Call for Papers:

Disseminating Dress

University of York, UK

28th-30th May 2015


CFP Deadline: 15th January 2014


Disseminating Dress is a three-day international and interdisciplinary conference that explores how ideas and knowledge about dress have been shared, sought and communicated throughout history. In bringing together academics, curators and industry professionals, this conference is an invitation for interdisciplinary discussion concerning methods of communicating concepts of what someone should, could, or would wear. Dress has been demonstrated to be central to the creation, expression, and subversion of cultural and national identity. However, what remains relatively unexplored is how these ideas were conveyed and perceived. If fashion is the result of a mixture of innovation and emulation, then we need to ask how these new ideas came to be circulated around and between societies.


From the London of the Blitz to Renaissance Italy, men and women have both sought out and been instructed in what to wear, forming personal, social and cultural aesthetics, while driving trade and mercantile success. This conference welcomes a broad interpretation of how dress has been disseminated throughout history, and will be an open forum for work undertaken from a variety of disciplinary and professional viewpoints.


Disseminating Dress invites proposals for 20-minute papers that explore the manifold media, methods, perceptions and motivations driving fashion dissemination across history. Paper topics might include, but are certainly not limited to, the following methods and media for transferring fashion ideas and information:


  • Correspondence and social networks.
  • Global networks for trade and cultural exchange.
  • The written word – including novels, journals, and fashion magazines.
  • Costume books, home sewing patterns, and other instructional sources.
  • Visual and material culture, including both fine art and popular culture.
  • Advertising, the role of fashion designers, and branding.
  • Famous persons, from court culture to modern celebrities.
  • Film, television, the Internet, and modern social media including MMS-ography.
  • The history of taste, and the influence of outside cultural forces such as developments within architecture and the decorative arts on fashion.


Abstracts of 250 words in length, with an accompanying 100-word biography should be sent to no later than 15th December 2014.

CFP: Disseminating Dress, York, 2015

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