Cultural Mediators in the Digital Age
May 4

Cultural Mediators in the Digital Age

September 4, 2017, King's College London

This Symposium is organised by the School of Communications at University Adolfo Ibanez (UAI), the Culture, Media and Creative Industries Department at King’s College (KCL), and the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London (UAL). 

Following from the influential work of Pierre Bourdieu, cultural intermediaries (CIs) have been typically analysed within cultural studies and sociology (Smith-Maguire and Matthews 2013; Nixon and du Gay 2002; O’Connor 2015) as significant mediators of culture, shaping cultural forms and identities; for example, in fashion (Blumer 1969; Braham 1997; Entwistle 2006; Fine and Leopold 1993), music (Hesmondhalgh 2007), food (Bob, 2013) masculinity within popular culture (Nixon 1996, 2003). This early cultural intermediaries literature was important in establishing a more complex and dynamic relationship between production and consumption by examining the work of influential ‘taste-makers’ located within key professional spaces and institutions (publishing, fashion industry, etc.). However, in the digital age, today’s CIs also include fashion bloggers and vloggers, Youtubers (Rocamora, forthcoming, 2017), music and food bloggers, and so on, who are examples of new forms of labour, as well as practices where cultural value is generated and circulated across digital spaces. Further, ideas about the ‘prosumer’ and ‘prosumption’ challenge the uni-directional view of flows of influence: consumers are emerging as ‘experts’ of the flows they are consuming (Baym and Burnett 2009), as well as ‘cultural mediators’ or ‘intermediaries’ (Arriagada 2014; Entwistle 2009; Bourdieu 1984; Rocamora 2011; 2016), bringing ‘a range of cultural things to markets: goods, images, tastes, aesthetics’ (Entwistle 2009: 15). In addition, science and technology studies (STS) and actor-network-theory (ANT) have challenged ideas about mediation to include non-human actors within these networks and flows of goods. 

In this Symposium we will explore how much of the early cultural intermediaries literature within cultural studies (emerging from the late 1980s-1990s) and across a range of industries (fashion, music, popular media/magazines, for example) is relevant to today’s cultural forms in the digital age. Specifically, the aim of the symposium is to gather experts on cultural industries to discuss and analyse how consumers’ practices performed in digital spaces (e.g. blog, social media, and websites) are facilitating the emergency of new cultural and economic forms in this industry. It will be cross- disciplinary and cross-sector, seeking also to examine the differences, synergies and similarities across key cultural industries (for example, fashion, music, print/publishing, film, food, gaming). 

We invite participants to send abstracts that explore the practices, identities, and discourses of cultural mediators in the digital age from a broad range of disciplines – including sociology, media studies, geography, anthropology, cultural studies, STS. Questions and topics include but are not limited to:

  • How do CIs create meaning and valorise cultural products in the digital age? 
  • How do their practices vary across industries (e.g. music, media, fashion, design, and food) in the digital age? 
  • What role do digital technologies (particularly social media) play in the practices of CIs?
  • What forms of labour are emerging from consumers’ social media practices of mediation around goods and flows produced in the cultural industry?
  • How are the off- and online practices of CIs regulated, and by whom?
  • What type (s) of value (s) (e.g. economic, symbolic) are consumers producing through their online practices of mediation?
  • What kind of knowledge do consumers produce and circulate through social media in relation to flows and goods produced in the cultural industry?
  • Theoretically, what kind of sociological, cultural, and economic concepts and theories serve to understand online practices of mediation in relation to flows and goods produced in the cultural industry?

Please send abstracts (350 words) with a short bio (100 words) by May the 3rd to:  

The abstract should include theoretical and methodological discussions and have to be submitted and presented in English. Please include relevant biographical information as well. On submission of the proposal, only the proposing author will receive an email confirming receipt. 

The Symposium organising committee will assess all proposals and communicate results by May the 29th.  The program will be available by June the 22nd. 
Participation in the Symposium will cost £50 and £30 (students).

Self Portrait in Costumes: New Identities at Play
May 31

Self Portrait in Costumes: New Identities at Play

Conference/Workshop, 24 November 2017, Ecole des Beaux Arts de Nantes

Organized jointly by the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Université de Nantes, and Université de Bourgogne

Proposals of approximately 300 words may be submitted to and, along with a short biographical note before 30th May 2017.

Self-portraits admittedly waver between earnest confession (as stressed by Philippe Le Jeune in Le Pacte autobiographique, Seuil, coll. “Poétique”, 1975) and concealment. It is often a representation of the self that goes beyond the idea of the artist as subject in order to tackle wider notions of subjectivity. In a similar way, the self-portrait in costume or disguise (in painting, photo or video) may either protect the artist from self-disclosure or put his own self at risk. It is a multi-faceted genre or mode that this conference purports to explore. In painting, clothing has recently received a long-deserved interest: in  Fabric of Vision : Dress and Drapery in Painting (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016), Anne Hollander underscores the fact that clothing does matter as much as any other component of the composition in the eyes of the painter. This applies even more forcefully to self-portraits in costume.

Some classical painters have playfully included an image of themselves in period costumes in their compositions or painted self-portraits in costume. Veronese features dressed in white in The Wedding Feast at Cana (1562) while Rembrandt portrayed himself in oriental costume in The artist in an Oriental Costume (1631). The act of self-portrayal –as a creative process—may be viewed as an intimate act and private performance or as a staging of the self for public display, questioning the social and political status of the artist, the individual or his community. The costume inevitably introduces a twist or trick that may be playful or more intriguing: this strategy has not been fully explored and deserves more attention.

Given that self-portraiture is an experimental and mediated exploration of the self (and a nearly unavoidable step for many artists in the intimacy of the creative process), it is an invitation to explore lighting, stances, and costume either humorously or more introspectively. Costuming or masquerading, that is seemingly assuming someone else’s identity, may partake of a documentary or fictitious project and rely on various autobiographical modes. The artist may metamorphose him/herself exploring different time-periods, geographical areas, or identities; the dress may be normative or conversely singular. The manipulation of the self in the visual arts may be liberating, as is the case in the tradition of the masquerade or fantasy photographic portraits: through costuming the artists free themselves from the constraints of society and its prevalent dress-codes. Handicrafts, intermediality and bricolage may be used to costume the self in a process-oriented approach sometimes close to artistic performance. The body may disappear entirely and the artist be buried in the costume, faceless; conversely the artist may be reduced to a shadow or use synecdoche to escape exposure.

