Essay proposals are sought for a cross-disciplinary collection foregrounding current feminist scholarship on modern fashion in the period between 1860 and 1940.
Fashion was frequently held up by late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century theorists of western modernity (including Baudelaire, Veblen, Simmel, and Benjamin) as a quintessentially modern form. One hundred years later, theorists and historians of modernity have returned to the analysis of fashion, recognizing it as an important indicator of a host of modern phenomena.
What strikes us as remarkable is the relative lack, in this recent return to fashion, of attention to categories of gender. Fashion was—and is—associated with femininity and with artifice, yet scholars have not thoroughly interrogated this articulation. Given these associations, the emergence of modern fashion demands analysis for its central role in the development of norms and practices of masculinity and femininity in the period of industrial modernity. Thus it seems imperative that we focus critical attention on fashion’s relationship to the production of modern genders, at both the level of subjectivity and the level of representation.
In addition to addressing a gap in the literature on modern fashion, fashion research can productively speak to impasses in contemporary feminist theory that reproduce the dichotomization of discursive and material realms. We believe that, in linking discursive and material aspects of social life – indeed, in problematizing the distinction between the two – fashion scholarship can offer a model for feminist inquiry.
To that end, we are editing a collection of cross-disciplinary feminist scholarship on modern fashion in the period between 1860 and 1940. We will include essays from a range of disciplines and methodologies that bring to bear feminist theoretical tools, broadly conceived, on fashion’s roles in the production and mediation of gender in the modern period. We particularly encourage proposals that address transnational modernities and interrogate the Eurocentric canon of modernist studies.
Completed essays will range from 7,000 to 9,000 words. The aim is to complete the manuscript by early 2009.
We ask interested authors to submit a 500-word abstract, as well as a current CV, to Ilya Parkins and Elizabeth M. Sheehan, by April 15, 2008. Please contact:
Dr. Ilya Parkins, Assistant Professor, Women’s Studies, University of British Columbia Okanagan
Elizabeth M. Sheehan, PhD Candidate, Department of English, University of Virginia
Dr. Ilya Parkins
University of British Columbia Okanagan
Kelowna, British Columbia
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