2021 Methods Lab Annual Lecture
Goldsmith College, University of London
CLOTHES and CONCEPTS: Methods for a new materialism
24 March 2021
4.30pm – 6pm GMT
This lecture explores emergent approaches to the study of material culture, thinking specifically about the sensory study of dress. Placing the study of dress in the philosophical tradition of phenomenology, it asks “How do objects yield concepts?”.
Tracing the broader history of fashion studies, the lecture argues for the crucial role of clothes in the establishment of cultural studies. And, tracking new trends in the field, the lecture suggests how the latest developments in fashion research serve to crystallise some of our most urgent social and political issues, making the study of dress crucial to our understanding of labour, identity and digital life.
Professor Shahidha Bari is an academic, critic and broadcaster. She studied English at Cambridge and Cornell and taught philosophy and literary theory before turning to fashion studies. She is Professor of Fashion Cultures and Histories at London College of Fashion (University of the Arts London), the presenter of BBC Radio 3’s nightly Free Thinking programme, also known as the Arts and Ideas podcast, and the occasional host of BBC Radio 4’s Front Row. She’s the author of “Dressed: The Secret Life of Clothes” (2019), the winner of The Observer Anthony Burgess Arts Journalism Prize 2016 and has been a judge for the Forward Poetry Prizes and the Baillie Gifford Non-Fiction Prize. She writes for The Guardian, Times Literary Supplement and Frieze magazine.