Punk Style Book Coupon Code

punk style

This is the time when everyone starts to go a little wild with holiday shopping on the brain, often not knowing what to buy. Perhaps your list has a fellow fashion-minded friend or colleague, or maybe someone who has always had an interest in subculture? You could consider picking up my book Punk Style!

It features chapters on history, cultural analysis, merchandising, and identity, with interviews from Tish & Snooky, Marco Pirroni, Roger Burton from the Contemporary Wardrobe, and many self identified punks who took the time to speak at length regrading their experiences with the style. Also there are numerous high quality photos of the garments and accessories individually and in use.

Click here to read find a snippet from the book and give it a try.

My publisher Bloomsbury has generously provided a coupon code for Worn Through readers and friends and family. Use the code “PunkHolidays” on Bloomsbury.com and get 15%off thru January 1, 2015. It comes as paperback, hardcover, and e-book.

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Modulations: make a broadcast about your fashion/dress research in 2015

I just received an exciting invitation for academics to collaborate with a London based radio station on broadcasting their research in a range of creative formats.  This is a great opportunity for fashion and dress researchers to produce a speech based programme about their work, supported by an experienced team of broadcast producers.

Modulations is the brainchild of Resonance FM, a London based radio station focused on the arts since 2002, and The Arts & Culture Unit, a media and communications agency dedicated to the dissemination of research and practice in the arts, humanities and social sciences.  The idea is to produce a range of programmes, from discussion shows to documentaries, in order to engage new audiences with current research.  How exciting to be able to share your research interests in a creative way but also help raise the profile of fashion and dress research amongst a diverse range of listeners!

For this initial round, Modulations are seeking out researchers based in London and the South East with the hope of extending the geographical field in later rounds.  They are particularly interested to hear from researchers with little experience in broadcast, who are enthusiastic to collaborate and whose research makes use of a range of media forms and/or oral histories.  The project will enable you to learn about broadcast media and production, resulting in both a programme and a podcast that will become part of Resonance’s archive (which I strongly recommend you peruse)

This couldn’t be a more perfect project for a fashion and dress researcher who is looking to bring their subject to life in new ways and wants to extend her/his communication skills.

The deadline is 7 December 2014; you need to submit a 400 word outline and rationale which, with such a low word count, means entry will be highly competitive.  If successful, you will start production in January 2015 and the first programmes will be broadcast in Spring 2015.

For further details, you can either go straight to the Modulations website or contact Juliette Kristensen at The Arts & Culture Unit by emailing  juliette@theartsandcultureunit.com

Good luck!

Image credit: https://twitter.com/resonancefm

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Kickstarter: The Seams

photo-carousel

Author, Journalist, and Adventurer Jacki Lyden has started a new project entitled The Seams. A team with experience from NPR and a passion for clothes plans to start a radio show/podcast discussing history and cultural stories pertaining to fashion.

It’s a fun new project we at Worn Through are supporting and we would encourage you to as well.

Consider donating to their Kickstarter campaign to help get this off the ground! It runs through Dec. 6, 2014.

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You Should Be Reading: Fashion and the Department Store

Fiber into Fantasy

This week’s column examines the department store as a fashion spectacle. These extravagant institutions saw their heyday in the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, when it was not unusual for the multi-level buildings to sell pianos and airplanes along with cosmetics and household goods. Contemporary luxury emporiums, like Saks and Bergdorf’s, create holiday displays each year that are almost exclusively fashion-focused–on Friday, Barneys Madison Avenue unveiled windows as a stage for Baz Luhrmann-directed ice dancers and opera singers, wearing costumes by Academy Award-winning designer Catherine Martin. Three relevant articles are linked below. Our first selection examines a 1991 holiday exhibition of Zandra Rhodes dresses at Chicago’s Marshall Fields; the second studies the partnership between Madeleine Vionnet and the Galeries Lafayette department store; the third looks at the effect of mirrors on nineteenth-century female shoppers. Can department store displays ever be considered on par with runway, theater, or exhibition? Are there particular stores you hope to visit over the holidays? We’d love to read your comments.

1. DeLong, M., Casto, M., McKinney, M., Ramaswamy, H., Thoreson, N., and Min, S. (2014). Curating Cinderella: A holiday extravaganza at Marshall Field’s. Fashion, Style & Popular Culture, 2(1), 45-63.

