Fashion at the Periphery, Chicago, October 2020

deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Chicago Fashion Lyceum

Call for PapersFashion at the Periphery

An international conference hosted by the Chicago Fashion Lyceum
October 8-10, 2020, Chicago, IL

For a generation of fashion students and lovers of fashion raised on Project Runway, fashion is defined with a hard binary: you are either ‘in’ or you are ‘out’. “Fashion at the Periphery” aims to destabilize this binary by looking at fashion issues and subjects that reside in the periphery, some by choice, others through neglect, and many as a result of injustice.

For its inaugural conference, The Chicago Fashion Lyceum (CFL) seeks presentations that might explore the peripheries of both fashion and the field of fashion studies from a variety of disciplines, points of view, theories, and methodologies. We welcome proposals from those who have a learned knowledge of fashion studies as well as from practitioners who have a lived knowledge of fashion’s systems and processes. Questions to be explored include: Which topics, methods, approaches and theories have been relegated to the peripheries of fashion studies? How do communities build their own styles on the frontiers of fashion? Are there borders and bridges yet to be crossed? What is barely visible at the horizons of fashion? What does it mean to de-center fashion? And what have we overlooked?

Through an inclusive set of papers and panel discussions, “Fashion at the Periphery” aims to open doors to new fashion theory and practiced-based research while establishing an alternate meeting place, based on the CFL’s three pillars of Criticality, Creativity, and Collaboration, to share research and theory. We especially welcome proposals from scholars and practitioners working outside of fashion’s traditional centers. In bringing together a diverse range of voices and perspectives, the “Fashion at the Periphery” conference will be a place to engage in open discussions, debate themes, and identify theoretical approaches that are under-researched and/or under- represented in fashion studies. The CFL sees the periphery as a place of community and strength where fashion studies might flourish in unexpected ways.


“Fashion at the Periphery” embraces the potential of Chicago and the CFL’s current position in the periphery as a site for critical inquiry and creative experimentation in the field of fashion studies. Not beholden to the constraint of fashion business, Chicago offers time and space to nurture thoughtful investigations and highlight voices from the periphery. Conference events will be held in downtown Chicago at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and Columbia College Chicago, as well as in other venues and museums around the city.


The Chicago Fashion Lyceum (CFL) is a community of fashion scholars, practitioners, and other engaged individuals convened to create spaces for advancing the practices of thinking, making, and research in the field of fashion studies. The CFL is a place of sharing and learning for those who have studied formally and those who bring observations from places of knowing. Through international conferences, workshops, tours, lectures, reading groups, and critical response to fashion theory writings, our goal is to enable and develop broad, inclusive, enriching, and inspiring discussions.
The Chicago Fashion Lyceum believes that fashion is an essential component of the human condition. As such, we believe it demands purposeful interrogation and innovative examination.

To learn more, visit us at


The Chicago Fashion Lyceum is seeking proposals for:
• 20-minute research or practice-based papers and presentations
• 7-minute papers on new research, works in progress, object, video or performance investigation, and other snippets from the periphery
• And co-proposed panels of three associated 7-minute presentations.

We especially encourage people of color, young scholars, people with nontraditional backgrounds, and others that have been marginalized in the field to submit.

Please send abstracts to
by March 1, 2020.