- Matisse, Henri. Woman Reading with Peaches.1923.
This is an exciting time of the year for me as a teacher. All year I throw all manner of resources in a box in the corner of my office. It is around this time each summer when I pull the box out and start sorting through. At the beginning of the summer it is possible to map out course preps and all of that summertime “to do” research we have been putting in a box in the corner of our academic lives.
Pull out your calendars and mark a set number of days/hours for academic enrichment. For example, one morning a week I sit with a large cup of coffee and sort, organize, day dream and move forward with tangible plans for my boxed “to do” materials.
Similarly, now is the time to re-read the course texts and re-engage with the material you will teach in the fall. If you have new course preps you can follow this same schedule, one chapter a week, creating materials for that week. By August you will be organized and can re-touch and final prep before the first day of classes. Mark of a second morning a week for coursework, I do one morning per class. Enjoy your summer now by planning in all of the reading and academic research you are pushing to the side during the school year. Happy prepping!
There comes a point in teaching when you run out of steam. The work just seems to pile on. Keeping up with reports, grading, lectures, and field trips is daunting. All of this activity can affect your lesson plans, lectures, and patients. I’ve discovered some wonderful resources that have saved me from having a meltdown.
Dropbox: This site is like a virtual hard-drive. You can upload large presentations, papers, and readings that are too large to send via email. Dropbox is particularly useful when a powerpoint presentation is too large for sites like Blackboard or Moodle. Once you’ve created an account, you simply upload files which can be accessed on any computer by logging in. The best part? You can create folders and then share them with colleagues or students. Access can be either public, by invitation, or private, so your files area always safe.
TES: This British site is a global repository for teachers to share lessons and assignments. After creating an account, you have access to over 600,000 resources. Teachers from around the world share content they have personally created. I have consistently found wonderful handouts and ideas for student assessments on this website.
Paper Rater: This is a site that helps you check for plagiarism. It is intended for student use before submitting a paper, but can help with endless grading. Many universities are using similar programs to check for plagiarism. If your school doesn’t offer this type of technology, Paper Rater is worth subscribing to to help your grading efforts.
If you have additional resources that help with lesson plans and grading, please leave a comment!
(Jenna Shaw, UD Destination India Project, 2011)
What do students benefit from knowing as far as Apparel Design Technology upon graduation as they head out into the field? I have been asking this very question to many design professionals who are working in the field currently as I teach many of the technology courses in my design program. As technology changes and as our departmental budgets decrease how can I best prepare my students to be marketable and succeed in an increasingly difficult environment?
Being of the “Do It Yourself” generation, I troll the interwebs for low cost opportunities students can access to learn and practice their expertise post graduation, post CAD lab with it’s many software privileges.
Google sketch up fascinates me, I wish Google would create a similar Illustrator like program for students to access post graduation when they often lack money to buy expensive software.
A good resource is fashion incubator: http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/what-do-good-designers-have-in-common-pt-2/
Kathleen Fasanella has really created quite a community. I require my senior students purchase her book (as many of them have dreams of being fashion entrepreneurs, Kathleen offers a good dose of reality in her coveted book). I did read in fashion incubator once that one can create flats in excel! There is a small fee to be apart of the insider forum which is well worth it.
(Bryant, M. W., & DeMers, D. (2006). The spec manual. New York: Fairchild Publications.)
From my conversations with former students and Industry colleagues a few things are certain:
1. Knowledge of Illustrator and Photoshop are key and good fashion based texts are being published recently in support of this training in the classroom. I can offer suggestions if you email. If you have a good text you would like to recommend, please comment below!
2. Working knowledge of PDM and product workflow is essential. Note: we do not have a PDM or PLM program in my department. I try and pair with an Industry partner who can share a demo of their working system for my product development classes.
3. Knowledge of the product development calendar. This is something our Advisory board stresses. There is a disconnect between creating a design in an academic setting and developing product in a timely manner.
4. Knowledge of textiles. I imagine all students go through some textile science courses, I think what lacks in the courses is real hands on knowledge. Someone who has created a screen-printed or digital pattern has a knowledge of design that lacks in the student who has simply read about it in their textile science books. A student with hands on knowledge of print, weave or knit has a leg up in the job market. If we can not offer hands on training, we could guide our students towards internships or industry experiences that offer such training.
5. Tech packs. The bulk of my former students now spend their time creating tech packs. It is not glamorous but does give them “stepping stone” knowledge. I was amazed when working with a technical design school in Honduras that each collection piece had a companion tech pack! I now require my students to go through a technical package process for at least one of their senior collections.
6. Digital Patternmaking: Which of course, should be introduced AFTER students have a handle on flat pattern and draping by hand. I have had love and hate relationships with many software programs which I won’t discuss here although I would love to hear your comments. Currently, I am running a digital patternmaking project.
