Fulfills Humanities, Elementary
First Year Interest Group [FIG]
The course uses fashion, the popular styles of dress and ornament at a specific historical period, as a useful tool to examine issues of culture, politics, economics, and gendered power across Africa from the late 1800s to the present. One key question will guide this course: how have (changing) fashion trends in Africa reflected local concerns and anxieties among women, men, youth, and marginalized individuals, past and present? In so doing we will ask how clothing and accessories reflect issues of ethnicity, nationality, race, class, sexuality, and gender. Students will also learn about the critical roles that fashion has played in larger movements including revolutions, nation building campaigns, identity politics, and globalization. Because this is an interdisciplinary class, course materials will draw from diverse disciplines and sources including comic strips, graphic novels, animated cartoons, newspapers, films, podcasts, documentaries, Instagram, digital art, and street art as well as scholarly texts.