The Fabric of Culture 2.0 as a whole took inspiration from a year and half long research project and from classrooms at both Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center (Fall 2016), from several conversations and workshops that were organized at Queens College and the Graduate Center, from a conference that took place on May 4th at Queens College and from the ongoing collaboration and interactions with several institutions and colleagues on campus from different background and disciplines—Computer Science, Art, Linguistics and Design. This kind of dialogue has opened new doors toward an understanding not only of how fashion can be interpreted from a multilayered and prismatic perspective, but also of how to develop and imagine new ways of doing research and pedagogy that bridge the arts with the humanities and the sciences.
The courses below are examples of this ongoing interdisciplinary work.
Fabric of Cultures
(The Graduate Center, CUNY)
This course takes the form of an interdisciplinary exploration of the art of making, craftsmanship and technology in today’s globalized world. It calls attention to the larger systems that influence the state of fashion, craft and aesthetics constantly under development and in flux. The course focuses on specific case studies such as Made in Italy, Made in New York, etc., within a transnational context and in relation to gender, race, class and labor.
> Empower, Sustain, Change, Repeat. Spring 2020
> Film, Fashion, Cities, Spring 2019
> Fabric of Cultures: Systems in the Making, Spring 2018
> Fabric of Cultures: Objects Memory, Technology, Fall 2016
CUNY Fashion Studies Collection:
In the 2018 spring semester, students in the Fabric of Cultures course used Shared Shelf, now JSTOR Forum, to upload and catalog images. The result was the CUNY Fashion Studies Collection, now part of Artstor Public Collections.
Contextualizing Fashion is a course that has been taught within Pratt Institute's Fashion Design B.F.A. since 2013. The class explores the mechanisms that create meaning in and through fashion and investigates how clothing is presented in myriad contexts, looking at historical sources, scholarly texts and contemporary media.
Contextualizing Fashion culminates in a final project for which students will design and construct an original object in dialogue with the concepts and theories explored throughout the semester. This process will prepare the students to propose possible futures or new ways of examining and creating fashion.
> Contextualizing Fashion
Identities, Cultures, and Globalization
in Italian Fashion and Design
The iSeminar course is dedicated to helping first-year students learn about immersive experiences at Vanderbilt. This theme-based iSeminar course investigated how iconic designs have contributed to the current plethora of goods from Italy and how they have an impact on the way the country projects its identity in a global framework. Students explored examples of Made-in-Italy brands, in their evolution from local to international, with a specific emphasis on the Nashville area and Tennessee at large. The final project entailed the study of Made-in-Italy brands within a variety of perspectives, from communication to business, from design to advertising. Students outlined the historical dynamics that turned a specific product into an international label, explained the social and cultural motivations behind it, and compared and contrasted the value of Made-in-Italy in Italy and the United States. They analyzed the dynamic interactions among brand image, Italy’s experience, and product evaluation in order to gain a deeper understanding of the multifaceted interplays among local identities and transnational communities, fashion and personal identity, and the changing reality of a globalized culture.
> Brigitte: made in Italy - across the page
> Frazier: The Gradient
> Jenn: “Back To Our Roots” – Sustainable Fashion
> Alyssa: What's in a name?
> Emily: FILA
> Zixin: Hamburger e Spaghetti
> Krista: Street Style
> Nat: Fashion Speaks