(Lee, J., & Steen, C. (2010). Technical sourcebook for designers. New York: Fairchild Books.)
I have no definitive answers this week. I would more so like to open up this post as a venue to discuss technology in the classroom. What are you teaching? What programs are working/not working for you? What do your Industry partners suggest? Have you polled your former students? If so, what are they saying? If not, Poll them and contribute to the discussion!
Our goal as teachers is to prepare our students to shine in the Industry and in Academia as future teachers. This blog provides a forum for us as fashion academics to set some baseline and aspirational standards. I encourage comments and suggestions.
At night I lull myself to sleep under the watchful aim of Niagra’s “Night Night Cheri.”
This take-no-prisoners vixen hanging above my bed is a relative likeness of the artist that created her.
Icon of detroit Niagra is a strong candidate for our Anarchist of Style series due to her distinct identity that challenges and entices the viewer. A mix of self expression, character tribute, feminist construction, humor, and ageless rocker style. above image from http://niagaradetroit.com/music.htm
image from http://polimorfismoperverso.blogspot.com/2009_06_01_archive.html
image from the site: http://monstersizemonsters.blogspot.com/2010/01/niagara-detroit.html
From 1974-1985 Niagara was a founding member of the band formed Destroy All Monsters, which was part of the circle with The Stooges and the MC5. She then fronted the group Dark Carnival also part of the same scene. Her production of promotional materials for the groups developed a signature style of merging illustration, collage, and pop art, and her career would blossom by the mid-90s intro an being international sensation. The “low brow” art scene was booming and magazines such as Juxtapoz and galleries from LA to Sydney to Tokyo were focusing on such work, with Niagra at the forefront of the movement having shaped this style for decades prior. You can check out her career retrospective in the coffee table book “Beyond The Pale.”
You’d recognize her a mile away as she looks like she could be in one of her paintings, and even in a rock mecca like Detroit, where a bar night presents a room full of fantastic creations, she still stands out.
image from lastfm.com
Comic strip danger girls, femme fatales, and hallucinogenic beauties frequent her bold colored works and her own style is a rock-lead-singer version of this aesthetic. Logically, in recent years she also added clothing designer to her mix working with avant garde coutiriers and even Vans shoes.
image from the site http://www.retrokimmer.com/2010/07/niagara-detroit-inside-out-art-gallery.html
The key to the look of Niagra and those cut from her cloth is consistency and authenticity. Which can go hand in hand. This Anarchist of Style exudes an air of aggressive confidence in smudged black shadow and perhaps a bit of distance from the rest of the room. Which is true of many of the Anarchists we’ve profiled.
image from tumblr: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/niagara%20detroit?before=98
Worn Through is looking for 1-2 new interns to start as early as June and preferably work with us for the entire 2013-14 school year.
We are 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. There is no pay in the internship however I 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 fb 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 rec.
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.
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.
Please email Dr. Monica Sklar with your CV and brief cover letter by May 15. Goal start date is June 1 or 15 latest. We would like a second person to start by Fall.
This week, I’m gearing up for midterms. This term, I have three courses that meet for three hours each. In addition to creating new assessments, I’ve also been creating new lectures. Looking back at this article from the archives, Do They Hear What I Hear? was very useful. In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be writing more about creating assessments.
There comes a moment in your teaching career when you are assigned a new course. It may be your very first time leading a classroom, or you may be a seasoned professional tackling a special topics class. You’re eager, and ready for the challenge.
Then, the bleak reality of the situation sets in: you have two weeks to design your course. This means creating a syllabus, tests, assignments, and seemingly endless hours of lectures and activities. It starts out innocently enough. The syllabus and assignments are created, and the semester starts. You’re ahead of schedule . . . until one day, you’re not anymore. The information starts to feel overwhelming. How can you condense all of your research into a neat, 1 hour and 45 minute class? It seems like you’re spending 8 hours preparing for 1 lecture.
Class starts. You present the lecture and feel great. All of the main issues were covered, the images were great, and you even made a handout. What a great lecture! Or was it?
Cartoon courtesy of brownsharpie.courtneygibbons.org
As academics, we can become engrossed in our topics of expertise. So engrossed, that it becomes difficult to gauge our students previous knowledge on the subject, as well as what they are retaining from our classes. This affect can be compounded when you’re teaching a course for the first time. You’ve spent the last 3 days preparing a lecture on fashion during the Reformation, but your students might not remember what the Reformation was.
