Dangerous Bodies – Look out! Fashioned bodies on the boundaries

Day: Friday 6 April


Royce Mahawatte (Central Saint Martins, London)
Jacki Willson (University of Leeds)

Session Abstract

This panel explores the cultural intersection between bodies, fashion and transgression. Bodies are political players in culture. What role do fashioned bodies play in resistance, in meeting governmental boundaries or institutional power? Fashion is an aspect of modern warfare. Style can defend and attack in cultural space. How do fashioned bodies occupy the grey area between social control and the resistance to power? In relation to Judith Butler and Athena Athanasiou’s idea of the ‘performative in the political’ (2013) this session would like to consider how fashioned bodies – which are ‘revolting’, ‘laughing’, ‘unruly’, ‘grotesque’, ‘contaminating’, explicit, or silent and still – enact resistant strategies of protest.

The multi-disciplinary session will also consider readings of historical fashion media. How do governmental changes find
embodiment in 18th-century masquerade, 19th-century fashion cultures, Modernist imagery? How does fashion intersect with race and gender discourses where colonialism, capitalism and embodiment are inextricably linked? How do acts of fashioned stillness (not passivity), play, refusal or rage mediate conflict, and challenge, critique or attack violent regimes?

Speakers and Papers

Conor Lucey (University College, Dublin) Social Transvestitism and the 18th-century Building World: The case of the ‘Macaroni Bricklayer’

Nigel Lezama (Brock University) Nicki Minaj and Cardi B Donning and ‘Dissing’ Luxury’s Symbolic Status

Carmen Dexl (American Studies / Performance Studies, FAU Erlangen-Nuernberg) The Intersection of Performance and Activism: The fashioned body of Josephine Baker

Andrea Kollnitz (Stockholm University) Terrifying Beauty. Self-performances between art and life in Leonor Fini’s oeuvre

Francis Summers (UCA, Rochester) Non-Norm-(Hard)Core: Hood by Air’s Porn Archive

Rachel Dedman (Beirut, Lebanon) Embroidery and the Intifada: Stitching resistance in Palestine

Pamela I Cyril-Egware (University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria) Abadi-a-ingo: The dress of protest in the Niger Delta Region
of Nigeria

Alicja Raciniewska (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland) Polish ‘Black Protests 2016’: Political dress and the
politics of fashion

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