Film, Fashion & Representation
Parsons School of Design: Art/Design Hist & Theory
Issues of gender, race, class, nationalism, ethnicity, and sexuality reverberate through film whether it is about whom we see or do not see on the screen and/or how they are seen. History films, for example, can use costume to fabricate and “dress up” a problematic past; the mechanics of film can magnify its materiality and immateriality. This course looks at the ways in which film specifically uses costume or the dressed body—intentionally or unintentionally—as representations of identity. In various film genres, characters, through dress, makeup, and hairstyle, embody different realities and subjectivities. Such ‘fashioning’ can either enhance the film narrative by remaining subservient to character, or it can offer alternative readings by drawing attention to fashion as separate from character. Either way, fashion in film cinematically reinforces socio-political and cultural ideologies related to marginalization, diaspora, and alterity. The course will mainly concentrate on American twentieth-century film (silents, musicals, westerns, film noir, dramas, etc.) but will be inclusive of worldwide cinema industries extending into the twenty-first century. Course readings will come from areas of cultural studies such as film, race, and queer theory as well as writings focused on clothing and fashion as object and practice. We also consider related material such as fashion editorials and photography, advertising, and other forms of visual culture. Students are required to watch films outside of class and will present films and readings in class. They research and write papers about self-selected movies included in the syllabus or outside of it. Taught as a seminar, meaningful participation in class discussion is especially important. .
College: Parsons School of Design (PS)
Department: Art/Design Hist & Theory (PGHT)
Campus: New York City (GV)
Course Format: Seminar (R)
Max Enrollment: 15
Add/Drop Deadline: September 11, 2023 (Monday)
Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 19, 2023 (Sunday)
Seats Available: Yes
* Seats available but reserved for a specific population.
* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 1:38pm EDT 3/30/2023