The costume (attire, dress, props, or make-up) being more than a sign of belonging entails performative embodiments and blurs the identification process thereby disrupting the conventions of self-portraiture. As a matter of fact, the self-portrait in costume often entails narrativity and fictitious self-representations in which the artist may drift towards fantasy and virtuality to explore complex forms of otherness.

Portraying oneself in exotic attire is a means of drawing the spectator’s attention to the artificiality of portrait-painting and the theatricality of social roles. The self-portrait in costume, relying as it does on shared sartorial norms and social codes, articulates culture and counterculture and may debunk myths, stereotypes and normative discourse centered on the body. The self-portrait in costume thereby constitutes a puzzle for the viewer who finds himself trapped into the contrivances of the staging. When costuming also means revisiting previous images and relies on intericonicity, the viewer may be complicit and laugh or mislaugh at the quote or distortion. Contemporary photographers and video-artists conceive fictional or fictitious autobiographies inducing generic and referential instability. Artists related to postmodern and postcolonial art portray themselves in costume to critically explore identity construction and the notions of authenticity and nostalgia. In a postcolonial perspective, self-portraits in costume tends to question the politics of representation, power relationships in the modern society, representation of minorities and a multiplicity of possible identifications torn between cultural and social contradictions. Other self-portraits are haunted by a nightmarish vision of the artist as Other, referring to the divided self from a psychoanalytic perspective. The advent of the post-human has made these imaginary explorations more tangible.

There is, we suggest, more than imaginary playfulness in these self-staged performances: the self-portrait in disguise may verge on parody or satire and entail carnivalesque reversals; it may conceal, even camouflage, the true personality of an artist for various reasons; it may also challenge the notion of physical integrity, singularity and authenticity especially when produced in series. By changing his/her sexual, ethnic, social identity, the artist may convey a strong message and situate his/her practice within society. This conference is an invitation to consider the complexity of the self-portrait in costume particularly in the contemporary period. Indeed, both postmodern reflexivity and self-referentiality, and the extended possibilities offered by image manipulation have revived this genre, with the success of selfies or avatars for instance raising new questions.

Contemporary creation puts the relationships between animality/humanity, body/machine under scrutiny, and is inspired by ontological theories (E. Kosofsky Sedgwick, Donna Haraway, Mel Y. Chen). The otherization of the self or the incorporation of the other –and the other-self in works concerned with the motif of the doppleganger—are processes of self-investigation that are worth analysing.

Contact Info: Julie More, Centre de Recherche sur les Identités Nationales et l’Interculturalité (CRINI) -Université de Nantes,

Special Issue of Fashion Practice
5:00 pm17:00

Special Issue of Fashion Practice

Fashion Localism

Localism is a growing movement of place, community and nature. This special issue seeks to explore localism in the context of fashion, investigating the dynamic interconnections between specific places, people, ecological contexts, economies and the provision and expression of fashion clothes.

In localism, place matters. Local ecosystems provide both resources and constraints to an area’s activity. People and communities evolve within unique natural and social assets of where they are based. Ecosystem health is preserved through the local adaptation of knowledge, products, cultures and practices. This special issue contends that in fashion, place also matters. It explores fashion localism as a cornerstone principle and practice of sustainability where place-based and community values describe a fashion system reconceptualised by scale, stewardship and sufficiency.

The special issue will examine fashion localism from multiple perspectives.  We welcome contributions that investigate (but are not limited to) the following topics:

  • Local or regional activity as part of self-reliant fashion communities;
  • The relationship between ecosystems, soil, watersheds (etc) and fashion production;
  • Explicit normative framework of localism in fashion;
  • Analytical paradigm of localism in the context of clothing and dress;
  • An exploration of the social nature of localism;
  • The role of consumption, consumers and non-market actors in localism in the fashion context;
  • The role of diversity, scale and resilience within fashion systems.
  • The role of legislation and marketing in leveraging a change from globalized to localized fashion systems.

Submission Instructions

Papers of between 6,000 and 8,000 words should be sent by the deadline: 1st June 2017 to the guest co-editors, earlier where possible. The guest editors invite would-be contributors to contact them to discuss potential submissions well in advance of the deadline and also welcome proposals about submissions in other formats.

Authors are advised to consult the Taylor and Francis website for author instructions and style guidelines at

Editorial information

Guest Editor: Kate Fletcher, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London(

Guest Editor: Ingun Grimstad Klepp, Consumption Research Norway (SIFO)(

Rediscovering Culture: Transforming Fashion
3:00 am03:00

Rediscovering Culture: Transforming Fashion

National Institute of Fashion Technology announces the ‘Call for Papers’ for the International Conference from 31st January -2nd February 2018 at New Delhi, India.

The association of fashion with rapid technological advancement and extensive consumption, spurred by rapidly changing trends and dominated by commercial motivations has contributed to its undertone of transience. The erosion of traditional institutions and cultures and the disruption of the harmony between environment and the human existence forebodes an unsustainable future. However, in recent times there is a perceptible shift in the focus of fashion from business considerations to a more responsible attitude towards sustainability concerns. Slow design, green production processes, waste generation and disposal systems, management of end to end solutions and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives with mindfulness towards ecological fragility are being incorporated by the design community and the industry. 

Fashion, as a signifier of societal change, can stimulate contemporary articulations on the dialectics of tradition and modernity in the clothing, textile and craft sectors. The pedagogy of fashion and design education in synergizing materials and techniques plays a tripartite role in design, production and consumption.

