Marginalized Style: Studying Fashion from Below to Promote Liberation

deadline for submissions: 
October 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Binghamton University

Marginalized Style: Studying Fashion from Below to Promote Liberation


In Beyonce Knowles-Carter’s 2016 single “Formation,” the artist highlights her southern, black heritage to the black diasporic history that went into the making of her racial and ethnic background. As Beyonce proudly announces her racial identity, in the same stanza, she articulates that identity through the lens of fashion. She feels “so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin')/ I'm so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces.” The references to the French designer Givenchy and her husband’s jewelry collection demonstrates how Beyonce frames her understanding of her black heritage through her attire.


Although Beyonce might seem like an unlikely celebrity through which to study marginalized fashion, “Formation’s” articulation of a militantly proud black identity through the lens of fashion is not an isolated occurrence. Rather, Beyonce’s call to “get in formation” and fight for liberation echoes a common refrain that has been used to combat racial, gender, and class oppression: fashion. No doubt, with the rise of fashion studies in the academy, and increased attention to fashion as resistance beyond the west and in minority populations, what one wears and how one presents themselves has become a political choice that can either reinforce hegemony or help to subvert it.


In turn, we are seeking proposals for an edited book collection that seeks to re-think fashion studies from the perspectives of marginalized, oppressed populations across the globe. It looks to study how raced, lower class, and queer communities have been able to interpret themselves and announce their beliefs through their attire in spite of normative constraints of the time. Our hope is to create a powerful collection to work alongside the emergence of luxury studies as a dominant framework for studying fashion in order to center marginalized style to study fashion from below and create a liberatory praxis. To apply please e-mail a 300-500 word abstract as well as a 100-150 word bio no later than October 1st, 2018.


We are particularly interested in proposals look to investigate fashion from the follow perspectives, as well are excited to review proposals related to this call that go beyond our suggestions as well…


  • Queer Theory

  • Critical Race Theory

  • Feminism

  • Critical Animal Studies

  • Historic Analysis Based on Specific Time and Place

  • Popular Culture in Relation to Music, Movies and Television

  • Sports Culture

  • Fashion in Advertising

  • Marxist Analysis

  • Fashion and Material Production

  • Poststructuralist Analysis of Fashion

  • Intersectional Analysis

  • Fashion in Literature

  • Fashion as Resistance


Again, this is not an exhaustive list of potential topics that we are interested in reviewing. Please also feel free to contact us with any questions you might have either about your proposal or this CFP. We think this will be a timely collection that will help fulfill the current void in fashion studies that have left the margins unaccounted for.


To apply please e-mail a 300-500 word abstract as well as a 100-150 word bio no later than October 1st, 2018. We will be informing people of the status of their acceptance no later than October 15th, 2018. We expect first drafts to be due in December and the book to be reaching the press by the end of summer 2019 after going through a series of revisions with the editors. At this time, all we need is your abstract and bio.