Who are you Wearing?’: Embodiment, Fashion, and Agency

“‘Who are you Wearing?’: Embodiment, Fashion, and Agency”
Organizers: Christine Mazumdar and Kelsey Blair
Contact e-mail: Christine Mazumdar (christine.mazumdar@mail.utoronto.ca) and Kelsey Blair  (kelsey_blair@sfu.ca).

Call for papers
Deadline: 4 January, 2019

At the August 2018 Tennis French Open, Serena Williams was banned from wearing a catsuit during competition after French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli stated, “I think we sometimes went too far…. The combination of Serena this year, for example, it will no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place.” No stranger to controversy or criticism, Williams responded by wearing a “tennis tutu” one week later at the US Open, tweeting, “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers.” Williams’ actions can be linked to the collective intervention staged by female attendees at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards wherein many nominees wore all black attire to raise awareness of systematic sexual abuse, harassment, and gender inequality in the work place. Importantly, both these performances took place in the context of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements and involved wardrobe as a means for performers to stage interventions or enact agency.

This curated panel aims not only to examine agency and women’s bodies as expressed through wardrobe but to broadly conceptualize the terms “costume” and “fashion” as a means of stimulating cross-disciplinary conversation in drama, theatre, dance, and performance studies.

 Expanded Topics:

This panel invites scholars from drama, theatre, dance, and performance studies to consider “costuming” in relation to any of the following:

  • Regulation
  • Censorship
  • Fashion as protest
  • Fashion as political
  • Fashion and cultural appropriation
  • Historical costumes
  • Dance attire
  • Athletic wear
  • Cosplay
  • Halloween costumes
  • Theatre
  • Performance studies
  • Uniforms
  • Red carpet ceremonies
  • Make-up and hairstyle trends
  • Drag
  • Fashion and gender stereotypes
  • Fashion and gender identity

This curated panel will include three to four paper presentations and will be followed by a question and discussion session.

 Submission Requirements

  • Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words by January 4, 2019 to Christine Mazumdar at christine.mazumdar@mail.utoronto.ca and Kelsey Blair at kelsey_blair@sfu.ca.
  • Decisions will be communicated by the session’s conveners.
  • Presentations are limited to 20 minutes; time for questions will be included following all presentations.
  • Please indicate your AV needs.
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