Professor of Visual Culture Anneke Smelik will discuss ways to change the fashion system towards a more sustainable future.
About the Seminar
SLOW: A New-Materialist Framework for Sustainable Fashion
Fashion Studies has highlighted the need to engage with the environmental, social and economic consequences of the wasteful system of ‘fast fashion’. The overall aim of the proposed research project is to provide an innovative and integrated theory for the study of the fashion system. This is necessary because of two interrelated issues. First, fashion studies is a relatively new field of research that is still rather under-theorized within an academic context. Second, scientific attempts at understanding sustainable fashion have been fragmented, unsystematic or activist. A solid theoretical framework is urgent because the fashion industry excels in waste, pollution, and exploitation of human labour and natural resources, due to over-production and over-consumption.
The project builds on the assumption that a humanities perspective is needed to lay a theoretical foundation for understanding fashion in relation to sustainability. This research project will develop a paradigm by introducing and expanding a new-materialist theoretical framework. The new-materialist approach marks a shift in scholarship: firstly, in terms of the object of study by putting the human subject on a par with non-human elements. Secondly, methodologically, by connecting aspects of the research field that are currently disconnected. Fashion is an important bodily practice of dressing that affects identity formation, but also consists of material objects involving long chains of production and consumption, depending on advanced technologies. Anneke Smelik understands fashion as materially embedded in a network of interconnected human and non-human actors, bringing together materials, identity issues and advanced technologies. The project will put special emphasis on how both a culture of speed and technological developments affect people’s sense of identity.
About NIAS Seminars
NIAS Seminars are aimed to stimulate scientific cross-pollination within the NIAS academic community, but seminars are open to others who are interested. Please let us know if you wish to attend.