The theme of the conference ‘Rediscovering Culture: Transforming Fashion’ aims to initiate conversation on fashion, culture, textiles, crafts and sustainability by providing an interdisciplinary platform to share perspectives and practice-led research experiences on the issues and concerns, challenges and possibilities of changing existing fashion practices. Trans-global cultural narratives may enable relevant issues to transcend the regional to take on global significance. Some pertinent questions that the Conference seeks to discuss are 

  • Can rediscovery of regional craft cultures hold the key to sustainability and empowerment?
  • Can the symbiosis of environment and human knowledge-skills engender new design definitions and experiences?
  • Is green technology the solution to sustainable apparel production systems?
  • How can the hand-made revitalize markets?
  • How can fashion education become catalyst for rediscovering culture?

Research papers / thematic posters may focus on, but are not limited to, the following topics under the subthemes:

I. Cultural Transformation by Design

  • Tradition and contemporaneity of fashion
  • Redefining culture through craft revival
  • Co-creation
  • Craft as luxury 

II. Tech-novation

  • Green manufacturing
  • Digital technologies
  • Compliance and sustainability standards

III. Business Models

  • Innovative business structures
  • Fair Trade Practices
  • Digital retail for rural producers

IV. Fashion Education

  • Pedagogy of craft-fashion linkages
  • Inculcating value for heritage
  • Experiential learning 

The subthemes and questions are only indicative of possible lines of reflection. In order to facilitate evaluation, authors are requested to indicate the subtheme in the abstract. 


  • Announcement of call for abstracts- 3rd April 2017
  • Submission of abstract - 5th June 2017
  • Communication regarding acceptance of abstracts – 26th June 2017
  • Submission of full paper - 28th August 2017
  • Communication regarding acceptance of full papers-25th September 2017


The Abstract should follow these guidelines:

  • Title
  • Subtheme(s) and 5 keywords below the title
  • Author name, affiliation and email address. In case of multiple authors, one author should be identified as the corresponding author.
  • Abstract should be 300 to 350 words in English. This word count does not include subtheme(s) and keywords. Abstract should not exceed the prescribed word limit.
  • No name or affiliation of the author in the text 
  • Font -Times New Roman, size- 12 pt. double spacing 
  • 1 inch margin all around 
  • Only Microsoft Word files will be accepted 

Author(s) are allowed to submit more than one abstract. Abstracts will be uploaded online, the link for which will be available shortly. For any other query please contact through

All abstracts and conference papers will be double-blind peer reviewed by competent reviewers. Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to submit full papers of 3,000 to 4,000 words.

All papers presented at the conference will be published. At the time of submission of full papers, authors are required to sign a copyright agreement with NIFT.


Image Credit: Tim Mitchell, "Clothing Recycled" (2005) via Europeana Fashion


New Research in Dress History Conference
11:59 pm23:59

New Research in Dress History Conference

The Association of Dress Historians

Friday, 13 April 2018 and Saturday, 14 April 2018
The Art Workers Guild, 6 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AT, England

The Association of Dress Historians (ADH) invites you to submit a paper proposal to present at our annual New Research in Dress History Conference. 

We welcome innovative, interdisciplinary, and critical research papers or those that add to or challenge established studies. In particular, we would like to hear from:

• Postgraduate students who are researching a dissertation or thesis
• Curators who wish to discuss recent or future exhibitions
• Independent researchers embarking upon new projects

The deadline for conference paper proposal submissions is 23:59GMT, Saturday, 1 July 2017. 

Potential conference speakers are not required to hold an ADH membership at the time of proposal submission; however, all ADH conference speakers must hold a current ADH membership at the time of the conference during which they present. ADH memberships are £10 per year per individual and are valid from 1 January to 31 December inclusive, regardless of when during the year the membership commences.

Please submit your proposal for a fifteen-minute conference paper presentation by completing the form on ADH website.

In Pursuit of Luxury: Luxury, Sustainability and Waste
Jul 22

In Pursuit of Luxury: Luxury, Sustainability and Waste

17th-18th November 2017, Ruth Prowse School of Art, Cape Town, South Africa

This event is a collaboration between The School of Creative Arts at the University of Hertfordshire and Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.

Deadline for abstracts: 21st July 2017

The debate surrounding luxury continues in so much as there are more questions than answers where definitions of luxury are concerned. In addition, there is much more debate surrounding social responsibility, the origin of materials and manufacture, the inclusion of technology, the retail environment and disposable products.

We continue to ask ourselves whether traditional definitions of luxury are relevant in today’s global marketplace and how the contemporary luxury market addresses change through addressing shifts in consumer habits. Mass production remains the focus of global luxury brands, however there has been a shift in customer loyalty, the introduction on ‘limited’ editions of products and the introduction of ‘salons’ to enhance the value added to the retail and shopping experience. Advances in technology continue to challenge the status-quo where innovation in manufacture, customisation and materials are concerned and an increase in value attributed to craftsmanship may be pushing both industry and academics to redefine contemporary concepts and interpretations of luxury.

Have we changed our perception of luxury and therefore re-defining what it represents? What do we understand by the term luxury and can it or should it be applied to all luxury branded goods? Does contemporary branding allow such goods to remain ‘luxurious’ even though they have been mass-produced? And is the circular economy redefining the parameters of the definition of luxury where we consider the notions of sustainability and the impact of waste in what is becoming a ‘polluted’ consumer Environment.

By discussing the history of luxury against the backdrop of contemporary issues, a familiar debate is extended into unfamiliar contexts. In this new and dynamic juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated market cultures significant inter-relationships are proposed and explored to expand the parameters of the debate around the concepts of luxury.

Fashion Film has become increasingly central to describing, promoting, defining and enhancing luxury brands. They are able to engage in story telling that static advertising is not able to do. In addition, fashion film is provocative in its approach, generates much debate and is in some instances contentious. With this in mind the In Pursuit of Luxury Conference 2017 invites submissions of Fashion Films focusing on luxury and luxury brands. The aim is to provide new perspectives on the ways in which notions of luxury are disseminated to an ever increasing global audience. We encourage and welcome debate around the subject.

This conference intends to expand the parameters of the debate around the concepts of luxury to provide a refreshing context to construe the familiar debates surrounding the subject.

