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Material Subjects: Making Place, Making Time through Fashion
Thu, May 18, 2017, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM BST
Susan B. Kaiser is vice dean for the Division of the Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies at UC Davis, USA.
She is the author of The Social Psychology of Clothing: Symbolic Appearances in Context, originally published in 1985 and republished in 1990 and 1997 and translated into Japanese, Chinese and Korean; and 2012’s Fashion and Cultural Studies. She has written or co-written approximately 100 articles and book chapters in the fields of textile and fashion studies, gender studies, consumer studies, cultural studies and sociology. Her current research focuses on themes of place and space, with particular interest in neglected sites of fashion interest such as small cities and towns and rural areas and their interplay with intersecting identities regarding gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age, social class, and national identity.
In this talk, Susan will link intersectional-identity (i.e. gender, race, sexuality, class) fashion scholarship with issues of place (where we are) and time (when we are). Although place and time differ conceptually, they merge inextricably in everyday experience, she will argue, through the concept of material subjects, which include fashioned bodies, individual and collective agency, and textiles and other material products. She will draw on a case study throughout: of the women’s marches that occurred internationally the day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump in the U.S. For this march, people made and wore pink “pussy hats” to express resistance to men’s control of women’s bodies. The talk will explore the complex, intersectional implications of pink “pussy hats” as a metaphor for gender and racial power dynamics in the U.S.