Is there a correct or wrong way to do fashion studies? The field has rapidly grown ever since the 1998 issue of Fashion Theory surveyed the methodological status of its emergence. The major concern then was identifying and reconciling what dress historian Lou Taylor termed “the great divide” between practice-based (museum-oriented) and theoretical-based (academia-oriented) approaches to the study of fashion. Since then, approaches using fashion as a lens to engage and explore our material and visual world have exploded, uniting scholars from disparate academic disciplines—from art and design history to anthropology, among others—under what we now call “fashion studies”. Fashion deeply resonates as a scholarly subject for those concerned with debates on gender, modernity, and globalization as well as other sites of critical inquiry. The question remains: where does fashion studies begin and end? Is fashion studies research permitted to travel across or exist between disciplinary borders? Might we frame fashion studies as fundamentally interdisciplinary, multi-disciplinary and/or cross-disciplinary? There remains much anxiety around policing the boundaries of scholarly discourse, leading to questions of legitimacy and membership (Who is allowed to do this? What are the requisite credentials?) What is the state of the field and how might we advance the understanding of fashion studies as a central node in a dynamic constellation of research areas across the humanities and sciences?
This panel seeks papers that challenge the received assumptions about the field and those that aim to reposition it in relation to its attendant disciplines through case studies.
Submission Deadline: July 23, 2019