Fashion and Gender (May 2015, University of Minnesota USA)

Dates: 1-2 May 2015
Location: University of Minnesota, USA
Deadline for proposals: 9 January 2015.

The University of Minnesota [USA] is organizing a symposium entitled Fashion and Gender to be held May 1-2, 2015. This symposium is the fourth in a symposium series entitled “Fashion And … ” connecting fashion with other themes of importance in today’s world. Members attending the symposia of Fashion And… examine the interconnections and intersections of fashion in today’s world.

Crane (2000, p. 16) noted that “fashionable clothes are used to make statements about social class and social identity but their principle messages are about the ways in which men women and men perceive their gender roles or are expected to perceive them.” Thus, for our fourth symposium we focus on relationships between fashion and gender.

We are interested in providing opportunities to share research findings, innovative teaching strategies, and designs that explore and investigate issues related to gender  and fashion. As there are many phases to fashion from ideation, design, production, distribution, sale, consumption, and ultimately disposal, there are many instances where gender issues are evident in the formation of fashion. From where designs originate (e.g., who is the designer and who gets credit for the design), to gender roles within production and sales (e.g., who is working on the sales floor or in corporate headquarters at what jobs works in the fashion industry), to gender roles within marketing (e.g., divisions into men’s stores/departments vs women’s stores/departments, objectification of people in fashion advertising ), and gender roles links to consumption (e.g. shopping is women’s work).

“Not everyone enjoys having to fit into the gender roles society assigns us based on the clothing we wear but it can be surprisingly tricky to find something to fit your body that does not fall into these traditional categories”  Lorraine Smith, 2011

Through a series of scholarly presentations, panel discussions, and design presentations, the symposium participants will explore, define, and document the interconnections between fashion and gender.

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 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 gender.

Symposium Participation:

You are invited to participate in this symposium by submitting a written abstract detailing research, an abstract of innovative teaching strategy, a design, or a proposal for a panel of speakers addressing some aspect of fashion and gender. The official conference language is English. All accepted abstract submissions will be published in the conference proceedings.

Symposium formats include poster sessions, design work, concurrent design/research/teaching presentations [15 – 20 minutes], and panel sessions [60 minutes]. Panel or collaborative presentations are encouraged.

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

– Historical views on gender in fashion
– Subcultural style(s) and gender
– Communicating gender identity
– Gender, power, and fashion
– Sexuality and fashion
– Gender equality and fashion
– Self-sexualization, fashion, and women
– Sexualization of childhood
– Male identity and fashion
– Contesting gender difference in fashion
– Bodies, body work, and gender
– Gender comparisons in apparel consumption
– Objectification and fashion
– Body image issues and gender
– The fashion workplace and gender issues
– Gender equality within the fashion industry

Proposals are due January 9, 1015.

About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is

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