full name / name of organization:
Fashion as Photograph call for papers
A collection of critical essays and commentaries on fashion photography.
Critical interest in fashion has grown in recent years, with scholars and
critics in a variety of fields engaging fashion as a culturally and
historically significant phenomenon, examining it in relation to art, mass
culture, spectacle and self-identity, consumption, performance, politics,
Images constitute the driving force behind the fashion system. Fashion
images circulate freely as commodities; they have a far greater reach than
the garments themselves, and considerable influence in defining fashion and
the fashionable. For a mass audience, it is largely by means of photographs
rather than actual designer clothes that fashion is produced and
Some of the most innovative photographic work in recent years has originated
within the domain of fashion, and fashion photography has begun to command a
growing amount of space in museums, galleries, and auction houses. Engaging
with new technologies and new ideals of beauty, today¹s fashion photography
is politically and aesthetically provocative and ideologically potent.
However, there is still little discursive space devoted specifically to the
discussion of fashion photography. Fashion as Photograph will map out the
boundaries of this discourse, drawing together the emergent body of critical
writing, and opening up a space for the development of new ways of
understanding and thinking about fashion photography.
The editors seek contributions from scholars, critics, curators, and
collectors, as well as those working within the fashion photography
industry: publishers, editors, advertisers, designers, art directors,
stylists, models, and photographers.
The collection comprises several linked objectives, and submissions are
encouraged (but not restricted) to essays and commentaries which address any
or all of the following concerns:
- to bring some of the concerns of current photographic criticism to bear
upon fashion photography. Recent photographic criticism has moved away from
the semiotic model, and explored approaches such as phenomenology,
aesthetics, and cultural politics. For this reason, the editors are less
interested in papers which offer simple semiotic Œreadings¹ of fashion
- to examine the production of contemporary and historical fashion images,
and the complex processes, (aesthetic, social, and political) by which they
come into being. The fashion image that the reader sees on the page is the
product of a complex network of power relations, and not simply a matter of
which frock looks best with which shoes.
- to examine the consumption or Œuse¹ of fashion photographs as cultural
objects. Photographs are not simply images, but material objects, and
fashion images can appear in a number of different contexts: magazine
spread, postcard, billboard, art print, or video clip. The materiality of
the fashion image, in other words, is vital to its presence and action as a
- the recent history of fashion imagery.
- all of these concerns necessarily imply an engagement with the broader
notion of image, and the part played by the fashion photograph in the
construction of image on individual, corporate, and social planes.
Please submit 500-750 word abstracts (for completed papers of a maximum of
5000 words) by March 31, 2005. Please include your name, affiliation, and a
brief cv or bio; please do not include images at this stage.
Abstracts may be submitted by e-mail (rtf format) to shinkle_at_wmin.ac.uk or
by regular post to
Dr. Eugénie Shinkle
Department of Design, Digital Media, and Photography
School of Media, Arts, and Design
University of Westminster
Northwick Park, Watford Road
Harrow HA1 3TP
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Received on Fri Jan 28 2005 - 15:47:21 EST