CFP: Between Mysterium and Dictatorship. Fashion in Cultural Anthropology Studies

Between Mysterium and Dictatorship. Fashion in Cultural Anthropology Studies.

The topic proposed is related to interdisciplinary studies of fashion as a cultural phenomenon, which is popular in Western science (mainly in Anglo-Saxon circles) but marginal in Poland. These studies approach to fashion theoretically taking into consideration perspectives of culture studies, anthropology, religion studies, sociology, philosophy and history of art. Polish scholars are acquainted with classical analyses made by Thorstein Veblen, Georg Simmel, or Roland Barthes. But many things changed since they have been formulated. Veblen and Simmel considered fashion mainly within the context of the problem of social status. Barthes pointed at its systematic aspects and treated as a collection of myths of popular culture. Currently, rapid growth of culture and technology opens quite new fields of fashion studies. The fashion itself constantly changes its way of representation and functions it performs.

These changes are answered within Western science by – little known in Poland – works by Yuniyi Kawamura (e.g. Doing Research in Fashion and Dress from 2015, and Fashion-ology. An Introduction to Fashion Studies from 2014), Fred Davis (e.g. Fashion, Culture and Identity from 2011), and Lars Svendsen (Fashion. A Philosophy from 2014). Studies done by scientists associated to the London School of Arts and Central Saint Martins in London may also serve as a model example – the school does interdisciplinary fashion research which is methodologically closest to culture studies and asks questions about meta-theoretical aspects of fashion, but also its sociological, anthropological, philosophical, historical and museal aspects.

 The proposed thematical number is devised to initiate a deepened theoretical reflection on the phenomenon of fashion within Polish scientific community. We assume that not only competences we commonly possess, but also our different from Western cultural heritage let us open new fields of discussions on fashion which may enrich world science.

 We are particularly interested in the three research areas which will be covered by papers ordered at specific authors. The first of them is related to methodological questions and the place of the fashion phenomenon as well as the fashion discourse within the perspective of interdisciplinary culture studies. In the proposed papers we are going to take a discussion on cultural iconic memory and the clash of abstract ideas with their material manifestation in the context of fashion. We also want to turn attention to the formation of contemporary fashion discourses and at the same time to the aspects of fashion as spectacle. The second field of our interest covers case studies which emerge in chosen contexts – spirituality understood broadly, rebellion, provocation and mimicry, and concepts at the borderline of fantasy and futurism. The third field is related to the role of new technologies in the process of shaping contemporary fashion and how can they bring about changes in its cultural reception.

We are also open to analyses of other problems connected to fashion as a cultural phenomenon, which would emerge within the discussion we initiate.

The papers should be in English (for non-native speakers of English we highly recommend that you have your manuscript proofread by a native speaker) and not exceed 7000 words (with bibliography).

Manuscript submissions are due on 15. 10. 2019 and should be sent to the editors of the special issue: Jowita Guja ( and Izabela Trzcińska (trzcinska@agh.

The details about guidelines for papers may be found at:

All papers will be subject to a peer review.