
  • Racialized bodies

Please send a 250-word abstract in English or Spanish to Jeffrey Zamostny (jzamostn@westga.edu) and Itziar Rodríguez de Rivera (ir224@cornell.edu) before October 15, 2014.

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Seeking New Interns

Worn Through is still looking for 1 – 2 new interns to start as early as September or October and preferably work with us for the entire 2014-15 school year.

We are particularly looking for people who are comfortable with Twitter, academic journal articles, and those who want to help with finding and posting CFPs, interesting videos, doing research with contributors, and other tidbits our readers would enjoy.

We need someone who checks email daily and can be fairly quick in response time, although this is the type of position where you can do many of your tasks in chunks (such as pre-posting weeks’ worth of CFPs). Therefore we can work with your workplace or school schedule as long as you are a good email communicator. The ideal candidates are involved in the research/academic/history & culture side of apparel studies and want to continue in those fields. Although someone in marketing/trend research or similar may be great too.

Worn Through is a volunteer network of individuals who work as thriving museums, schools and doing independent research projects of all sorts, so this is a strong networking and professional experience opportunity for a student or new graduate. Many of our interns move onto nice jobs and/or become contributors here at Worn Through. Internships are unpaid, however we have worked it out with schools in the past to do any paperwork needed to get credit if that is an option for you. Also note we have 30-40,000 hits per month and almost 1000 Facebook fans so your efforts will be visible to the public and your hard work recognized. Also upon a strong job we are happy to write letters of recommendation.

Please email Dr. Monica Sklar with your CV and brief cover letter by September 30. Goal start date is October 15, October 31 at the latest.

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A Postcard from Abroad: Autumnal Activities in London

This is the time of year when academic life goes up a gear as we begin our teaching and learning programmes, embrace a new cohort of students and welcome back the older ones.  It is also a time of great pressure and the weight of the so many ‘to do’ lists can become unbearable! So, between running around like a maniac and wanting to stick my head in the ground, I am taking this opportunity to mention some autumn activities worth noting.

There would seem to be a buzz for f20th century fashion photography exhibitions this winter as we see two retrospectives open at the V&A and Somerset House.  The former features Horst. The Photographer of Style and is on until 4 January.  Featuring many unseen prints and restored colour photographs, the exhibition explores the prolific work of Horst P. Horst, the photographer whose work redefined fashion photography during the 1930s and 1940s.   Covering a later period but no less esteemed fashion photographer, Somerset House hosts Guy Bourdin: Image Maker from 27 November until 15 March 2015.  Showing over 100 works, spanning his 40 year long career, the exhibition is curated by Alistair O’Neill with Shelly Verthime and will also include the entire ‘Walking Legs’ series, his iconic campaign commissioned by Charles Jourdan in 1979 (and from which the above image is taken from).

An intriguing exhibition at Sotherbys S/2 Gallery entitled Stitched Up caught my eye and is open until the end of September. This small display of pieces by contemporary artists working in the medium of textiles claims to show the historical relationship between contemporary art and textiles since the 1980s as well as shine a torch on the breadth of practices seen today.  I think this is worth a visit in order to see how textiles as an artistic medium has developed in the last 30 years, something that has yet to be done on a larger scale in the bigger design museums.

Staying with the art and fashion theme, I noticed there is an exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery featuring a ‘psychological’ portrait of Coco Chanel by Sam Taylor-Wood, the director of the much hyped film Fifty Shades of Grey and Turner Prize nominee.  Taylor-Wood presents 34 photographs that capture the interior of Chanel’s private apartment in Paris, which has been preserved since her death over 40 years ago.  The exhibition, called Second Floor, has been curated to coincide with London Fashion Week.

I’m excited to see an exhibition on dress and identity starting soon at the Design MuseumWomen Fashion Power opens on the 29 October until 26 April 2015 and offers us insights into how influential women have used dress to define and embellish their status.  Featuring 25 women and spanning over 150 years of fashion history, the exhibition features outfits and personal style stories from figures involved in fashion and music to politics and economics.

This also reminds me of a new book by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton which focuses on how women choose to dress as an integral aspect of their daily lived livesWomen in Clothes  seems to promote itself as a philosophical ponderance on what it means to get dressed, presented as a stream of dialogues rather than a set of rules.  I have yet to read it but understand that this is a take on fashion and dress that draws upon the conversations started in publications such as Worn Magazine, where clothes are rarely about fashion and almost always about stories relating to who we were, are and could be.   If you have read the book, it would be great to hear from you.  I am very interested to know what you think about this emerging interest in clothes as identity narratives; in the ‘getting dressed’ process might offer fashion and dress scholars new material to consider and reflect upon.

