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The Space Between 2017 : The Space Between: Psyche, Body, Skin, Environment


When Feb 3, 2017 - Feb 3, 2017
Where Royal College of Art, London, UK
Submission Deadline Dec 15, 2016
Categories    fashion   culture   society   inter-disciplinary

Call For Papers

The Space Between: Psyche, Body, Skin, Environment

Friday 3rd February 2017, Royal College of Art, London, UK

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Fataneh Farahani, Associate Professor, Department of Ethnology and Gender Studies, Stockholm University, Sweden

Deadline for Abstracts: Friday 15th December 2016

The Space Between: Psyche, Body, Skin, Environment is an inter-disciplinary one-day symposium bringing together key thinkers from a range of disciplines to consider ideas around clothing, cloth and protection in contemporary society; in particular those associated with psyche, dress and the environment. Clothing and dress are often interpreted as forms of literal, metaphorical or psychic protection; from a suit of armour, to a hockey player’s padding, a heavy wool coat, to a businessperson’s suit.

The symposium seeks to ask what does clothing as protection mean in the context of contemporary society. As well as physical protection from environmental risk how does it protect one from the social mores or precepts of society? Why are some cultures and societal groups more concerned with this than others? Are contemporary forms of exposure and nakedness or nudity now also viewed as forms of pre-emptive protection? Do we now need more or less protection? And who (or what) do we need protecting from?

Proposals for 15 minute paper presentations are sought on the three key themes of the symposium as follows:

Protection: Between Dress and Shelter. This section explores the ways in which dress has been used as protection from the elements or the gaze of others. Taking a global perspective, it examines cultural differences in the definition of dress as protection.

Psyche: Between Perception and Display. This section explores the experiential or psychoanalytic implications of dress as protection versus dress as display.

Intersection: Between Body and Skin. Taking the garments we wear closest to the skin as its focal point, this section invites artists and academics who make or consider undergarments to share their perspective.

Abstract proposals of 350 words together with a 150 word biography should be sent for review to: by Friday 15th December 2016

This symposium is a collaboration between Fashion Research Network and Dr Azadeh Fatehrad with support from the Royal College of Art.

Further general questions can be sent to:

References and Further Reading:

Ahmed, Sara and Stacey, Jackie, Editors (2001) Thinking through the Skin, London and New York, NY: Routledge.

Amir-Ebrahimi, Masserat. (2008) ‘Transgression in Narration: The Lives of Iranian Women in Cyberspace.’ Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Vol. 4, No. 3, Special Issue: Innovative Women: Unsung Pioneers of Social Change (Fall 2008), pp. 80-93 & p.89.

Benthien, Claudia, Trans. Thomas Dunlap (2002) Skin: On the Cultural Border Between Self and the World, New York, NY and Chichester: Columbia University Press.

Brüderlin, Markus and Lütgens, Annelie Lütgens, Editors (2011) Art & Fashion: Between Skin and Clothing, Bielefeld: Kleber. [Exhibition Catalogue] (Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg 5th March 7th August 2011)

Copjec, Joan. (2006) The Object-Gaze: Shame, Hijab, Cinema. Filozofski Vestnik, Volume XXVII, Number 2, 2006, p.26.

Doy, Gen. (2001) Drapery: Classicism and Barbarism in Visual Culture. London:
I.B.Tauris. pp. 118-121 & pp.153 & 195.

Hadimioglu, Çagla(2010), ‘Black Tent’, TEXT, Online source: [last accessed 12 November 2015 ].

Hodge, Brooke and Mark Lisa, Editors (2006) Skin + Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture, London and New York, NY: Thames and Hudson Ltd.

Horn, Marilyn J. and Gurel, Lois M. (1981) The Second Skin: An Interdisciplinary Study of Clothing, Third Edition, Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Motahari, Morteza. (1986) The Problem of Hijab. Tehran: Basir Publication, p.29.

Naficy, Hamid. (1999) Veiled Version/ Powerful Presence: Women in Post’
Revolutionary Iranian cinema in ISSA, R and WHITAKER, S. Life and Art: The New Iranian Cinema. p.53.

Skin Tight: The Sensibility of the Flesh, Chicago, IL: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago [Exhibition Catalogue]

Watkins, Susan M (1995) ‘Clothing: The portable environment,’ in The Design Process, Ames IA: Iowa State University Press.

Warwick, Alexandra, and Cavallaro, Dani (1998) Fashioning the Frame: Boundaries, Dress and the Body, Oxford and New York, NY: Berg.

Wiggins, Colin. (2008) Alison Watt: Phantom. London: National Gallery. pp. 20- 23.

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