Indicative themes for the conference are, but are not limited to luxury and:

  • History
  • Craft and the handmade
  • Branding, marketing and communication
  • Consumption and consumer attitudes
  • The retail environment
  • Fashion
  • Fashion film
  • Digital technology
  • The digital environment
  • Sourcing and production
  • Materials and sustainability
  • Re-purpose, re-use, re-frame
  • Wasted luxury
  • Eco-design

A special evening of screenings will take place during the conference.

Please see our website for details on how to submit:

Deadline for abstracts: 21st July 2017

Conference date: 17th and 18th November 2017

Contact: Nick Thomas


Fashion and Media
5:00 pm17:00

Fashion and Media

October 14, 2017, University of Drexel, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

Fashion is signified and utilized through various forms of media. In Fashion And…symposium we will focus on how fashion is portrayed in all types of media. Presentations should examine the representations and expressions of fashion, apparel, garments, clothing, and textiles in various forms. Whether examining the latest technological innovations in fashion design, or how clothing is portrayed in paintings and sculpture, to the use of social media allowing an individual to show the latest clothing they purchased to friends, this symposium aims to push the envelopeof scholarship to gain new understandings about the visual expression of fashion, apparel, garments, clothing and textiles through all media types. From the historical to the contemporary – the technological to fine artistic expression, Fashion And Media aims to be international in scope and represent a wide variety of disciplines, with a particular emphasis on perspectives and approaches from the humanities, social sciences, and the arts interconnections between fashion and media.

The symposium has an inclusive definition of the term “fashion”. While fashion is often understood to center on apparel choices, fashion can be recognized as the current style or way of behaving in any field. Thus, proposals are welcome from divergent fields such as fine arts, digital media, television, film, merchandising, fashion design, business, architecture, anthropology, cultural studies, history, interior design, graphic design, psychology, sociology, and women’s studies among others to examine interconnections and intersections between fashion and media.

This symposium provides the opportunity for academics, researchers, graduate, and undergraduate students to exchange research findings, innovative teaching strategies, and creative designs addressing the interrelationships between fashion and media.


You are invited to participate in this symposium by submitting a written abstract detailing scholarship and/or research study, an abstract of innovative teaching strategy, a design, or a proposal for a panel of speakers addressing some aspect of fashion and media (all panel members will have to register). All accepted abstract submissions will be published in the conference proceedings.

Symposium formats include poster sessions (wall mountable only), design work, concurrent design, scholarship/research and teaching presentations (each speaker will have 15 – 20 minutes), and panel sessions that are submitted will need to have a minimum of 3 participants.

 Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Fashion in Fine Arts
  • Fashion in Print Media & Advertising
  • Fashion in Magazines & Marketing
  • Magalogues & Catalogues
  • Fashion on Television
  • The Internet & Fashion
  • Fashion in Public Relations & Events
  • The Runway As a Form of Fashion Media
  • Historical Twists in Fashion Because of Media Influences
  • Artwork & Design Representing Fashion Through New Forms of Media
  • The Impact of Social Media on Style and Fashion
  • Changes in the Psychology and Sociology of Fashion Because of Media
  • How media helps us to communicate fashion identities
  • Media and its relations to gender and fashion
  • Media and its relations to fashion and sex
  • Fashion, Media & The Body
  • Fashion, Media, Work & Careers
  • Fashion, Media & Popular and American Culture
  • Other Proposals Related to Fashion & Media

Submission Guidelines

Abstract Abstracts should present research/scholarship/teaching/design that has not been published or presented at other professional conferences. Use Times New Roman, font size 12, for all text including titles and 1 inch margins. Prepare three electronic files, all in Microsoft Word format. Undergraduate submissions must have a faculty sponsor. It is the responsibility of the faculty sponsor to screen the entries for quality, completeness, and accuracy and to be actively involved in the submission process. All research/teaching/design submissions presented at the symposium will be included in the Proceedings. An author whose work is accepted, an author from a team of researchers, or the undergraduate faculty sponsor must attend the symposium and present the work as well as register for the symposium.

File 1 contains a cover page with title of paper and name and contact information (address, phone number, email) for all authors. Corresponding author is designated. All symposium information will be sent to corresponding author only.

File 2 contains an abstract in English for review (2 pages maximum, single spaced, in a Word.doc format; one inch margins, font size 12, Times New Roman). Include the title (single spaced, centered, maximum 30 words) but no identifying information about author(s) or professional affiliation(s). Tables and other graphics should be incorporated within the body of the abstract in the appropriate place(s). All content (references, tables, figures) must fit within the 2 page limit.

File 3 contains the information in file 2 with the addition of authors, institutional affiliation, and country information left justified. File 3 will be used for the symposium proceedings. This will go directly into the proceedings once the submission has been accepted for presentation. There will be no opportunity to make changes once submitted to the symposium.

This Is the Title of the Paper
Joseph H. Hancock, II, Some University, USA (Country)
(or if multiple authors)
This Is the Title of the Paper
Joseph H. Hancock, II and Anne Peirson-Smith, Some University, USA


Joseph H. Hancock, II, Some University, USA
Anne Peirson-Smith, A Different University, USA
[List affiliation after each author’s name if the authors are from different universities; use the affiliation once after the last author’s name if all authors are from the same university.]

Submit all 3 files to Joseph H. Hancock, II at

In the subject line of your submission use the following wording to indicate whether you are submitting a teaching, research, design, or panel abstract

  • Fashion & Media: Teaching
  • Fashion & Media: Scholarship/Research
  • Fashion & Media: Design
  • Fashion & Media: Panel

Attach the three files to your email as described in the guidelines above.

Complete a separate e-mail submission for each abstract/design/panel you want to submit. Multiple submissions are welcomed. Authors will be notified that their submission was received. If you fail to receive notification within 72 hours, please contact Joseph H. Hancock, II at

Abstract Submission Deadline (Received by): Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis up until August 1, 2017. All submission will be notified one month after they have submitted their proposal. 

Different Bodies: (Self-)Representation, Disability and the Media
5:00 pm17:00

Different Bodies: (Self-)Representation, Disability and the Media

University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, 23 June 2017

This one-day conference seeks to explore representations of the body as strange, shameful, wrong, impaired, wounded, scarred, disabled, lacking, different or ‘other’ in contemporary media.

