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LCF Cultural & Historical Studies Digital Symposium 2021

Photo of installation the If They Be Two
Photo of installation the If They Be Two
Susie Green and Kim Coleman, Photo of installation the If They Be Two by Susie Green and Kim Coleman

This symposium aims to rekindle the radicalism of Cultural Studies as a site of progressive politics by examining how popular cultural production plays a constitutive role in shaping the social and economic climate of our time.

What is Radical about Cultural Studies Now? Fashion, Culture and Politics in the Age of the Anthropocene

Digital Symposium, 11 - 12 June 2021

Organised by Cultural & Historical Studies Department at London College of Fashion, UAL

This symposium aims to rekindle the radicalism of Cultural Studies as a site of progressive politics by examining how popular cultural production plays a constitutive role in shaping the social and economic climate of our time.

In a twenty-first century characterised by the emergence of new forms of authoritarianism, racial capitalism, climate emergency, pandemics, precarious labour, anti-intellectualism and the prizing of ‘big data’ over critical debate, this symposium will reflect on the intellectual legacies of Cultural Studies, asking, in the words of Stuart Hall, how we can provide ‘some direct sense of the times in which we live’.  And can we collectively reimagine a fairer, more equal, more sustainable, more caring, and more breathable world through fashion, culture, and the arts?


Symposium programme:

Day 1: Friday 11 June 2021

OPENING SESSION: 10.30am - 11.25am

  • 10.30am - 10.40am: Welcome address: Caroline Stevenson, Head of Cultural & Historical Studies, LCF, UAL
  • 10.40am - 10.45am: Opening address: James Purnell, President & Vice-Chancellor, UAL
  • 10.45am - 11.25am: Keynote address: Prof Anneke Smelik, Katrien van Munster Professor of Visual Culture, Department of Cultural Studies, the Radboud University of Nijmegen
  • Chair: Felicity Colman, Professor of Media Arts and Associate Dean of Research, LCF, UAL

BREAK: 11.25am - 11.35am

SESSION 1: Culture wars: politics, violence, and hope, 11.35am - 1pm

  • The racial capitalocene and the 'not yet': a discourse for the politics of the possible by Dr Flavia Loscialpo, Senior Lecturer in Fashion, Solent University, UK
  • Fashion, Feminism and Radical Protest: Paths towards a Praxis of Joyful Militancy by Dr Monica Titton, Senior Scientist, Modeklasse, The University of Applied Arts Vienna
  • The Polyester Curtain: The Aesthetics of Russophobia in the Anglo-American film and television during the Putin era' by Nikola Mijovic, Film Director & Senior Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies, LCF, UAL
  • Chair: Prof Andrew Teverson, Professor of Cultural History and Critical Thinking and Dean of Academic Strategy, LCF, UAL

LUNCH BREAK: 1pm - 1.30pm

SESSION 2: Borders: immigration, labour and the ethics of production, 1.30pm - 2.50pm

  • Pandemic neoliberalism, crises of social reproduction, and the reorganisation of garment production and work by Dr Alessandra Mezzadri, Senior Lecturer in Development Studies, SOAS, University of London
  • Multiple Scenarios of Crisis Capitalism. Contemporary Fashion, Production and the politics of (im)migrant Labor in the wake of Covid-19 by Prof Elke Gaugele, Institut für das künstlerische Lehramt, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna
  • Why there’s no ethical consumption under capitalism by Dr Ashok Kumar, Lecturer of Political Economy, Birkbeck, University of London
  • Fashion and its refugees: towards a transnational worker solidarity and labour citizenship by Dr Serkan Delice, Senior Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies, LCF, UAL
  • Chair: Adam Briggs, Head of Academic Curriculum Planning - Stratford and Principal Lecturer in CHS, LCF, UAL

BREAK: 2.50pm - 3pm

SESSION 3:  Precarity: cultural work in the creative industries, 3pm - 4pm

  • How to Work Better: Collective Action in London and Amsterdam by Caroline Stevenson, Head of Cultural & Historical Studies, LCF, UAL
  • 'Sleeping, eating, drinking fashion’: Subjectivity and Temporality in the Work of Fashion Agents by Jana Melkumova-Reynolds, Fellow in Culture & Society, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
  • The fashion industry: a dream world, an exception? Precarious, unpaid, and invisible woman work by Dr Giulia Mensitieri, Social Anthropologist, École Pratique des Hautes études en Sciences Sociales de Paris
  • Chair: Professor Jose Teunissen, Dean of the School of Design and Technology, LCF, UAL

BREAK: 4pm - 4.10pm

SESSION 4: Dispossession: policy, legality and technology, 4.10pm - 5.10pm

  • Fashion in turbulent times: new technologies meet new economic paradigms by Jay McCauley Bowstead, Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies, LCF, UAL
  • Opening up fashion heritage collections online: copyright policy, licensing, ethics by Brigitte Vézina, Policy Manager, Creative Commons
  • Challenging the Western Concept of Ownership and Advocating for a Legal Status of Cultural Custodianships by Monica Moisin, Cultural Intellectual Property and Fashion Lawyer, Member of the Bucharest Bar Association, LLM International Arbitration, Founder of the Cultural IP Rights Initiative
  • Chair: Agnès Rocamora, Professor of Social and Cultural Studies at LCF, UAL

