Fashion, Dress and Style as Social Networks

deadline for submissions: 
June 25, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA)
contact email: 

Special Session Submission for SAMLA 93 Conference: 

Social Networks, Social Distance

November 4-6, 2021 – Atlanta, GA

Fashion, Dress and Style as Social Networks

Co- Chairs:

Dr. Loretta Clayton, Middle Georgia State University

Dr. Marylaura Papalas, East Carolina University

Engaging with the 2021 SAMLA conference theme of “Social Networks, Social Distance,” this panel explores the ways that fashion, dress, and style are embedded in social networks and can serve to unify communities, increasingly, perhaps, in “socially distanced” ways: through social media and all manner of virtual connections. Thus, we invite papers devoted to fashion as experienced in our digital, “new media” era, but we also welcome papers devoted to fashion during the Victorian and Modern eras that investigate the “social networks” of those periods. We are interested in how the communication of particular modes of dress and the expression of style within such networks can collapse distance and forge community or, conversely, emphasize isolation and individuality. We seek papers on both textual and graphic representations of fashion, and we encourage submissions that examine sartorial themes in literature, theater, art, film, photography, design, periodicals, digital media, and other aesthetic modes of expression.

Topics that might be considered include:

  • Telegraphing individual and/or group identity through dress.
  • Fashion and style crossing/creating “boundaries” of social class, gender, age, region, etc.
  • Social media and fashion.
  • Fashion models and/vs. “influencers” as purveyors of style.
  • Virtual and other unconventional fashion shows.
  • Socially distanced fashion (alone at home, on the video conference call, with a mask, etc.).
  • Fashion and transportation/communication/information technologies

 By June 25, 2021, please send abstracts of 250-500 words along with AV requests and short bio to both Loretta Clayton, Middle Georgia State University, at and Marylaura Papalas, East Carolina University, at