Cartoon courtesy of cartoonstock.com
It’s critical to gauge your students’ knowledge and understanding of the material when you’re teaching a course for the first time. It can be tricky the first time around, but here are some tips:
1) Always state the obvious. You have a post-secondary degree. Your students do not. Don’t gloss over the obvious, essential points when lecturing. It’s a great review for them, and the perfect way to introduce more complicated material. Not every single student will be interested every single second of your class, especially if they have some previous knowledge. But keep in mind, many of them don’t, so don’t be afraid to start at square one.
2) Start class with a review. Have 4-5 questions and present them to your class. Make sure the questions cover the main ideas from your previous lecture. This is a sneaky, 2-in-1 move: it gets the students to participate and recall the relevant points you taught. By making the review discussion-based, your students will construct the knowledge on their terms. This equals greater retention of information.
3) Introduce relevant current events. When you make your course relevant to current events, students see the practical applications. They may even see a different perspective on the information you’re covering. Target industry-based publications and popular media, and skim the latest news daily. Here’s a fun discussion I used in my history of costume class: Pharaohs in ancient Egypt wore false beards to indicate their status as ruler. Pharaohs were always male, until the reign of Hatshepsut. (Hatsheput, a woman, reigned as pharaoh c. 1497 -1458 B.C.) How might have the citizens of Egypt felt about this blurring of gender roles through dress? Compare and contrast this to Lady Gaga’s appearance in the 2011 VMA’s, dressed as a man (aka Jo Calderone). This created an interesting discussion about gender roles and how identity is communicated through fashion. It also illustrated that people still have strong opinions about cross-dressing.
4) Let them teach you. Assign presentations and projects that put your students in the driver’s seat. Ask them to bring a quote from the assigned reading which they related to, or found inspiring. Have them review the historical accuracy of different films for a project. If a particular chapter is difficult, ask them to bring topics or passages that they did not understand. When the students take an active role in the course, it’s easier to identify what they are learning, and what you need to review.
These are just some of the techniques I’ve found to work along the way. Many of you might have other tips and tricks for tackling for teaching a new course. I hope you’ll share what has worked for you in the comments.
This week i’m continuing my new column linking criminal behavior and dress, or perceptions of such. The goal week to week is to figure what are some of the major themes out there, determine some voids in the research, gather a strong amount of lit leads to go through, and eventually narrow in on new research directions where there could be valuable contributions from our field.
The areas of crime, justice, and perceptions and intentions of dress and identity are huge, so I’ll be canvassing as much ground as i can and as mentioned, hope to use this exercise of the bi-weekly column here on worn through to zero in on some fresh, practical, and compelling ideas to dive into further.
I realize some of these links go to sites that need a log in, which not everyone has (including me). However these posts are meant as a summarization of the types of research and writing out there, not necessarily a comprehensive lit review meant to be read word for word. It’s conceptual at this point trying to find the right research angle.
Here’s a few stories or articles this week that got my attention:
In England it is now possibly a hate crime to assault subcultural youth, often targeted based on their clothes and inspired by the tragic death of Sophie Lancaster, a teen goth who was attacked. This brings to the forefront concepts of victim and victimizer as well as otherness and fear.
This looks like an interesting article disecting some of the complications when trying to do cross-national research on street gangs and using visuals as one of the major identifiers for pastiicpation. Who Can You Believe? Complexities of International Street Gang Research by Malcolm W. Klein in the International Criminal Justice Review.
On a related note, this piece in Justice Quarterly called Gang Membership and Adherence to the “Code of the Street” DOI:10.1080/07418825.2012.684432 by Kristy N. Matsuda, Chris Melde, Terrance J. Taylor, Adrienne Freng & Finn-Aage Esbensen. They attempt to “examine the efficacy of street code-related variables to explain gang members’ heightened involvement in violent offending” which is really at the core of one of things I want to study about whether wearing the clothes aligned with criminality is a factor in increased criminality. Chicken or the egg.
There are a few articles, with some in scientific american as some of them about things like predictive policing, departments of pre-crime, and technology attempting to figure out who may be about to commit a criminal act.
As will always be requested, please send me any articles that you find.
*BBC News Image is from a project in Nottingham, England to unify rival groups within one region violently clash and use bandanas as a visual signifier. Click here for citation and to learn more.
I’m just wondering if any readers will be attending the Fashion and Social Responsibility conference at the University of Minnesota this weekend? There are people coming from near and far, so say hello if you’re there. I’ll be attending Saturday and probably Sunday.
Earlier this month, news outlets announced another civil rights outrage: in Gaza, Hamas police have been detaining young men whose long hair does not fit with the group’s social aesthetic ideals, allegedly beating them and forcibly shaving their heads. Also under siege: narrow pants and hair gel.
“Ayman al-Sayed, 19, right, with his hair cut, and his friend Mohammed Hanouna, 18, left, pose for photo during an interview in Gaza City, Sunday, April 7, 2013.” Photo: Adel Hana.
