Cultural and Historical Studies
We understand fashion both as a cultural practice central to matters of identity and representation and as a global industry with a complex network of creators and consumers.
Researchers at the CHS department take fashion as a dynamic verb. We explore how human beings fashion themselves and investigate how dress, design and textiles shape our shared social and cultural life.
Challenging conventionally narrow definitions of “fashion”, our research is interdisciplinary in approach, drawing from art, film, sociology, anthropology philosophy, economics and politics. We understand fashion as a key marker of social and cultural change and as a means of understanding the relationship between individuals and communities.
Our interests include:
- fashion in the contexts of ethnicity, race, religion, nationality, gender, sexuality, and social class
- the bodily and sensory experiences of being dressed
critical perspectives on the global economy of fashion production and business
- power and labour in the production of clothes and the fashion industry
- politics and fashion
- ethnographic histories of dress
- material culture studies of dress
- cultural analysis of dress in literature, film, art, and media
- questions of influence and appropriation
- critical analyses of fashion advertising, photography, exhibitions, shows and other media.
We aim to shape fashion education with critical perspectives and inform the fashion industry with discipline leading research. We seek to forge interdisciplinary, intersectional and inclusive approaches to fashion studies. We welcome research students and collaborators.
You can find out more about our researchers and how to get involved with our work below.