CFP: Fashion, Sex, and Power

Joanne B. Eicher Symposium II
Fashion, Sex, & Power

College of Design, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Keynote address by Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator, Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology

Abstracts due January 5, 2015
Symposium held September 11-12, 2015

This symposium encourages exploration and discussion of the intriguing relationships between power, sex and fashion in dress over the centuries and across cultures. We are well into the 21st century. How are we faring with regard to fashion, sex, and power? How does power relate to sex and fashion? We research gender, but what about sex? Have we come away from the Mad Men commentary with sex used to gain power? Can women break through the glass ceiling aided by books such as Sheryl Sandberg’s 2013 Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead? When will we realize a woman as President of the USA? What about the change in men’s roles, for example, the increase in stay-at-home fathers and their feelings of power and masculinity. Perhaps we need to examine the effects on young girls and boys about role-playing regarding power and sex. 

Suggested paper topics include, but are not limited to:

• Role of fashion in expressions of sexual agency in the Millennium
• Intersection of race, beauty, sexuality and empowerment
• Fashion and modesty in a cultural or generational setting
• Male and female power and sex in fashion across cultures
• Fashionable appearances in public and private spaces
• Politics of gender identity labeling and fashion
• Self-objectification and empowerment
• Sex education for the 21st century
• Sexual agency, identity, and fashion over time

Submit an abstract of 250 words (one page, 12 pt. font with one inch margins). Title centered at the top and no author information. Include a separate cover page with author and contact information. Send abstract and cover page by January 5, 2015 to Marilyn DeLong (

Notification of acceptances by February 16 (following blind peer review). Full paper is due by August 1, 2015. Full papers will be considered for a book edited by Annette Lynch and Katalin Medvedev, to be published by Bloomsbury. See the full call here.

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