The relativity of words like “indecent,” “appropriate,” and “strange hairstyle” is starkly apparent here, and when the “non-conformity” of citizens in some cases results in beatings, those words take on new influence. Wearing ”low-waisted trousers” has even been called “negative behavior” by Hamas officials. We may be familiar with dress codes and Emily Post etiquette, but regulation of clothing by a government or ruling party is something few Americans would be comfortable with (unless by choice, such as in the armed services). Forced haircuts may remind some unfavorably of their time in service or a mother’s punishment, but for many it will conjure up far darker images of Holocaust victims or similar abuses of power. What is it about hair that seems to disturb ruling powers and that is so emotionally disturbing when it is taken away?
Hamas’ interpretation of Islam as applied to daily life does not allow for tight jeans and gelled hair, and part of their containment strategy is to forcibly remove visible signs of these “trends” from young men in Gaza, where half the population is under 18. Since the turn of the twentieth century, Americans have considered the teenage years to be a time of experimentation (for the wealthy, anyway), and young people have been given a wide berth while experimenting with their personalities–significantly including dress and hairstyles. At the same time, to which many of our readers can attest, the teenage phase includes obsessive adherence to perceived social norms. Often, “rules” of dress, grooming, and comportment are created and enforced by teenaged peers; this can lead to serious emotional issues for those who don’t conform.
“Narrow-leg pants” discouraged by Hamas in Gaza, 2013. Photo: Adel Hana.
Parents sometimes make the rules: too skimpy, why all the black makeup, are you really going out in that? They make shake their heads at Kids These Days, or even strictly control dress behavior they do not agree with. But when a powerful militant group takes it upon itself to not only make the rules but apparently violently enforce their arbitrary decisions, the role of clothing in national, generational, or even religious identity is at once enhanced and degraded. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) “strongly condemns” the actions of the Hamas police as violations of civil rights, noting that those detained and allegedly attacked were also made to sign statements that they would not “grow long hair or have a strange hairstyle, or wear ‘low-waisted trousers’ again.”
Who gives clothing or hairstyles power in this case: the targeted young men, or the militant group?
How would you feel about an enforced dress code or grooming regulations? We so often hear about conservative interpretations of Islam targeting “indecent” women’s dress; does this focus on the wardrobes and grooming of young men change that conversation? Do you think skinny jeans specifically can be seen as threatening to Hamas’ interpretation of Islam and the power structure created therein? Or rather: would Jncos be equally at issue?
What are the implications of the PCHR declaring the right to dress however one wants a “private liberty” and a “civil right?” Is it surprising to you that those sort of declarations are apparently still necessary in 2013?
Clothing is not just clothing. Please leave your respectful comments below.
This new column will be a bi-weekly summary of happenings linking dress and dissent, fashion and crime, and perceptions (fact or fiction) of deviance as related to appearance. From the West Memphis Three‘s recent release from prison to the Juggalos being watched by the FBI to the average middle school student suspended for a particular haircut I want to look into issues linking clothing and conviction—lame pun intended.
From 2002-4 when I was working on my Master’s degree I began a thesis regrading the relationship of dress to criminality. I performed literature reviews on street gangs, neo-nazi’s, various aspects of subculture, and took classes on those subjects. However it was simply too vast of a topic for the short span of time that is spent on an MS degree thesis, and so I back-burneed it for another topic.
Now that it’s been a few years since completing my PhD, and my book, Punk Style is pretty much all wrapped up and being published later this year, I’m ready to refocus on energies in other directions, including coming back to former projects.
In all of the publishing/presenting I’ve recently done about subcultural style, black leather jackets, punk style, etc in journals, books, and conferences I kept being reminded about ideas of perceptions of outsiders as deviants and how the wearer’s use clothing and even use those perceptions as part of identity building and expression.
So, I plan to spend the next period of time gathering all of the information that I can find on the subject as a running lit review and bring it to you in a bi-weekly snapshot. Feel free to send me interesting tidbits you come across as well. Through that on-going process I hope to do some grounded research zeroing in on contemporary running themes and areas that would benefit from further exploration and primary studies.
A few links to things that recently got my attention on this topic:
Undressing Cinema: Clothing and Identity in the Movies is a book that has chapters on gangsters among others.
A HuffPo column consolidated some of the current writings on the famously clown-faced (among other goth, metal and hip hop inspired styles) Juggalos and discussed the FBI labeling as a gang vs. fans of a music act/subcultural lifestyle.
Trayvon Martin‘s family settled this week regrading the wrongful death suit and the home owner’s association which brings that case back to forefront of the news with the issues of race, youth dress, urban styles, and especially hooded sweatshirts. This last link is to a series of images regarding the sweatshirt controversy that emerged.