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CFA: Fashion and Freaks and Monsters

Organization: University of Hawai`i, Manoa
Date Posted: 9/20/2019
City: Honolulu
Country: United States
Primary Category: Special Calls & Announcements

Description & Details

Fashion And ... Symposium Series 2020 Symposium


Fashion and Freaks and Monsters

September 3 & 4, 2020 University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa

About the symposium:


This international, interdisciplinary symposium will be the tenth in the established series of "Fashion and..." academic symposia which in past years have taken up topics including design, the body, media, gender, aging, social responsibility, and communication.


This year’s theme—freaks and monsters—focuses on fashion/dress/style and its connections to the odd, the fanciful, the freakish, and the monstrous. Fashion, accessories, body art and modification, costuming, and art/fashion crossovers have challenged norms and pushed social boundaries for centuries. From the Renaissance fashion for memento mori accessories, to Elsa Schiaparelli’s shoe hat, Alexander McQueen's 1996 Inferno collection, recent collections for Valentino that draw inspiration from the works of Hieronymous Bosch and Edgar Allen Poe, and Camp: Notes on Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, fashion, art and literature cross and meld in their fascinations with the bizarre. Today, Sissies of Mercy declares "Goth is back from the dead”, Susie Bick invites her fashion followers to "be wonderful and be strange," and others prepare for the end of the world in war-core fashion.


 Today and across history, bodies and what is on and around them express or are seen as expressing the strange, the imaginative and the fanciful, the apocalyptic and the dystopic, the morally ambiguous, socially unacceptable or what over history, has unfortunately been deemed the freakish or the monstrous. Fashion at the boundaries challenges norms, creates novelty, marks, explores, and pushes social boundaries, poses social and moral questions. Outsider fashion has been inspired by art, has become art itself, has been celebrated for its hedonistic or playful elements. Outsider fashion has also, over history, provoked disapproval, repression, has been seen as freakishness, and sometimes led to incarceration, when bodies and/or what they wore did not fit the cultural, social, gendered, medical, or psychiatric norms of their day. Always in play beyond the surface of fashion are constructed notions of the body, gender, health and community norms.

Keynote speakers

Dr Vicki Karaminas is Professor of Fashion and Director of Doctoral Studies for the School of Design at the College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington New Zealand. Her research explores the intersections of fashion and popular culture, art, globalization, sexuality and gender and is the author and editor of over 12 books and numerous journal articles. She is founding editor of The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture and the Journal of Asia-Pacific Pop Culture. She is a member of advisory and editorial boards of a number of international journals,

including Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress and the Body, Film, Fashion and Consumption, the International Journal of Fashion Studies and Zone Moda Journal. She is editor of the book series Anthem Studies in Fashion, Dress and Visual Cultures.


Dr. Ben Barry is Chair and Associate Professor of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the School of Fashion at Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada). His research program intervenes in the fashion system to center inclusion and decolonization creating a future in which bodies that are currently stigmatized and excluded are instead valued and desired. He collaborates with disabled, fat, trans, queer and non- binary people to co-design clothing and media that expresses their intersectional identities and desired future. He has published in peer-reviewed journals, including Fashion Theory, Gender & Society and Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion


To submit an abstract

You are invited to submit an abstract for the 2020 Fashion and… symposium. All abstracts will be peer-reviewed and accepted presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes in length. Publishing opportunities will be announced at a future date.


Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

         Fashion and bodies on the edge; pushing the envelope of acceptability in any area (gender, morality, class, etc.), historically or contemporarily

         Art/fashion crossovers: fashion as art/art as fashion

         Body modifications and alternate non-human identities

         Photography, advertising, and bodies at the limits

         Fashion/art and the asylum

         Freak show and fairground fashion

         Avant-garde fashion and costuming for theatre, ballet, and performance

         Dark dressing (Hell and death themes, goth, cybergoth, etc.)

         Accessorizing the bizarre

         Preparing for the end of the world: apocalypse-inspired fashion lines, dystopian visions and war-core

         Fashion models as “freaks of nature”

         Monstrous fashion industry practices (e.g., dodgy ethics, greenwashing, sweatshop labor)

         Original designs and textiles based on the theme

Submit an abstract of 500-1000 words as a Word attachment to Andy Reilly ( and Kathryn Hoffmann ( using the format below:


[Title of Presentation] [Your Name]

[Your Affiliation] [Your Email Address]


[insert abstract of 500-1000 words here]



[insert references here]


Important dates:

         January 30, 2020:  Abstracts due for priority review; abstracts received after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

         March 15, 2020: Participant notification

         April 1, 2020: Registration opens