BREAK: 5.10pm - 5.15pm

EVENING SESSION: To dress or to undress: arab female bodies and the media, 5.15pm - 6pm

  • Prof. Bahia Shehab, Professor of the Practice of Design and Founder of the Graphic Design Program, The American University in Cairo
  • Chair: Dr Djurdja Bartlett, Reader in Histories and Cultures of Fashion, LCF, UAL

Day 2: Saturday 12 June 2021

MORNING SESSION: The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World, 10.30am – 11.15am

  • Prof Kehinde Andrews, Professor of Black Studies, Birmingham City, School of Social Sciences
  • Chair: Dr Serkan Delice, Senior Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies, LCF, UAL

BREAK: 11.15am – 11.25am

SESSION 1: Intersections: gender, race and diaspora, 11:25am - 12:45pm

  • Aesthetics and Personhood of the Black Body by Teleica Kirkland, Founder, Creative Director and Principal Researcher for the Costume Institute of the African Diaspora and Associate Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies, LCF, UAL
  • The Problem with Indian Fashion by Divia Patel, Senior Curator, Asian Department, Victoria & Albert Museum
  • We Are Heard – Thinking across Fragments by Dr Erica de Greef, Fashion Curator and Researcher, Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town and Siviwe James, Research Associate, African Fashion Research Institute
  • The Myth of the Tignon and the Invention of New Orleans by Dr Jonathan Square, Historian and Curator, Harvard University
  • Chair: Prof Shahidha Bari, Professor of Fashion Cultures and Histories, LCF, UAL

LUNCH BREAK: 12.45pm – 1.15pm

SESSION 2: Care: affects and ethics in a neoliberal age, 1.15pm – 2.35pm

  • Kindness to the Environment in Vogue Italia: A Neoliberal Aberration? by Dr Morna Laing, Assistant Professor in Fashion Studies, Parsons Paris, The New School
  • Keeping it in the bedroom? Purpose, pleasure and guilt with lockdown retail therapy by Charlie Athill, Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies, LCF, UAL
  • Cripping Fashion: How Disability Communities Resist Neoliberal Logics by Dr Ben Barry, Chair and Associate Professor of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Ryerson University and Philippa Nesbitt, Graduate Research Assistant, Ryerson University
  • '"She isn't quite herself today'': Mothers, Misogyny and Fashion Media by Maria Costantino, Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies, LCF, UAL
  • Chair: Dr Rosie Findlay, Course Leader of MA Fashion Cultures, LCF, UAL

BREAK: 2.35pm – 2.45pm

SESSION 3: Materiality: design and the body, 2.45pm – 3.45pm

  • The sixth sense and materialism by Dr Sara Chong Kwan, Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies, LCF, UAL
  • The dimensions of the football shirt by Dr Neil Kirkham, Senior Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies, LCF, UAL
  • The body beyond the body: clothing archives, touch, and the body schema by Dr Ellen Sampson, Artist, Material Culture Researcher and Senior Fellow, Northumbria School of Design, Northumbria University
  • Chair: Clare Lomas, Head of Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance and Principal Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies, LCF, UAL

BREAK: 3.45pm – 4pm

SESSION 4: Resistance: radicalism, representation and the politics of class, 4pm - 5pm

  • 'Fashioning Resistance: Dissent, radicalism and the politics of protest' by Dr Tony Sullivan, Senior Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies, LCF, UAL
  • Revisiting the Black British Style exhibition at the V&A (2004) by Dr Michael McMillan, Playwright, Artist, Curator, Associate Lecturer, LCF, UAL
  • ‘Fractured’ learning spaces: the emotional impact of damaged, working class learner identities, and the implications for attainment by Liza Betts, Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies, LCF, UAL
  • Chair: Dr Djurdja Bartlett, Reader in Histories and Cultures of Fashion, LCF, UAL

BREAK: 5pm – 5.10pm

EVENING SESSION: A roundtable on culture and fashion as critical practice, 5.10pm – 6.30pm

  • Dr Gus Casely-Hayford OBE, The Inaugural Director of V&A East
  • Dr Christine Checinska, Curator of African & African Diaspora Fashion, V&A. Associate Research Fellow, University of Johannesburg
  • Dr Alison Matthews David, MA Fashion Program Director and Associate Professor at School of Art and Design, Ryerson University
  • Prof. Reina Lewis, Professor of Cultural Studies, LCF, UAL
  • Prof. Simona Segre Reinach, Associate Professor of Fashion Studies at Bologna University
  • Dr Yasmine Nachabe Taan, Visiting Associate Professor, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey
  • Chair: Prof Shahidha Bari, Professor of Fashion Cultures and Histories, LCF, UAL

Organising committee