This article explores how a department store holiday extravaganza contributed towards the dialogue between fashion, museums and popular culture and the ways in which holiday displays pushed the boundaries of costume conception and exhibition. Key components of Marshall Field’s 1991 holiday spectacle were the Cinderella gowns presented as a uniquely curated costume ‘exhibition’ highlighting imaginative designs of Zandra Rhodes. The commission of sixteen Rhodes fairy tale dresses for Marshall Field’s annual holiday display epitomizes the wonder created for the visitor. Combined with the traditions of the season, the Cinderella dresses encouraged make believe and the idea that dreams really do come true. The opportunity for the public to see the holiday designs of Zandra Rhodes was a move beyond consumerism towards theatre and artistic vision, and represented a chance for visitors to experience a fairy tale spectacle on Chicago’s State Street. – Full Article Abstract

2. Champsaur, F.B. (2012). Madeleine Vionnet and Galeries Lafayette: The unlikely marriage of a Parisian couture house and a French department store 1922–40Business History, 54(1), 48–66.

In the past, fashion history has traditionally produced monographs on talented designers emphasizing the creativity of the luxury couture business and the tastes of its elite clientele. This case study, based on the unpublished records of Galeries Lafayette, offers a balanced and decompartmentalized interpretation of relationships among the players in the fashion system. Fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet never considered herself an artist and was well aware of the commercial aspects of the business, while the owner of Galeries Lafayette, Théophile Bader, tried to generate corporate synergy between the couture house and the department store. The examination of the partnership between Vionnet and Bader raises important questions, not only about counterfeiting but also about the transfer of creativity from designers to manufacturers. – Full Article Abstract

3. Carlson, E. (2012). Dazzling and Deceiving: Reflections in the nineteenth-century department store. Visual Resources: An International Journal of Documentation, 28(2), 117-137.

The seemingly ubiquitous object, the mirror, simultaneously advertised new commercial goods and shaped subjectivity in the late nineteenth-century department store. Mirrors could be found throughout the store, serving simultaneously as entertainment, advertisements, and monitoring devices. This new reflective environment implicated the female consumer in unexpected and contradictory ways, thereby complicating an understanding of the flâneuse. I show how, on one hand, mirrored interiors worked to manipulate women by reflecting consumers into the displays, and encouraging them to buy while simultaneously monitoring their shopping. On the other hand, I suggest ways in which these mirrored spaces had unintentionally liberating effects by expanding the consumer’s viewing position and creating more mobile social identities that temporarily documented her within the expensive merchandise and décor of the store. – Full Article Abstract

Image credit: Goldstein Museum of Design Blog

 

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Sad Farewell to Worn Fashion Journal

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Not strictly related to this side of the Atlantic, I admit, but perhaps an indication of its far reaching influence, today’s post is an acknowledgement of the end of Worn Fashion Journal, a Canadian based bi-annual magazine that has provided a much needed platform for critical but accessible fashion and dress journalism over the last ten years.

Personally, this is timely as it has also been a decade since I lived in Montreal and got myself a brief spot as a local reviewer of clothing stores in the Outremont area for Worn’s website.  I still remember being interviewed by Serah-Marie McMahon, its founding editor, in Casa Del Popolo on St Laurent, and thinking how exciting it was to see someone with no formal journalism experience wanting to give voice to the complex narratives, practices and techniques we associate with our clothes.  The first copies I owned, including the third issue (which is pictured above), contained such gems from how to adapt your jeans for a skinny fit, the history of bakelite jewellery to the advent of ethical fashion and interviews with Alexandra Palmer.  The diverse topics, the absence of advertisements and the emphasis on what people actually wear instead of what they should wear was a much needed antidote to the gloss and proselytizing of most mainstream fashion magazines.

Interview with Alexandra Palmer from the third issue of Worn Fashion Journal (authors own image)

I am probably not alone when I say that with Worn Fashion Journal, I felt I had found a like minded friend.  It definitely allowed me to have an academic interest in fashion and dress while still enjoying the fun sensations associated with dressing up and playing with clothes.  It also contributed to my return to the UK a few years later to take up a place at the Royal College of Art in London to study history of design.  I have much to thank Worn for!

A poster for the launch of Worn Issue 2, that I kept because I loved the design (author’s own image)

The gap left by its absence will be sizeable and I only hope that it does not represent the final descent of very independent fashion publishing.  Its presence was notable for its refusal to accept fashion at face value, trying to look beyond but always in a curious and non-judgemental way.  There really must be space for media like this because it enables us to hear a dynamic cacophony of clothed voices above what can sometimes feel like the constant drone of commercial, mass produced fashion. 

The final double issue is published on 22 November and the magazine is also having a farewell ball, which is sure to be well attended by its many followers, aptly named the ‘Wornettes’.

Cover of the final issue, published on 22 November

When looking for tributes to and articles on this inspirational magazine, it seems the coverage is predominantly by Canadian press.  I would love to hear from anyone who has written about or shared an interest in Worn Fashion Journal, wherever you are, and it would be great to know if anyone is thinking about doing a dissertation or thesis about Worn Fashion Journal – could be a very interesting project!

