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AMERICAN EVERYDAY: Resistance, Revolution & Transformation

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Columbia College Chicago

754 S. Wabash

Chicago, IL 60605

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With its focus on the everyday, this symposium invites participants to think beyond the constructs of high fashion and haute couture.

About this Event

Building on the recent interest in “everyday life” in the academy in a range of areas including sociology, cultural studies, gender studies and spatial studies, this symposium offers the first opportunity to bring this lens to Fashion Studies and to consider how and why the everyday offers a context for new approaches and ideas.

In the introduction to his book, Everyday Life and Cultural Theory, Ben Highmore describes the everyday as “the unnoticed, the inconspicuous, the unobtrusive.” The everyday, he further argues, inspires both “boredom” and “ambivalence” and has therefore largely evaded scholarly inquiry. It is precisely because the everyday has been hidden and obscured, however, that it merits investigating, and extending to fashion as an ordinary and everyday occurrence, rather than only as being extraordinary or unusual. Indeed, investigation of fashion reinforces Highmore’s words that the everyday might be better understood as “a site of resistance, evolution and transformation.”

In answering Highmore’s call for scholars to reorient their attention away from the extraordinary, the elite and the rarefied, this one-day symposium aims to establish a new critical footing for the study of the relationship between fashion and the everyday in American life and culture.

Drawing upon the insight that fashion is an increasingly integral part of everyday life in the long twentieth century, this symposium does not regard fashion—an institution that exemplifies the tenets of exclusion, aspiration and rarity—and the everyday as diametrically opposed concepts, but rather, as mutually reinforcing.

Key questions that this symposium therefore seeks to address include, “How does fashion manifest in the everyday?” and its inverse, “How does the everyday manifest fashion?”

List of speakers, keynotes and complete schedule of events coming soon.

Image Credit: Lee Friedlander, New York City (2011), Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

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Columbia College Chicago

754 S. Wabash

Chicago, IL 60605

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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