Becoming Modern/Reading Dress

Published by: University of New Hampshire Press

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Becoming Modern/Reading Dress

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Crossings in Text and Textile

Katherine Joslin

Crossings in Text and Textile explores the diverse range of transatlantic representations of clothing in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literature. This collection of essays demonstrates that fashion history and literary history, when examined together, prompt fresh understandings of the complexities of race, class, and sexual identity. By bridging material culture and discourse, Crossings establishes the significance of fashion—while neglecting none of its aesthetic appeal—to offer historicized readings on a variety of topics, from Jane Austen’s nuanced display of social interactions through the economics of muslin to the 1871 Park and Boulton cross-dressing trial and Jessie Fauset’s selection of apparel to express racial power. The geographic span of textiles from different economic areas around the globe includes Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. By making use of transatlantic texts to consider the political and social positioning of both workers and consumers, the collection further expands upon the emerging cross-disciplinary study of reading dress.

A true “state of the field” work, Crossings in Text and Textiles charts new scholarly ground at the nexus between fashion, textiles, and literature, appealing to a broad interdisciplinary audience of scholars and students.

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Cultures of Femininity in Modern Fashion

Ilya Parkins

Grounded in the ubiquitous, ever-changing matter of fashion, Cultures of Femininity in Modern Fashion places women at the heart of modern culture. Rich and cohesive, this collection demonstrates how fashion shaped and emerged from diverse cultures of femininity and modernity. By recovering fashion as a dynamic and far-reaching force in culture and politics, the volume examines the nuanced and conflicted terrain of femininity from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. Revealing the inextricability of fashion from modern life, the volume argues for placing gender, everyday life, and materiality at the forefront of our accounts of modernity.

This transatlantic and truly interdisciplinary collection, with an afterword by distinguished literary scholar Rita Felski, is also notable for its mix of established and emerging scholars. The contributors address diverse aspects of women's engagement with fashion in modernity, through such topics as Sapphic architecture, tea gowns, secondhand clothing, transnational identity, the coquette, nursing uniforms, and Harlem Renaissance photographs. Cultures of Femininity in Modern Fashion traces a unique and often surprising history of modernity and its entwinement with the gendered phenomenon of fashion.

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Dressed as in a Painting

Women and British Aestheticism in an Age of Reform

Kimberly Wahl

In Dressed as in a Painting, Kimberly Wahl provides a lucid exploration of the interrelations between fashion, art, and Aestheticism during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Although artistic forms of dress have been the subject of short studies before, no book has focused exclusively on Aesthetic dress and its various expressions in the visual cultures of Victorian Britain. More important, no book has attempted to investigate the gap between the material facts of artistic clothing as it was embodied on the wearer, and its presence as an idealized sartorial trope in the visual and textual print culture of the period.

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