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You Should Be Reading: Fashion and Mourning

 

16.-Death-Becomes-Her-Gallery-View

In honour of the Costume Institute’s newest exhibition, Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire, Worn Through would like to recommend the following readings on fashion and mourning. Our selection includes a classic book on the subject to be revisited, followed by two more recent articles – exploring the link between 19th century mourning dress and 20th century fashion, and the significance of clothing in memory and mourning through English wills spanning three centuries. Have you seen the MET’s new exhibition or have any favourite mourning-related readings of your own? Let us know in the comments section below.

1. Taylor, Lou. (2009). Mourning Dress: A Costume and Social History. London: Routledge.

First published in 1983, Lou Taylor’s Mourning Dress is a comprehensive survey of women’s fashionable mourning dress from the middle ages to the decline of mourning traditions after the First World War. Taylor begins with an introduction to European funeral practices and the social status of widows, later tracing the development of fashionable dress for mourning across social classes and from different countries. Supplementary chapters on mourning jewellery, the mourning dress and textile industries and the colours of mourning reinforce both the scale and importance of these grieving rituals in Western society over four centuries. Accompanied by over a hundred photographs and two appendices on fabrics and the stages of mourning, the book is a valuable resource to any dress or social historian studying the development and significance of fashion for mourning.

2. Mitchell, Rebecca N. (2013). ‘Death Becomes Her: On the Progressive Potential of Victorian Mourning.’ Victorian Literature and Culture, 41(4), 595-620.

On the occasion of her Golden Jubilee, Queen Victoria was depicted in a woodcut by William Nicholson that was to become extremely popular. So stout that her proportions approach those of a cube, the Queen is dressed from top to toe in her usual black mourning attire, the white of her gloved hands punctuating the otherwise nearly solid black rectangle of her body. Less than thirty years later, another simple image of a woman in black would prove to be equally iconic: the lithe, narrow column of Chanel’s black dress. Comparing the dresses depicted in the two images might lead one to conclude that the only thing they have in common is the color black. And yet, twentieth- and twenty-first-century fashion historians suggest that Victorian mourning is the direct antecedent of the sexier fashions that followed. These are provocative claims given that most scholarly accounts of Victorian mourning attire offer no indication that such progressive possibilities were inherent in widows’ weeds. Instead, those accounts focus almost exclusively on chasteness and piety, qualities required of the sorrowful widow, as the only message communicated by her attire. The disparity in the two accounts raises the question: how could staid, cumbersome black Victorian mourning attire lead to dresses understood to embrace sexuality and mobility? — Paraphrased Article Abstract

3. Lambert, M. (2014). ‘Death and Memory: Clothing Bequests in English Wills, 1650-1830.’ Costume, 48(1), 46-59.

Specific clothing bequests form a distinct and often intimate feature in a range of English wills during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Carefully and symbolically allocated to new owners, garments were thus imbued with commemoration as well as financial worth. This paper suggests that gender differentials in this practice have been exaggerated as individual men could be as committed to the process as their female counterparts. Crucially, men and women without children or partners were most disposed to draw up detailed wills reallocating a range of possessions, especially clothing. In this creation of stewardship for chosen garments, individual personality and familial situation were more decisive than any general social or economic considerations. – Full Article Abstract

Image Credit: www.metmuseum.org

 

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Jasleen Kandhari: Exploring Asian Textiles Study Day

This summer I had the lovely opportunity to meet NADFAS accredited lecturer Jasleen Kandhari, an art historian specialising in Asian art and design. Her breadth of interest in Asian collections is both broad and diverse. In covering subjects from Tibetan Buddhist sculpture and Korean ritual art to Sikh miniature painting and South Asian textiles, Jasleen has enjoyed interesting curatorial positions both here in London and abroad, as well as lecturing in universities and museums around the world. A prolific writer, Jasleen has published frequently on her subjects and is contributing editor (Indian Textiles) for Textiles Asia Journal. Currently, Jasleen is lecturing and teaching the Indian Textiles Course at the University of Oxford Department of Continuing Education as well as delivering study days on Asian art and textiles at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, which is what brought me to one of her Exploring Asian Textiles study days at Morley College earlier this year.

Looking at Jasleen's selection of textiles (author's own)

Looking at Jasleen’s selection of textiles (author’s own image)

The study programme was fast paced, packed with different mediums and filled with Jasleen’s enthusiasm for her subject. In just one day, we travelled across the geographical expanse of Asia, stopping off in India, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Japan and Tibet. Jasleen took us on a grand tour of textile design, production and consumption while still allowing us to focus in on a specific example at each place. These ranged from the obvious to the obscure. We embraced the Japanese kimono and the Malaysian songket while being encouraged to take a closer look at the phulkaris of the Punjab and the tiger rugs of Tibet.

