Re-Visioning Fashion Theories:  Postcolonial and Critical Transcultural Perspectives

11th-12th December 2015,

Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna and Angewandte Innovation Laboratory (AIL), Vienna, Austria

Fashion research and fashion theory are still very much influenced by the dominance of a Euro-American perspective which often leads to a restricted scope of analysis of historical and contemporary developments of globalisation. Historically fashion represents a Western paradigm of hegemonial colonial embodiment and a process of othering. In the course of modernity fashion has turned into a politics of appearance that expresses structures of power and spatial orders as a cultural performance of global and local relationships.

While a critical revision of fashion theories and their core vocabulary from a postcolonial perspective has not yet been undertaken, by theorising the term “style” in contrast to “fashion”, Cultural Studies scholars have incorporated postcolonial perspectives and mapped phantom histories of migration routes and race relations (Hebdige).

This is the starting point for the symposium “Re-Visioning Fashion Theories – Postcolonial and Critical Transcultural Perspectives.” In critically examining and challenging fashion and fashion theories as Western concepts, the symposium brings together international scholars and practitioners for an interdisciplinary discussion of postcolonial approaches to historical and contemporary fashions.

Areas of investigation include:
- Postcolonial perspectives on fashion and fashion theory
- Analyses of theories and methods of fashion research as strategies of
a white, patriarchal and European gaze
- Investigations of the reception of fashion and textiles within the
contexts of contemporary processes of migration and globalization and
their reflection in theories of diaspora and hybridity
- Postcolonial and critical economical analyses of the neo-colonising
effects of the fashion industry and explorations of possible

The conference language is English.

Conference Organizers: Prof Dr Elke Gaugele, Dr Birgit Haehnel, Dr Monica Titton, in cooperation with:
- Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
- Research Group “Art Production and Art Theory in the Age of Global
Migration”, Verein für Kunst und Kulturwissenschaften, Ulm
- Post-graduate program / ecm educating/curating/managing, University
of Applied Arts Vienna

Please email revisioningfashion@gmail.com  with any queries.


Friday, 11th December 2015
Location: Academy of Fine Arts, Karl-Schweighofer-Gasse 3, Room 306, 1070 Vienna

09:30 – 10:00 Registration & Coffee

10:00 – 12:00 Welcome: Andrea Braidt, Vice Rector for Art and Research, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Panel 1: Entangling Histories: Fashion, Modernity and Coloniality
The Implementation of Western Culture in Austria: Adolf Loos’s Colonial
Fashion Theory (Christian Kravagna, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)
Re-Visioning Fashion Theories (Elke Gaugele, Academy of Fine Arts
Re-Visioning Fashion Terms (Birgit Haehnel, University of Osnabrück (D))
Re-Visioning Fashion Media (Monica Titton, University of Applied Arts
Chair: Birgit Mersmann, University of Cologne (D) & University of Basel

11:45 – 13:00 Lunch break

13:00 – 15:00 Panel 2: Global Migration and Fashion Theory
Fresh Off the Boat – On Fleeing, Migration and Fashion (Theory)
Burcu Dogramaci, Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich (D)
Stylin’: (Re-)fashioning African Diasporan Identities (Christine
Checinska, Goldsmiths College, London (GB) & VIAD University of
Johannesburg (ZA))
Traveling Fashion: Exotism and Tropicalism (Alexandra Karentzos,
Technical University Darmstadt (D))
Chair: Elke Gaugele, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna

15:00 – 15:30 Coffee break

15:30 – 18:00 Panel 3: Political Techniques of Fashion Theories: De- and
Recolonizing Policies
Adapting and Fashioning National Styles in India (Ruby Sircar, Academy
of Fine Arts, Vienna)
On the Un-/usability of the Concept of Self-orientalization (Gabriele
Mentges, Technical University Dortmund (D))
“Cabaret Crusades” – Costumes of Another History? (Gabriele Genge &
Angela Stercken, University Duisburg-Essen (D))
Chair: Birgit Haehnel, University of Osnabrück (D)

Saturday, 12th December 2015
Location: Academy of Fine Arts, Karl-Schweighofer-Gasse 3, Room 206, 1070 Vienna and Angewandte Innovation Laboratory (AIL), Franz-Josefs-Kai 3, 1010 Vienna

10:00 – 12:30 Panel 4: The Global Fashion Industry: Neoliberalism,
Cultural, Appropriation and Empowering Alternatives
Organizing markets in the global fashion industry (Patrik Aspers,
Uppsala University (SE))
Fashion Copying and Racial Feelings (Min-Ha T. Pham, Pratt Institute,
New York (USA))
The Commodification of Ethnicity: Vlisco Fabrics (Christine Delhaye,
University of Amsterdam (NL))
Open Wear. On the Social Design of Fashion (Zoe Romano, Milano (I))
Chair: Monica Titton, University of Applied Arts, Vienna

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch break & Transfer to Angewandte Innovation Laboratory

14:00 – 15:00 Panel 5: No Liability is Taken for Wardrobe. Resistance in
Fashion and Production
Location: AIL – Angewandte Innovation Laboratory
Curator’s tour through the exhibition: Johannes Mantl & Eva Meran

15:00 – 17:30 Decolonizing Imaginaries in the Fashion World
Keynote: Kemi Bassene, Clark House Initiative, Paris (F)
Respondent: Sonja Eismann, Berlin (D)
Chair: Nora Sternfeld, University of Applied Arts, Vienna & Aalto
University Helsinki (FI)

17:30 – 18:30 Performance: B[e]Ware – Singer vs. Abhörapparat
Klaus Erich Dietl & Stephanie Müller, Munich (D)

18:30 Drinks & Closing of the Conference


Event – Re-Visioning Fashion Theories: Postcolonial and Critical Transcultural Perspectives,11th-12th December 2015, Vienna

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