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This book seeks to address and fill a puzzling omission in contemporary critical IR scholarship. Following on from the aesthetic turn in IR, critical and 'postmodern' IR has produced an impressive array of studies into movies, literature, music and art and the way these media produce, mediate, and represent international politics. By contrast, the proponents of the aesthetic turn have consistently overlooked and ignored fashion as a source of knowledge about global politics.
Yet stories about the political role of fashion abound in the news media. In Afghanistan, the terror of the Taliban regime and the plight of women was illustrated by reference to the burqa that women are supposedly forced to wear there. In Sudan, recently a female writer and activist successfully challenged the government over her right to wear trousers in public. In Europe, the debate on women's headscarves has politicised a garment item and turned it into a symbol of fundamentalism and oppression. In the war on terror, orange jumpsuits are used on both sides to dehumanise and mark the figure of the 'detainee'. Yet the politics of fashion go beyond these examples of the uses and abuses of textiles and fabrics for political purposes, extending into its very 'grammar' and vocabulary.
The contributions to this book will investigate the politics of fashion from a variety of perspectives, addressing theoretical as well as empirical issues, establishing the critical study of fashion and its protagonists as a central contribution to the aesthetic turn in international politics.
This work will be a unique contribution to the field and will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, critical IR theory and popular culture and world politics.
It's Fashion Week in New York and Ellie's in charge of the dogs' modeling outfits that match their mommy-mdoels for a fashion competition. But before the first round closes, one of the designers drops dead of anaphylactic shock, her Epipen useless because someone's emptied it.
From its beginnings in the fifteenth century, intensified interest in fashion and the study of fashion over the last thirty years has led to a vast and varied literature on the subject. There is now barely a discipline in the humanities or social sciences that does not take a position on what fashion is, what it does and how it works.
This collection of essays surveys and contextualises the ways in which a wide range of disciplines, (including sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, fashion history, gender studies and cultural history), have used different theoretical approaches to explain, and sometimes to explain away, the astonishing variety, complexity and beauty of fashion. Themes covered include individual, social and gender identity, the erotic, consumption and communication.
Each extract is introduced, placed in its historical and theoretical context and its significance for fashion theory is explained.
By collecting together some of the most influential and important writers on fashion and exposing the ideas and theories behind what they say, this unique collection of extracts and essays brings to light the presuppositions involved in the things we think and say about fashion.
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