CFP: Si Wi Yah, Sartorial Representations of the African Diaspora (London, 4 May 2018)

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Call for Papers
September 20, 2017 to November 17, 2017
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Latin American and Caribbean History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies

First Dress Conference of the African Diaspora

London College of Fashion, London, UK.

Friday 4th May 2018 


This, CIAD’s first dress conference of the African Diaspora, seeks to understand how African Diaspora communities came to be visually represented or have developed the agency to represent themselves and establish their identities through clothing and adornment.

People of African heritage have been moved across the globe, through forced or self-determined migration in the western hemisphere, for hundreds of years.  As they came to settle in various corners of the globe, the retention of their African origins mixed with their new environments and other cultures and have developed the myriad of different communities that make up the African Diaspora.

Colonial textbooks have suggested that people on the continent of Africa, had little in the way of material or sartorial culture, with which to distinguish themselves and certainly nothing to rival the elegance of Europe. It is fair to say that not only has historic style and culture coming out of Africa been of the merit and quality on a par with Europe, but that oftentimes what has come out of the continent has been of such total opposite to the considerations of Europe that the eminence has been unrecognisable by historical westernised anthropologists and writers.

Having been transplanted in one way or another into different countries and communities around the world, people of African heritage have often helped to shape and enhance the culture of the countries within which they have found themselves.

Call For Papers

Ph.D./ MA students, researchers, and curators are invited to present papers using case studies, collections or current research about the way people of African heritage have been made to, or have chosen to use clothing and adornment to visually represent themselves.

Potential speakers are being asked to submit a 250 word abstract with the title of their paper and a 100 word bio about themselves. Each speaker will be allotted twenty minutes to present their paper; slide presentations are not necessary but are welcome. Send all abstracts to stating ‘Si Wi Yah – Abstract’ in the email subject header.

The deadline for submissions is Friday17th November 2017. Notification of the outcome will be advised by e-mail on or before Friday 15th December 2017.


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