Lastly, I am excited to say that later this week I will visit the V&A’s Clothworkers Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion for the first time – it’s taken me a year to get an appointment!  I hope to share my experience at a later date but for now, it’s back to crazy running around!

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CFP: Popular Culture Assn./American Culture Assn. Annual Conference

Popular Culture Association & American Culture Association (PCA/ACA)

Fashion, Style, Appearance, Consumption & Design

April 1 – 4, 2015 National Conference – New Orleans, LA 

Fashion, Style, Appearance, Consumption & Design is concerned with all areas and aspects of style, fashion, clothing, design, and related trends, as well as appearances and consumption using and/or including

  • historical sources
  • manufacturing,
  • aesthetics
  • marketing
  • branding
  • merchandising
  • retailing
  • psychological/ sociological aspects of dress
  • body image
  • cultural identities
  • any areas relating to purchasing, shopping, and the methods consumers construct identity.

 The deadline for online abstract proposal of papers will be November 1, 2014.

Submissions can only be submitted via the site http://ncp.pcaaca.org/. Select a Subject Area, enter your proposal’s title and input a clearly defined abstract of your scholarship of no more than 250 words and a short 50-word bio (please review in the database your name, university, abstract title and abstract for spelling & grammar). Submit only one proposal to one area.

Papers from all methods and disciplines are welcome! Innovative and new research, scholarship and creative works in the areas of fashion, design, the body and consumerism are encouraged!

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On Teaching Fashion: Auditing Courses

The fall semester has begun and I have a request from a student to audit one of my apparel design courses. This means that I don’t have to track attendance or grade any projects from this student. But since they are in my classroom, I still feel obligated to help them and answer questions since most of our design classes involve project based work.

Woman in the Field photographed by Stella Haus Films

Woman in the Field photographed by Stella Haus

My past experience with students wanting to audit my courses have been mixed. I once had a student who wanted to learn fashion draping, was not an apparel design degree-seeking student, so this student asked to audit the course. This student was punctual, never missed a class, took notes, and even helped the other students if they had a question. She was an asset to my classroom and I enjoyed having her. However, this is not my usual experience with the auditing process. I often have a student that wants to audit my beginning sewing course. Those students will begin the course and then disappear after a couple weeks and I will never see them again. Sometimes they will return towards the end of the semester and ask for help to catch-up with the other students. I can’t seem to predict if an audit will be a positive or negative experience. The pressure a student will feel based on a financial investment or achieving grades that will have an effect on your future drives them to attend classes and turn projects in on time. Students that are auditing don’t have the same pressure.

Non-students have also asked to sit in on my courses. I usually direct them to officially enroll in our university and then audit the class. In my project-based classroom, I don’t want to reduce my time spent with our paying, degree-seeking students to help someone who is not paying. However, I did read about the increase of senior citizens attending college courses and would open my classroom to them. There are programs in some universities, including mine, that encourage senior citizens, aged 65 and up, to audit courses. In some universities, they are still required to be officially enrolled but are exempted from paying tuition up to a certain number of credit hours. In other universities, they can just contact the school and choose which course they want to attend and sit in on a class. A recent article about seniors auditing courses included the following figures: “About 300 seniors take at least one course each semester and that number has grown by about 25 students each term in recent years.” The NY Times also had a great article about seniors auditing courses and how they are given opportunities to socialize, engage their mind and to share their personal experience. In the article, a senior named Judith Sherman, who took a religion class at a notable university and was able to contribute in a big way. The article states: “This non-Jewish professor was really struggling to connect these privileged students to the Holocaust — and I was sitting there silently,” she recalled. She soon revealed her wartime nightmare to her professor, who invited her to lecture the class. She said her star turn at the lectern “was kind of a freeing experience.” She adds :“I felt as if I was no longer the only guardian of all these memories.” A senior person can have a big impact in the classroom by sharing their years of experience. Inviting seniors to audit courses in the apparel design field would be a joy for me. Not only will they have historical garment and fabric knowledge, they may have sewing experience as well.

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Seeking 2 New Interns — Deadline Extended

Worn Through is still looking for 1 – 2 new interns to start as early as September or October and preferably work with us for the entire 2014-15 school year.

We are particularly looking for people who are comfortable with Twitter, academic journal articles, and those who want to help with finding and posting CFPs, interesting videos, doing research with contributors, and other tidbits our readers would enjoy.

