The Fabric of Cultures (FoC) is a pedagogical, research lab and platform that interprets fashion, clothing and textile from a historical, theoretical and globalized perspective as well as in mediated forms such as screen media. The FoC is the result of several years of research, teaching, exhibition curating, and program building within CUNY.

Large manufacturing industries and symbolic machines such as fashion and clothing are not neutral platforms and structures. Rather, they affect millions of people in their everyday lives and in their work and social interactions. Fabric and fashion are intertwined domains that touch on the political and the collective. Fashion has a profound impact on the public self, national self-image and projection and utopias, as well as on the most intimate structure of feeling in the construction and perception of identities that are fluid in their manifestation and cannot be divorced from gender, race and class.

In its broadest context and definition, fashion establishes a set of practices, codes and manners--what we could call affective regimes--that regulate the rhythms of people’s existences, as well as the way they communicate in society, with each other and how they project desire through dress. These set of practices are acquired through culture. Fashion then “plays a key role in regulating the politics of [both individual and collective] subjectivity” (Altinay: 2016) and can be interpreted as multiple modes of “embodied historiography” (Altinay: 2016).

The FoC brings attention to the art of making and its knowledge producing processes. At the core of the FoC is the understanding that clothing and fashion work within larger power systems that are linked to economics, migration, social justice, climate change and sustainability, technology, and cultural and political transformations. The FoC pays special attention to women’s work in the fashion industry, NY based entrepreneurs, makers and communities and in a comparative perspective with other countries such as Italy.

We envision the FoC as a platform for activism and social change. Add info about partners.

- Eugenia Paulicelli







Altinay, Rüstem Ertug, Dressing for Utopia. Fashion, Performance, and the Politics of Everyday Life in Turkey (1923-2013), PhD Dissertation, New York University, 2016.


Eugenia Paulicelli
Eugenia Paulicelli
Tessa Maffucci
Daniela D'Eugenio
Daniela D'Eugenio

Eugenia Paulicelli is founder and director of The Fabric of Cultures Project that started in 2006 with an exhibition at the Godwin-Ternbach museum at Queens College and as an interdisciplinary course on fashion, identity and globalization taught at Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. Dr. Paulicelli is Professor of Italian, Comparative Literature, and Women’s Studies at the Graduate Center and Queens College, CUNY, where she is currently Director of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies in Italian. She is editor, co-editor and author of several books, book chapters, special issues journals, and articles on the history and theory of fashion, cinema, and literature. Among her publications are: Fashion under Fascism. Beyond the Black Shirt (2004); Writing Fashion in Early Modern Italy from Sprezzatura to Satire (2014); Italian Style. Fashion & Film from Early Cinema to the Digital Age (Bloomsbury 2016 and paperback 2017); Film and Fashion in the 1960s (co-editor Indiana University Press, 2017) Moda e Letteratura nell’Italia della prima modernità (Meltemi Press, 2019). She is founder and director of the academic film festival "Italian Cinema CUNY" (IC-CUNY). With Massimo Mascolo and Claudio Napoli she has created a series of videos on The New Made in Italy. Fashion, Arts, Design.
Website: http://eugeniapaulicelli.com/
Queens College: https://www.qc.cuny.edu/Academics/Degrees/DAH/ell/Italian/Pages/Faculty.aspx
Graduate Center: https://www.gc.cuny.edu/Page-Elements/Academics-Research-Centers-Initiatives/Doctoral-Programs/Comparative-Literature/Faculty-Bios/Eugenia-Paulicelli

Tessa Maffucci teaches in the Fashion Department at Pratt Institute, currently acting as the Departmental Sustainability Coordinator to help advance campus-wide curriculum and programming goals for sustainable design strategies. She is the recipient of the Made in NYC Fellowship (2018-2019) and sits on the board of the NYC Fair Trade Coalition. Her research focuses on the intersection of fashion and digital media, with an interest in material culture and identity. She is an Associate Editor for The Fashion Studies Journal and her writing has been featured in publications including Bloomsbury Fashion Central, Architectural Digest and Atlas Magazine. Tessa did her undergraduate work at New York University’s Gallatin School and holds a master’s in Fashion Studies and Digital Humanities from The Graduate Center at the City University of New York.
Website: http://www.tessamaffucci.com/
IG: https://www.instagram.com/tmaffucci/
TW: https://twitter.com/tessamaffucci

Daniela D'Eugenio is Senior Lecturer in Italian at Vanderbilt University, where she teaches courses on Italian language, culture, and sociolinguistics. Her research interests focus primarily on the study of proverbs in the context of Renaissance and Baroque literature, paleography, irony and humor, and pedagogical approaches in the foreign language class.

Project Team

Project and Digital Team:
Eugenia Paulicelli, Founder, Director and Writer
Rob Garfield: Developer, Center for Teaching and Learning, Queens College, CUNY
Iris Finkel: Project Manager and editor

Kat Roberts: Design
Cassandra Barnes: Photography
Callen Zimmerman: Design
Grace Coleman: Outreach
Carolyn Cei: Social Media
Chy Sprauve: Editor

Advisory Board:
Michelle Fraboni, Center for Teaching & Learning, Queens College, CUNY
Eva Fernandez, Office of the Provost, Queens College, CUNY
Matthew Gold, Digital Humanities, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Tabitha S. Bernard: Desing and Zero Waste
Tessa Maffucci: Digital Strategist
Dicky Yangzom, Yale University
Elizabeth Wissinger, Borough of Manhattan Community College and The Graduate Center, CUNY

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