The advent of digital media has underlined the importance of visual culture and our curiosity in representations of the body to form opinions about ourselves and others. Media portrayals of bodies can affect our lives because media are one of the primary agents of socialization (Moore and Kosut, 2010). Bodies we see in newspapers, on television and in our social media feeds are often made to appear perfect in order to conform to racialized and heteronormative ideals of what it means to be beautiful and normal in contemporary capitalist societies. Presentations of the body that are white, young, slim and productive have been critiqued from different fields in academia such as feminism, queer theory, disability studies, critical theory and postcolonial studies.

The digital media landscape is posing new challenges to the study of body representation. The Internet and social media in particular have led to an increased representation and engagement with the body through practices such as selfies, webcamming, blogging, vlogging and so on. While digital media may contribute to an empowerment of excluded and silenced bodies, they may equally open up spaces of discrimination, threats, hatred, trolling and silencing online, as the #gamergatecontroversy or author Lizzie Velásquez’ self-presentation on social media have recently illustrated.

A critical approach to representations of bodies and disability is therefore essential as a means of change (Bolt, 2014). This conference aims to develop a new understanding of disability and the media in the 21st century by establishing a dialogue between different scholars on the theme of body representations. In particular, we seek to formulate new questions to comprehend how the tension between non-digital and digital media is creating spaces for new ways of framing disabled bodies. 

How are new narratives being developed to recount diversity? What is their function? What is the relationship between representation of the body in news outlets and self-representation on social media? What are the epistemological opportunities the media could embrace in order to promote equality, health literacy and ultimately, a more comprehensive understanding of what it means to be human?

We encourage interdisciplinary paper presentations of 15 minutes that aim to explore how narratives and images of other bodies are constructed in the media and what their aesthetic, social, cultural, epistemological and political implications are.

Papers may draw on media and communication studies, as well as queer theory, disability studies, postcolonial studies, feminist theory, critical theory, psychoanalysis, psychosocial studies, literature, history, visual studies, anthropology, health communication, religious studies, medicine and philosophy.

Possible themes include but are not limited to:

  • Researching bodies and the media: frameworks and methodologies
  • Journalism and practices of othering the body
  • The mediated body as spectacle
  • Celebrity bodies and the spectacles of transformation
  • The abject body
  • Stigma and the body
  • De-colonizing and de-westernising the mediated body
  • Neoliberalism, policy and austerity politics
  • (Dis)Empowerments of the disabled body
  • The objectification of the disabled body in the media
  • Contemporary coverage of disability in print/online/television/radio
  • Reality television and the body
  • Auto-ethnographic accounts of the body in / through digital media
  • The medicalised body in the media
  • Representing wounds and scars
  • Affective labour of bodies
  • The body and trauma
  • This conference is part of the research project ‘Facial Disfigurement in the UK Media: From Print to Online’, led by Dr. Diana Garrisi

(University of Westminster) and Dr. Jacob Johanssen (University of Westminster) that is financed through the University of Westminster Strategic Research Fund. Invited speakers include Henrietta Spalding, Head of Advocacy at the UK charity Changing Faces

Please send in abstracts of no longer than 500 words to both Jacob Johanssen ( and Diana Garrisi ( by
28th April 2017
. Conference attendance will be free. We seek to provide an open and inclusive space for everyone.

From the Pleasure of Preserving to the Pleasure of Displaying: The Politics of Fashion in the Museum
Apr 5

From the Pleasure of Preserving to the Pleasure of Displaying: The Politics of Fashion in the Museum

Monday, May 15th, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal

Centro de investigação em Arquitetura, Urbanismo e Design (CIAUD), Faculdade de Arquitectura – Universidade de Lisboa; Instituto de História Contemporânea (IHC), Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas – Universidade Nova de Lisboa

The recent rise of the blockbuster fashion exhibition has underpinned a renewed interest in the topic of garment curation and preservation, encouraging academics from emerging disciplines, such as museum studies and fashion studies, as well as established institutions, to re-evaluate the presence of fashion in the museum. This increasing institutional and curatorial interest has led to a new research dynamics centered around the museum as an agency that can broaden and deepen our understanding of fashion.

New museological approaches tend to use fashion to increase institutional appeal, by focusing on strategies that prompt new understandings of the history of apparel and a critical approach towards its presence in museums, and to reflect an institutional desire to contextualise and integrate fashion into specific social and economic historical circumstances. This symposium will focus on the challenges, possibilities and multidisciplinary aspects involved in the exhibition of fashion in a museological and curatorial context. We welcome proposals for papers and presentations that explore the following themes from diverse perspectives and approaches, by researchers and practitioners, as well as by practice-based researchers.

Submissions may focus on, but are not limited to, the following topics:

• The relationship between the museum, time and the public display of fashion

• The garment as a museum object, but also as an emotional and narrative medium

• What do we preserve and why do we do it when we bring garments into the museum?

• The relationship between the written word and the displaying of fashion, including catalogues and accompanying books

• The convergence of artefact-based research and theoretical approaches

• Interdisciplinary good practice in displaying/exhibiting

• The use of oral history in museum research and displaying

• The imagined public. To whom is fashion curation addressed?

• How can fashion engage visitors and on what levels?

• Fashion and the ideology of the moment

• From ‘stage’ to museum: the aura of a garment

• Fashion and the gaze of the other

• The image archive: fashion in pictures, paintings and films

Scholars and researchers from all related academic and practice-based fields and are invited to submit proposals. The conference will be held in English. We invite researchers and practitioners to send us their proposals by Wednesday 29th March 2017. Participants will be notified by Tuesday 4th April 2017.

