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Narratives of Dress: What Can a Garment Say?
Narratives of Dress: What Can A Garment Say?

Mary Quant Fun CoatOn November 1 & 2, 2013, Smith College will host Narratives of Dress: What Can a Garment Say? This two-day symposium will bring together experts from the United States and Great Britain to speak about the role and importance of dress in the study of women, culture, and history. Speakers will consider the place of dress and costume in academic classrooms and museums, and will speak to the value of studying dress when researching the lives of women over time.

The symposium will showcase the work of both alumnae scholars as well as outside experts who represent a  range of academic disciplines and professions, including  American Studies, Museum Studies, history, literature, curatorial work and fashion.  Smith faculty will discuss specific ways in which the Smith College Historic Dress Collection and the dress holdings at Historic Northampton serve to enrich the Smith curriculum.

With archive photographs and museum vitrines stationed throughout the College,  Smith’s campus itself will become a site for displaying  dresses, shoes and other interesting articles of clothing. Students will be asked to participate in this celebration of dress by submitting photographs of themselves in "typical" student attire. These images will be compiled and stored in the Smith archives for use by future scholars of dress.

This conference is jointly sponsored by Smith College's Project on Women and Social Change, the Emily Hall Tremaine Symposium Fund through the initiative of Dorothy Tremaine Hildt, class of 1949, the Smith College Lecture Committee, the Smith College Museum of Art, the Smith College Theatre Department, the Smith College History Department, the Smith College American Studies Department and the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute.

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