Fashion Academy: Call for Papers, Fashion in Fiction – The Dark Side


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Gothic Anachronism by Paul Stevenson
Gothic Anachronism by Paul Stevenson

What an incredible idea for a conference! What Claudia Wore – I’m looking at you! Ok well, maybe The Babysitter’s Club isn’t exactly dark, but I know La Carmina, The Uniform ProjectThe Lost Princess (formerly Princess Portal), and Every Little Counts have something to contribute here. My head is spinning through all my favorite books, movies, even cartoons and reveling in how elements of wardrobe play into character development and the overall story. Example for all you Twilight fanatics out there – why is it that Bella doesn’t care about or is made oblivious to fashion?

It would be great to have a few fashion bloggers representing at this conference. Papers, work-in-progress and workshop proposals are invited, which means you don’t need to have a huge paper done on the subject, just a well-thought out and documented idea.

French philosopher Roland Barthes proposed that fashion was not a just an industry, but also a set of fictions. Barthes did not wish to ignore the economic function of fashion, but rather underline fashion’s mythic dimension and suggest that fashion is a language in itself. Fashion and fiction have long existed in close proximity; writers have been driven by their experience of fashion and fashion has been developed through and by literary tropes. What makes dress and fashion such a fascinating subject for writers? How are fashion’s mythologies constructed and disseminated through fictional texts? How does fashion relate to art, popular culture, business, the body, consumer studies, and those who might read it as a form of text?

Fashion In Fiction – The Dark Side

October 8 – 10, 2010

Drexel University

Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

Philadelphia, PA.

This interdisciplinary conference seeks to investigate the role that fashion has played in our culture. These “mini-narratives” can include fiction, non-fiction, cultural and historical studies, and other types of comparative, descriptive and/or empirical research. In particular, it will examine the dark side of fashion discourse, assessing the role, function, and purpose of clothes, fashion movements, style, and image in creating narratives within narratives. The dark side of fashion can include such obvious topics as gothic, punk, the color black, and vampires. Other topics that have traditionally been viewed as “dark” include polyester fabric, couture knock-offs, deviant fashion advertising, sweatshops, and child labor. Authors are also encouraged to define their own meaning of “dark”.

Papers fitting the conference theme are sought from those engaged in the fields of fashion studies, social sciences, humanities, creative writing, media, cultural studies, design, philosophy, and business.
Possible topics may include but not limited to:

  • gothic
  • feminist versus feminized discourses in fashion and display
  • animated texts
  • fashion in crime fiction
  • graphic novels
  • the semiotics of fashion
  • historical fiction
  • queer readings of fashion
  • mystery
  • textiles
  • the color black
  • marketing
  • the body/body image
  • consumer studies
  • new media
  • script and cinematic texts
  • metaphor/metaphorical fiction
  • subcultural style

Submissions: Those interested should send an abstracts of no more than 500 words. Abstract Deadline: April 1, 2010. Everyone will be notified of acceptance by June 1, 2010.

Peer Review: All abstracts will be peer-reviewed. Those abstracts accepted for presentations will be published online as well as in the conference proceedings.

Paper Submission for Possible Publication: Those interested in having their papers published may submit the entire manuscript for possible book publication.

Please send abstracts to: fashioninfiction[at]

Crosby Noricks

Crosby Noricks

Known as the “fashion publicist’s most powerful accessory,” (San Diego Union-Tribune) and the “West Coast ‘It’ girl of fashion PR,” (YFS Magazine) Crosby Noricks put fashion public relations on the digital map when she launched PR Couture in 2006. She is the author of Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR, available on Amazon. A decade later, Crosby is a successful fashion marketing strategist who spends her time championing PR Couture's growth and mentoring fashion publicists through her signature online course PRISM. Learn more about opportunities to work directly with Crosby at her website