Presenters wishing to submit a proposal for a paper presentation of 20 minutes (max.) are required to provide their name, email address, the title of the paper, an abstract (300-350 words), 5 key bibliographical references, 5 keywords and a short biography (100-150 words) to the following email:

 Fashion, Race and "Cultural Appropriation"
5:00 pm17:00

Fashion, Race and "Cultural Appropriation"

A Conference at Central Saint Martins

Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘Chinese inspired’ designs of the late 1970s, Ricardo Tisci’s AW 2015 ‘Chola girl’ runway show; bindis worn at festivals, baby-curls and ‘braid bars’ - fashion has always borrowed from non-western or socially marginalised cultures. These creative strategies have increasingly been criticised, particularly online, for their insensitivity to, and exploitation of, the colonised, the economically underdeveloped, and the geopolitically subaltern. The term ‘cultural appropriation’ is now a popular idiom that describes this act of so-called creative borrowing from the non-west. It is closely associated with the use of exoticism, the ‘Oriental’ Other and varieties of racial stereotyping and micro-aggression in fashion design and image making.

Fashion, Race and ‘Cultural Appropriation’: A Conference at Central Saint Martins will address the representation of race and ethnic identity in fashion design and associated media through the framework of cultural appropriation. This one-day event seeks to locate race, ethnicity, borrowing and appropriation within intellectual debates arising from postcolonial theories, critical race theory, whiteness studies and cultural and historical studies. Design takes inspiration from all things, but how can we understand borrowing and appreciation, the embodied conventions of genre in a globalised economy and digital cultural environment? Is one consumer’s beauty another’s racism and white supremacy? Walter Benjamin talks about the ‘rag-picker’ as a mode of modern creative practice. In our contemporary geopolitical environment, does rag-picking hide more complex dynamics of inequality inherent to fashion consumption? How can we explore these ideas without dictating to creatives and consumers, admonishing them for their choices? Our current media environment holds creativity up to intense scrutiny. Is it the job of design to challenge clichés, stereotypes and white supremacy? Are image making and fashion ever truly separate from geopolitics?

We invite 20 minute academic papers from scholars who work on race and fashion media, particularly with reference to Postcolonial Studies, Critical Race Theory, Literary, Media, Fashion and Cultural Studies, Art and Design History, Cultural Sociology, Anthropology, Geography. We also welcome any practitioners/designers/image-makers who want to reflect critically on their practice. Papers can be on the following themes:

  • Critical/cultural theories and cultural appropriation;
  • representation of raced or marginal bodies in fashion media;
  • beauty and body ideals, race concepts, race as 'lived experience' and fashion media;
  • cultural appropriation and its histories;
  • race and fashion structures: casting, editing and commissioning appropriation;
  • fashion and the colonial encounter;
  • appropriation, identity and privilege/social class;
  • jewellery/gems/precious metals, geopolitics/economics and identity;
  • race, aesthetics and fashion styling, constructions of whiteness, blackness, etc.;
  • forms of racism and white supremacy and the fashion media;
  • appropriation and the everyday (hair-style trends, fancy dress, cosplay, Halloween etc.);
  • ‘rag-picking’, postmodernity and design creativity in a globalised media economy
  • textiles and appropriation;
  • fashion and types of ‘passing’, use of black/yellow face, skin-lightening etc.;
  • race and sexualities and cultural appropriation;
  • configurations of gender construction and cultural appropriation;
  • racial fetishes and fashion imagery/design;
  • design/fashion history, race and cultural appropriation;
  • methodologies for studying cultural appropriation;
  • popular debates: appropriation and digital media;
  • how fashion design/images imagine the Oriental Other and the exotic.

Please send 250 word abstracts plus a 50 word biography to by 5 pm 31 March 2017.

General enquires to Dr Royce Mahawatte, Cultural Studies Programme, Central Saint Martins ( Proceedings will be developed into an essay collection.

All that Glitters: Visual Representations of Dress in the Early Modern and the Boundaries of Reliability
5:00 pm17:00

All that Glitters: Visual Representations of Dress in the Early Modern and the Boundaries of Reliability

Dressing The Early Modern Network Conference

September 14-15, 2017, Kunstgewerbemuseum & Lipperheidesche Kostümbibliothek, Kulturforum, Berlin, Germany

Since few garments survive from the early modern period, especially pre-1700, reliance on depictions of early modern dress in art is unavoidable. Dress and textile representations in paintings, drawings, prints, costume books, album amicorum and sculptures form some of the main visual sources, which in addition to possibilities have various limitations with regards to reliability and interpretation. From fantasy draperies and studio props to true to life portrayals of the sitter’s real garments, the implications of what pictorial representations can offer to dress historians are innumerable and complex.

While in some cases depictions of dress and textiles can act as tools for interpretations of paintings, in others, such as some depictions of dress and fabric worn in the overseas colonies are merely akin to fantasy dress in art. Portrayals of the elite largely survive providing information about the dress worn by the upper echelons in society. However, do such portrayals depict innovations in dress style and textile patterns accurately or do they merely portray a traditional form of dress that conforms to the specific genres of the various visual mediums? Furthermore, such portrayals are scarce in regard to clothing worn by other classes of society and in many cases the context in which they were depicted may have affected the representation. The conference aims to generate a discussion about the extent to which visual sources can be reliable in providing an accurate representation and understanding of the changes and innovations in dress, textiles, fur, haberdashery and jewellery with regards to the context in which they are depicted and used.

PhD students and early career researchers are invited to speak using case studies about the reliability of visual representations in relation to mapping fashion in the early modern. The conference invites potential speakers to submit as a single document: (1) a 300-word paper abstract, which should include the main question of the research project or paper, (2) a paper title, (3) a brief curriculum vitae and a short biography of 150 words maximum, (4) institutional affiliations and (5) contact information to the Dressing the Early Modern Network. Each speaker will be allotted twenty minutes.

The deadline for submissions is May 30, 2017. Notification of the outcome will be advised by e-mail on or before June 15, 2017.

Revisiting the Gaze: Feminism, Fashion and the Female Body
5:00 pm17:00

Revisiting the Gaze: Feminism, Fashion and the Female Body

A conference at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London, 28-29 June 2017

Keynote Speakers: Prof. Reina Lewis, London College of Fashion; Dr. Mo Throp, Chelsea College of Arts; and Dr. Maria Walsh, Chelsea College of Arts.