We need someone who checks email daily and can be fairly quick in response time, although this is the type of position where you can do many of your tasks in chunks (such as pre-posting weeks’ worth of CFPs). Therefore we can work with your workplace or school schedule as long as you are a good email communicator. The ideal candidates are involved in the research/academic/history & culture side of apparel studies and want to continue in those fields. Although someone in marketing/trend research or similar may be great too.

Worn Through is a volunteer network of individuals who work as thriving museums, schools and doing independent research projects of all sorts, so this is a strong networking and professional experience opportunity for a student or new graduate. Many of our interns move onto nice jobs and/or become contributors here at Worn Through. Internships are unpaid, however we have worked it out with schools in the past to do any paperwork needed to get credit if that is an option for you. Also note we have 30-40,000 hits per month and almost 1000 Facebook fans so your efforts will be visible to the public and your hard work recognized. Also upon a strong job we are happy to write letters of recommendation.

Please email Dr. Monica Sklar with your CV and brief cover letter by September 30. Goal start date is October 15, October 31 at the latest.

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Domestic Affairs: Fall Fashion Exhibition Line-up

Django Unchained, 2012, Courtesy of Visiona Romantica, Inc., The Weinstein Company, Columbia Pictures & The Motion Picture Academy

Django Unchained, 2012, Courtesy of Visiona Romantica, Inc., The Weinstein Company, Columbia Pictures & The Motion Picture Academy

Rather unusually for fashion exhibitions, it’s going to be a busy autumn.

For the first time in seven years, The Metropolitan Museum‘s Costume Institute is opening a fall exhibition on October 21, 2014 (Press Preview, October 20). Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire will be open through February 1, 2015 and “will explore the aesthetic development and cultural implications of mourning fashions of the 19th and early 20th centuries.”

Also in New York, Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe opens today, September 10, at The Brooklyn Museum. “From the high platform chopines of sixteenth-century Italy to the glamorous stilettos on today’s runways and red carpets, the exhibition looks at the high-heeled shoe’s rich and varied history and its enduring place in our popular imagination.” The exhibition will be open until February 15, 2015.

Opening November 15, 2014, Chicago Styled: Fashioning the Magnificent Mile will be on view until August 16,2015 at the Chicago History Museum.

Here in California, the FIDM Museum‘s 8th Annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibition is entering its final weeks, closing on September 20. Their other exhibitions, International Inspiration: The Donald and Joan Damask Collection at the Orange County campus, and the Designing Hollywood: Sketches from the Christian Esquevin Collection at the main campus downtown will be up until November 1.

At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), in addition to their Kimono for  Modern Age exhibition which is up until October 19, 2014, Art Deco Textiles is also up and will be on display until February 22, 2015.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is presenting the exhibition, Hollywood Costume, at the Wilshire May Company building in Los Angeles – the future site of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The building is right next door to LACMA. The exhibition will be the final showing of the Victoria & Albert’s Hollywood Costume, but expanded to include costumes from The Hunger Games and Django Unchained. The exhibition will be on view from October 4, 2014 until March 2, 2015.

It is also symposium season! Three regions of the Costume Society of America will be holding their annual symposia in the next few weeks. Starting with the Midwestern Region on September 26 & 27, followed by the Northeastern Region on September 28. The Western Region‘s symposium — where I will be giving a paper, myself — will be happening October 10 through 12. Be sure to follow the links to see the schedules and paper topics for each one.

As always, if there is an exhibition or event happening in your area or your institution that you think Worn Through readers should know about be sure to let me know either in the comments or by emailing me!

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Museum Life: Install time

Nothing like some Tyvek booties to complete your installation outfit... Photo by Pete Smith

Nothing like some Tyvek booties to complete your installation outfit…
Photo by Pete Smith

For the last week we’ve been installing costumes for the just-opened exhibition, The Making of Gone With the Wind, at the Harry Ransom Center. While our installation is small, (five costumes within the larger exhibition of other materials), they are voluminous, fragile, and pose many display challenges.
During this time I was reminded of this hilarious post from staff at the Museum of London, “Things they don’t teach you at curator school.” 
Many of you may have already read this, but if you have or haven’t, please enjoy again or enjoy for the first time!  And good luck with your fall exhibitions, everyone!

