Call for Papers:

Fashioning Heritage – Conference Session

Association of Critical Heritage Studies, 3rd Biennial Conference, Montreal, Canada, 6th-10th June 2016

Deadline: 1st November 2015

In endeavouring to answer the question ‘What does heritage change?’ this proposed session, Fashioning Heritage, will call for papers that critically examine the way in which one of the main functions of dress is to locate or position individuals and communities in space and time. The temporal realm can be conceived as personally transitioning from and through certain life stages, being culturally defined as well as conceiving gender differently by dress. Transitions are visually marked by a change in bodily representation. Christenings, circumcision rites, communion, bar mitzvahs, graduations and weddings are some of those shifts clearly associated with dress. Using the definition of dress by Roach-Higgins & Eicher (1992), we might also include explicit body art markings, such as scarification, as also indicating transition through rites of passage at a permanent level on the body.
Space is also marked by dress as people literally move from one space to another. From private to public, from profane to sacred spaces or undergoing diasporic processes, all can be expressed through fashioning the body in a way that articulates the fluidity of identity. While theses transition markers require different levels of literacy – a reading of patterns, motifs and colours, they nonetheless are representations and performances that can be for both insider and outsider audiences. However, fashion is a global language. We all wear clothes.
Dress is portable, as are the skills that are required to craft bodies. As communities indeed move around the globe, it raises the questions of how does a community imagine itself. What does it require to construct its identity, both tangible and intangibly, through dress practices?


  •  Transitional dress as narratives of change
  • Crafting heritage and community development
  •  Inclusion and exclusion dress practices
  •  Fragmented communities brought together through dress
  •  Social cohesion and civic engagement through dress
  •  Fashion as ‘social energy’ 

Dr Sharon Peoples
The Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies
The Australian National University


Conference Website:


CFP – Fashioning Heritage, Association of Critical Heritage Studies, 3rd Biennial Conference, Montreal, Canada, 6th-10th June 2016

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