Style and the Fashioning of the Body

September 28, 2000 (Thursday) / 5:00 pm6:30 pm

200 College Hall

Style and the Fashioning of the Body

Caroline Weber

Assistant Professor in Romance Languages at Penn

People have always obsessed about their clothing and hair, but how do these fixations change over time? What can be said about the social and political implications of body fashions?

Three Penn professors present an interdisciplinary look at fashion and its social agendas. Diana Crane of Sociology discusses the fashion industry and the role of the fashion designer in the industry. Peter Stallybrass of the English Department considers the role of clothes as memory systems. Caroline Weber of the Romance Languages department introduces Marie-Antoinette and the politics of her various styles, including her hair.

Peter Stallybrass did his graduate work in Shakespeare and in European Romanticism at the University of Sussex, and has taught at the University of Sussex, and Smith and Dartmouth Colleges. On Penn's faculty since 1988, he teaches mainly in the Renaissance and in Cultural Studies, and he is particularly interested in theories of the body and of transgression. He has published a number of articles on clothing and identity, and recently completed Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory with Ann Rosalind Jones (Cambridge University Press).

Diane Crane received her Ph.D. from Columbia University. She taught at Yale and Johns Hopkins Universities before coming to Penn, where she has been a professor in the department of Sociology since 1973. She is the author of a number of books, the most recent being Fashion and Its Social Agendas: Class, Gender, and Identity in Clothing (University of Chicago Press).

Caroline Weber, an assistant professor in Romance Languages at Penn, specializes in late 18th century French literature and culture. She received her Ph.D. in 1998 from Yale University. She has published articles on Rousseau, Sade, and Charriere, and she recently completed her first book, entitled Terror and Its Discontents: The Shadow of Totality in French Revolutionary Discourse. She is also co-editor of a forthcoming issue of Yale French Studies, entitled "Fictions of Revolution."