In 2015 Laura Mulvey’s seminal essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema (1975) enjoyed its fortieth year. The BFI hosted a panel to mark the occasion, where Mulvey emphasized that her essay was very much a ‘historical document of its time’: emerging from the politics of the women’s movement in the 1970sMulvey used the term the ‘male gaze’ just once in her essay yet the concept has become central to debates on spectatorship. Critique has focused on the psychoanalytic underpinnings of this concept as well as the privileging of gender over other aspects of identity (e.g. hooks 1992). Furthermore, Mulvey herself has acknowledged that elements of the essay have ‘necessarily been rendered archaic by changes in technology’ and has revisited it in her subsequent writing.

The idea of the gaze – whether male or female – has proved incredibly fruitful in making sense of the fashioned body. Yet, with the recent resurgence of feminist activism – being termed ‘fourth wave’ or ‘digital’ feminism – debates on fashion and the gaze have evolved enormously. Blogs such as Man Repeller playfully mock the idea of the ‘male gaze’ whilst other women have explored the empowering potential of self-authored images of the female body (e.g. Petra Collins, #freethenipple, Emily Ratajkowski). Activists on the street have used their own fashioned bodies as a site for articulating protest, through movements such as Femen and Slutwalk, with these protests, in turn, being subject to critique on social media for their privileging of white, heteronormative bodies.

Becoming visible opens up opportunities for empowerment but as Michel Foucault (1975) has noted, ‘visibility is a trap’, as underlined in instances of revenge porn and catcalling on the street. Furthermore, Angela McRobbie (2009) has argued the ‘male gaze’ has been replaced by super-strict regulation of appearance – whether by oneself, one’s peers or the fashionable milieu. The ‘politicized, hypervisibility’ of the veiled body, as well as the different gazes that fall on Muslim bodies in both online and offline spaces, has been noted by Reina Lewis (2015). Such visibility has in some cases proved empowering, but in others led to body shaming, reprisals and even to death – as in the recent killing of the Qandeel Baloch, the Pakistani Twitter celebrity.

These social and digital changes provide the impetus for a re-examination of fashion and the politics of looking. Working from the premise that the gaze is intersectional (Gamman and Marshment 1988), we want to consider what remains fruitful in Mulvey’s essay as well as thinking about new ways of theorising fashion, the female body, and the gaze.

We invite abstracts that explore the fashioned female body and the gaze in terms of:

The gaze and activism  •  The oppositional gaze  •  The female body as a site of protest  •  Power, authority, control and the gaze  •  Psychoanalytic perspectives on looking  •    Digital platforms and practices of looking  •  Authorship and control of one’s own self-image  •  Muslim  bodies and ‘hyper visibility’  •  Social identity and the gaze  •  The disapproving gaze   •  Curious looking  •  Collaborative or friendly looking  •  The experience of being looked at  •  Voyeurism and catcalling   •  Body shaming  •  Revenge porn  •  The ‘fashion gaze’  •  The haptic gaze  •  Irony and the gaze  •  Ambivalence and looking  • Methodologies for studying the gaze.

We welcome academics, activists, artists, bloggers and journalists to submit proposals for papers at the event. Alternative formats welcome. Please send abstracts of 350 words along with a short bio to Dr. Jacki Willson and Dr. Morna Lain

Deadline for abstracts is Friday 17th March 2017.

Sustainable Fashion Consumption Symposium
5:00 pm17:00

Sustainable Fashion Consumption Symposium

June 19th 2017 (9:00- 18:00), University of Ulm, Institute of Sustainable Management

Recent environmental and social problems caused by the fashion industry, such as water and air pollution, high level of carbon emission, unfair labor conditions or child labor are calling a need for fostering sustainability within the fashion industry. The current proposed solutions of producing and buying sustainable fashion products have not solely been able to overcome the problems within this sector. Furthermore, by releasing low priced products every season, fast fashion has encouraged a throw away culture and has consequently allowed fashion industry’s problems to persist. Thus, more than ever, would be the proper time to slow down the fashion consumption and to discover the possibilities consumers have to minimize the environmental and social damages of the current unsustainable fashion production and consumption.

The University of Ulm is organizing a one-day interdisciplinary symposium aiming to bridge the gap between the niche of sustainable fashion and everyday fashion consumption. In this regard, this symposium will provide the opportunity for academics, researchers, designers, practitioners and PhD students from different disciplines of textile, clothing, fashion, and consumer behavior as well as marketing to exchange the latest academic findings, innovative ideas (solutions) and practical examples addressing a sustainable fashion consumption in everyday life.

You are invited to submit proposals for the “sustainable fashion consumption” symposium to be held at the university of Ulm on June 19th 2017. The symposium will consist of presentation sessions, a PechaKucha and poster session and an exhibition. To this end, we seek contributions from academics, practitioners, policymakers, business leaders, journalists and entrepreneurs. Please submit abstracts of no more than 1000 words to

Submissions by female attendants are particularly welcome. In addition to the scientific exchange the University Ulm promotes the establishment of a Sustainable Fashion Network for female researchers and seeks to support their academic exchange.

Download Call for Contribution: download here

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  •  Sustainable fashion consumption
  • Collaborative fashion consumption
  • Product-service systems in the field of apparel
  • Fashion libraries
  • Renting and leasing fashion products
  • Swapping and exchanging fashion products
  • Co-Creation and Prosumption
  • Innovative and sustainable business models for the apparels

Keynote speakers:

Prof. Kirsi Niinimäki, Aalto University, Aalto
Prof. Ines Weller, University Bremen
Mr. Rolf Heimann, board member HessNatur GmbH
Prof. Elke Schüßler, Johannes Keppler University, Linz
Prof. Alastair Fuad-Luke, Free University of Bozen

Important dates:
Submission of abstracts- March 15th 2017
Notification of acceptance- May 1th 2017
Registration deadline- May 10th 2017

All submissions are to be sent to: with the subject line PAPER SUBMISSION (for the presentation), S.PRESENTATION SUBMISSION (for PechaKucha) POSTER SUBMISSION (for the posters) and FASHION DESIGNS (for the exhibition). Please do not forget to include the authors’ names, full contact address and affiliations with your submission.