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CFP: The Costume Society Symposium

The Costume Society Symposium in London
Friday 3 – Sunday 5 July 2015

This symposium theme is The Power of Gold. This is intentionally wide-ranging and offers many possibilities for papers which could focus on any aspect, period or geographical area in relation to dress and appearance. Papers are welcomed which interpret the theme imaginatively through different approaches and issues, drawing on interdisciplinary research based on garments and accessories, jewellery, photography, film, literature, and archives.

Subjects could fall within the following headings:

•The power of the use of gold in fashion and dress – issues of status, symbolism and cultural meanings, ranging for instance from fashion for beach and sunbathing to the power of golden jewellery

•Fashion’s fascination with gold – couture from its 19th century origins to the 21st century

•The power of gold in ceremonial and religious dress – the use of gold fabrics and embroidery in court dress in Europe or Asia, or ecclesiastical vestments from Opus Anglicanum to the present day

•Gold in fancy dress, theatre and film costume

•Golden fabrics – manufacturing techniques, design, status and consumption, such as 18th century silks to gold and metallic fabrics in the 1920s and 1930s

Papers are welcome from academics, collectors, curators, designers, research students, and independent scholars. Papers, with the exception of those by keynote speakers will be of 30 minutes duration with illustrations by PowerPoint.

Deadline: Those wishing to offer papers should submit an abstract of about 200 words with a short CV by 23rd October 2014 in WORD (no formatting). All submissions will receive replies by January 2015.

Abstracts and CVs should be sent to symposium@costumesociety.org.uk

Submissions will be considered by a committee from the Costume Society Executive Committee.

The Society regrets that it is not possible to pay for expenses in the preparation and presentation of a paper, or for travel to the Symposium.

The Society offers a bursary for a student to attend the Symposium – details can be found on our website costumesociety.org.uk

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Back to School: Top Five Research Resources

It’s September, which means back to school!  There hasn’t been a single year when I am not completely preoccupied by what to wear on the first day of class.  Crafting and presenting my socio-intellectual-professional identity becomes a full-time project from the end of August until the start of term.  Taking the time to equip myself sartorially was always a helpful way to manage the uncertainty and anxiety of unknown classes, unfamiliar teachers and unforeseen changes amongst friends last seen before the summer break. As an adult, working out what to wear at this time helps me to get in the mood for teaching, moving away from the breezy feel of holidays towards a more disciplined aura manifest in the lace up shoes, sombre tones and heavy fabrics of my September wardrobe.

Yet, preparing to return to our studies means brushing up on our books as well as our winter warms.  So, to get ready for this academic year, I wanted to highlight my top five online fashion/textile/clothing resources that any budding scholar or thinker could add to their academic outfit and we don’t already feature here on Worn Through.

First up is the Fashion Research Network, a collaborative project developed by PhD students from the Royal College of Art and the Courtauld Institute of Art and set up in 2013 “in response to their own experiences of navigating the networks already open to fashion researchers.”  Not only does the website promote early career researchers but it is one of the few websites that attempts to bring all the various strands of fashion research together into one space, where conferences and courses can be browsed simultaneously.

Second up is the University of Brighton’s listings of dress collections in museums put together by Prof Lou Taylor and Dr Charlotte Nicklas in July 2011.  This comprehensive list offers fashion researchers a wealth of information concerning dress/textile collections in the South, South East and South West of England.

In third place is the Vintage Fashion Guild ‘s Label Resource, which enables those with an interest in history and clothes to begin tracing the retail lineage of loved garments through their labels.  Although this resource is aimed at vintage buyers and sellers, the information provided is fascinating for anyone who has ever wanted to know more about the story of their worn clothes.

Taking fourth position is Behind the Seams, Vice Magazine’s collection of fashion and dress documentaries. Online access to interesting leftfield films about apparel, particularly from a global perspective, is not easy which is why this site is so valuable.  I only wish that films were added more frequently, thereby building upon this unique archive.

A still from Bulletproof Fashion, a Behind the Seams film about Bogata’s tailoring industry which specialises in protective clothing for bodyguards and UN officials

My last choice is Documenting Fashion, a dress history blog set up by Rebecca Arnold, Oak Foundation Lecturer in History of Dress and Textiles, and students studying textiles and dress at the Courtald Institute of Art in London in 2013.  This collective approach to writing about dress and fashion provides a good model of academic research whereby both student and teacher’s interests inform one another’s work within a public information forum.

If you know of any other online resources that you would like to share with our community, please do let us know via the comments below.  Alternatively, if you have an idea for something that does not currently exist, we would love to hear from you!

(Top image is a collage by Alexis Romano taken from the Documenting Fashion website)

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