Fashion, Costume, and Consumer Culture in Iberia and Latin America: A Session in Honor of Gridley McKim-Smith
“Material splendor—rare and exquisite fabrics, dazzling displays of wealth and sartorial beauty—is a compelling value in Hispanic-American clothing” (McKim-Smith, Lexikon of the Hispanic Baroque 2013, 111). Gridley McKim-Smith (1943–2013) argued that the “profound materiality and sensuality of costume is crucial in Spain’s American possessions, where only stuffs recognized as prestigious can insulate the wearer from public disgrace and where the most sumptuous silks or alpacas, sometimes interwoven with precious metals, can make the wearer both admired and desired.” (114) In honor of the late McKim-Smith’s research interests and scholarship this session will consider representations of dress and fashion in Iberia and Latin America. In the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking worlds, depictions of costumes in paintings, sculptures, prints, and other visual media, as well as the creation of textiles and garments, demonstrate the power of dress in the construction of social, racial, gender, and cultural identities. The existence of extensive global trade networks facilitated the exchange and synthesis of artistic practices and craftsmanship permitting unique garments and objects which revealed the wearer’s style, aesthetic preferences, and social status. We seek papers from broad geographical and chronological periods, from Pre-Columbian to Modern, that consider the role of fashion, costume, and consumer culture in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking worlds. How do clothes mediate identity, ideology, social rank, and subjectivity? What is the relationship between consumer culture and conspicuous consumption in Iberia and Latin America? How did dimensions of lived experience—psychological, performative, and political—survive in articles of dress?
The deadline for submissions is Monday, August 14
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for CAA’s proposal guidelines, which indicate that speakers on the panel must be members of CAA.
Decisions on the proposals will be sent by Monday, August 28. If you have questions, please reach out to the chairs.