Important dates:
Submission of abstracts- March 15th 2017
Notification of acceptance- May 1th 2017
Registration deadline- May 10th 2017

Submissions: All submissions are to be sent to: and with the subject line PAPER SUBMISSION (for the presentation), S.PRESENTATION SUBMISSION (for PechaKucha) POSTER SUBMISSION (for theposters) and FASHION DESIGNS (for the exhibition). Please do not forget to include the authors’ names, full contact address and affiliations with your submission.

(For more information, including the preliminary conference schedule, visit the conference website here.)

INTERSECTIONS: Collaborations in Textile Design Research
5:00 pm17:00

INTERSECTIONS: Collaborations in Textile Design Research

INTERSECTIONS: Collaborations in Textile Design Research | Conference and Exhibition
13 September 2017 | Loughborough University in London, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

INTERSECTIONS is a one-day conference with exhibition of work organised by the Textile Design Research Group at Loughborough University exploring collaborations in textile design research to be held at Loughborough University in London on 13 September 2017.

INTERSECTIONS is interested in case studies which reveal unusual connections and cross- or interdisciplinary collaborations furthering research in the field of textiles and textile design.  How are these initiated? What makes a successful collaboration leading to innovative research? What are the issues? Why collaborate?

Topics may include:

  *   Collaborations with society, industry, institutions
  *   Applied textile thinking
  *   Materials
  *   Processes
  *   Integrated digital practice
  *   Craft, hands-on design, hand processes
  *   Emerging technologies
  *   SMART, functional, wearable, interactive textiles
  *   Well-being
  *   Sustainability

Abstracts will be peer reviewed and accepted authors will be invited to submit full papers (3000-5000 words) by 31 May 2017.  Conference contributors may be invited to submit to a Special Issue of the Journal of Textile Design Research and Practice.

The exhibition will show work which demonstrates textile design research through collaboration and cross/interdisciplinary practice.  This could be practice resulting from collaboration, a collection of research samples illustrating a conference submission or collaborative research.
Key dates:

  *   Deadline for submission of abstracts, 28 February 2017
  *   Notification of acceptance of abstracts, 17 March 2017
  *   Deadline for submission of full papers, 31 May 2017
  *   Deadline for exhibition proposals, 31 May 2017
  *   Deadline for submission of exhibition work, 31 August 2017

For paper presentations: a 200-300 word abstract for a conference contribution with a 100 word author biography no later than 28 February 2017 to<>

For exhibition application: a 200-300 word proposal of work with up to 4 related images (maximum size 1MB) and a 100 word artist biography no later than 31 May 2017 to<>

For enquiries, please contact<>
Conference Website:

BIAS: The Fashion and Celebration Issue
Feb 11

BIAS: The Fashion and Celebration Issue

Extended deadline: February 10, 2017

We welcome submissions from all disciplines and all degree levels, from The New School and beyond. There are no qualifications required for submission – all you need to do is send us your work. We are especially interested in submissions that address the following themes:

  • How does fashion celebrate the body?
  • Is fashion a space for celebration?
  • How do fashion and the celebration of individuality intersect?
  • How can fashion be used to celebrate identities within power structures that sublimate them?

While we are interested in academic, journalistic, and non-fiction writing, we also encourage the submission of multimedia and practice-based work, including (but not limited to):

  • Visual art (illustration, photography, prints)
  • Design projects (garments, accessories, etc.)

Fashion and Celebration will be published online and in print this spring. Fashion practitioners, scholars and enthusiasts around the world will read your submission, so this is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable exposure and publishing experience.

Please contact our editors if you have any questions, or would like to submit your work for publication!

Trending Now: The changing geographies of fashion in the digital age
5:00 pm17:00

Trending Now: The changing geographies of fashion in the digital age

Call for Papers: RGS-IBG August 29 – September 1, 2017

In the report The State of Fashion 2017, written by Business of Fashion and the McKinsey Institute, industry executives used three words to describe the current state of the fashion industry: uncertain, changing, and challenging. Indeed, the fashion industry is undergoing dramatic transformations, from digitalization and the rise of ‘see now, buy now’ fashions to brands redefining the function and timing of fashion weeks. In recent years, economic, social, and cultural geographers have recognized and harnessed fashion’s potential to serve as a valuable lens through which to explore radical and ongoing changes to the production, curation and consumption of goods, services and experiences (Crewe, 2013; Hracs et al., 2013; Brydges et al., 2014; D’Ovidio, 2015; Lavanga, forthcoming).

This session aims to build on and extend this work by bringing together researchers interested in the structures, labour dynamics, spaces, value propositions and practices of the contemporary fashion industry. Key questions to consider may include: are we still in an era defined by the ‘big four’ of New York, London, Milan and Paris, or will the geography of fashion shift to emerging fashion capitals, like Stockholm and Berlin? By extension, as the fashion industry continues to consolidate into a handful of global firms, what are the opportunities for independent and/or slow fashion brands to ‘stand out in the crowd’ and create alternative and/or sustainable business models? More broadly, what is the impact of digitalization on the way fashion is designed, produced, promoted, curated and consumed?

This session seeks to explore these questions and related themes in greater detail and welcomes papers from diverse conceptual, empirical and geographical perspectives.

Papers may wish to address one or more of the following questions:

  • Has digitalization led to increased – or decreased – democratization in the fashion industry? What are the implications for employment opportunities and career trajectories of fashion designers, bloggers, and others working in the industry?
  • How do specific physical and virtual spaces intersect in the world of fashion and what outcomes do they produce? For example, in what ways are permanent and temporary spaces (e.g. pop-up stores, fashion festivals, weeks and trade fairs), as well as online platforms such as Instagram, changing the geographies of retailing and consumption?
  • Is the geography of global fashion capitals expanding or consolidating?
  • Does technology create opportunities for local markets to emerge, or reinforce the dominance of global firms and established centers?
  • What are the dynamics and geographies underpinning the rise of new movements in fashion, like slow fashion? Does increased transparency lead to increased sustainability?
  • To what extent can cities cultivate and support the fashion industry more broadly, and independent fashion designers more specifically? What is the role and impact of policy at the national, regional and local scale?

If you are interested in presenting a paper in this session, please send your abstract (of 250 words) to Taylor Brydges ( by Friday, February 10, 2017.