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Workshop on Fashion in Pedagogy

With support from the Lehman Center for American History at Columbia University, Fashion Studies Alliance invites participants for a one-day workshop focused on “Fashion in Pedagogy.” This program is developed for post-secondary educators and teachers of fashion studies, history, cultural studies, gender studies, environmental and labor studies, art history, material culture, and design history, among other interdisciplinary fields in the arts and humanities. Further, this workshop welcomes participants who teach applied design and design theory at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The workshop will be structured into four themed groups with moderated discussions integrating participant submissions and questions. Accepted abstracts will be circulated to all participants prior to the workshop. The workshop will culminate in a larger group discussion and recaps of the findings and outcomes of each theme group. Findings will be recorded and distributed among participants.

Goals and Outcomes

The goals of this workshop are to raise questions and discuss how educators address and/or incorporate fashion into their teaching across disciplines. We aim to work through existing challenges and propose active strategies to resolve them.

To Participate

Current educators may submit a 300-word abstract responding to the ideas and questions outlined in one of the themes listed below and a 100-word professional bio by September 20, 2018. Submissions from Fashion Studies Alliance members will be prioritized. They are asked to submit their abstracts by September 13, 2018. Please email your submission to

Theme Groups

1. Defining Fashion:

Discussion on how fashion is discussed across disciplines: Why do you talk about fashion and what do you mean when you discuss it? Should there be a standardized definition for fashion or is is more valuable to leave it undefined? Submit your definition of “fashion.”

2. Evaluation of Fashion in Pedagogy: Critical Perspectives on Fashion Studies

Discussion on how we could successfully assess creativity and design from a critical, and material culture perspective: Is there a value to applying standardized rubrics for fashion across disciplines? Submit description of your methods or resources helpful in evaluation.

3. Synthesis in Fashion Pedagogy

Discussion on how synthesis is treated within fashion pedagogy: How much complexity should we acknowledge when teaching fashion or is it better to build a coherent base narrative? Is there a value in upholding fashion myths for the sake of synthesis? Submit an example of a myth that is perpetuated for the sake of synthesis.

4. Seminal Texts

Critical discussion on the seminal texts of Fashion Studies (theory, methodology and history): Is there a canon in the field of fashion studies? What canonical texts outside of fashion studies address fashion successfully? Submit three additional primary or secondary bibliographic suggestions with short annotations to be included in a fashion studies bibliography.

Earlier Event: August 6
Later Event: December 7
Holiday Party