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Snippet of Jasleen’s textile collection (author’s own image)

Within each location, Jasleen provided the class with lots of visual examples to include handouts, film clips and illustrative slides. In addition, there was an extensive display of textile examples at the front of the room and we were warmly invited to handle these half way through the day, accompanied by Jasleen’s informative commentary about their origins and significance. A personable and confident tutor, matched by a welcoming disposition. Jasleen asked all the students to introduce themselves and was able to respond to every individual interest in Asian textiles with further information. The breadth of motivation was wide for those present. Some were makers, others were thinkers but all shared a common fascination with textiles and were keen to broaden their haptic experience.  

Phulkari from Punjabi, Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, Canada

Jasleen’s own interest in Asian textiles emerges from her expertise in South Asian art and design, which began with a BA in Asian Art History with Music at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS) in London and then an MA at Sotheby’s. This was followed by various curatorial and educational positions at the British Library and the British Museum before Jasleen took on the position of Curator of Asia at the Museum of Anthropology at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. It was there that Jasleen became more interested in Asian textiles, drawn to their large collection of uncatalogued phulkari, a style of embroidery specific to the Punjab.  Jasleen also loves contemporary textiles and suggests that her passion was always there, having grown up in Kenya in a family with close ties to India where her aunt is a fashion designer in Mumbai. This was also nicely mirrored in her use of current examples from popular fashion magazines as well as the catwalk to highlight the continued significance of Asian textile design in today’s clothing styles.

Jasleen immersed in the research process; wearing kimono in Japan

When not writing for various cultural publications, Jasleen can be found visiting textile factories, filming production techniques or trying on regional costumes, in an effort to immerse herself in the subject for the benefit of her students.  I asked her to share some highlights of teaching a subject she loves. These included inspiring students to want to learn more about the subject; and the fact that it doesn’t feel like ‘work’ but an integral facet of her own passion for the subject. I wondered if Jasleen had any good advice to share with regards to teaching her subject. ‘Always put yourself in the lecture’, she replied. Whether it be wearing a particular costume or including photographs that show you participating in your research, Jasleen suggested this was a vital way to connect with students.

Image from the Sanskriti Museum of Indian Textiles, Delhi

I also wanted to know which museums had enhanced Jasleen’s interest in textiles. Special mentions included the Musee de Jacquard in Roubaix, Northern France, the National Textiles Museum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the Sanskriti Museum of Indian Textiles in Delhi, India. According to Jasleen, their emphasis on actively displaying techniques and processes allows visitors to see how textiles are produced in a dynamic way. This is very reflective of Jasleen’s pedagogical approach to her subject. The study day was nicely peppered with opportunities to look at a range of material sources, watch films showing how particular types of textiles are made and a myriad of handouts identifying techniques and motifs.

Tiger pelt rug, date unknown

I was particularly struck by her research into Tibetan tiger rugs, of which there are apparently only 200 in existence that feature a tiger pelt motif. Interestingly, the tiger pelt design varies from the very abstract to the very literal. Made from sheep wool, these rugs are said to have come out of Tibet as a result of the uprisings in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Originally made as gifts for lamas, the tiger skin design is reflective of Tibetan Buddhist iconography. Yogins are often depicted meditating on tiger pelts and the tiger is historically believed to have protective qualities amongst Tibetan kings and warriors. These are fascinating textile objects and it was great to be introduced to them by Jasleen in the study day.

When listening to her, I was swept away by the heady descriptions of projects, texts, workshops and tours that Jasleen has in the pipeline, all of which can now be discovered on her own website entitled the Travelling Art Historian. In terms of what the future might hold, Jasleen is enthusiastic about museum education, in particular expanding what is on offer in Asian textiles and arts online courses. Jasleen is also keen to develop her research into Sikh art and textiles, both past and contemporary. According to her, ‘it is very important to record Sikh cultural heritage, which includes the influence of crafts such as textile design and painting’.

Spending the day looking at Asian textiles reminded me how useful it is to put myself in the shoes of the student and the advantages of having material artifacts when teaching what you enjoy. I would also very much like to meet others whose teaching interests include textiles and fashion history/theory here in the UK so please feel free to get in touch by email emma@wornthrough.com

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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!

 

Photo credit: Guy Bourdin, Charles Jourdan advertisement (1979) Accessed at http://uk.phaidon.com/agenda/photography/picture-galleries/2010/august/16/fashion-photography-guy-bourdin/?idx=12&idx=12

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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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