ANTH342 - DRESS & FASHION IN AFRCA

Throughout Africa, social and cultural identities of ethnicity, gender, generation, rank and status were conveyed in a range of personal ornamentation that reflects the variation of African cultures. The meaning of one particular item of clothing can transform completely when moved across time and space. As one of many forms of expressive culture, dress shape and give forms to social bodies. In the study of dress and fashion, we could note two distinct broad approaches, the historical and the anthropological. While the former focuses on fashion as a western system that shifted across time and space, and linked with capitalism and western modernity; the latter approach defines dress as an assemblage of modification the body. The Africanist proponents of this anthropological approach insisted that fashion is not a dress system specific to the west and not tied with the rise of capitalism. This course will focus on studying the history of African dress by discussing the forces that have impacted and influenced it overtime, such as socio-economic, colonialism, religion, aesthetics, politics, globalization, and popular culture. The course will also discuss the significance of the different contexts that impacted the choices of what constitute an appropriate attire for distinct situations. African dress in this context is not a fixed relic from the past, but a live cultural item that is influenced by the surrounding forces.
Section 401 - LEC - DRESS & FASHION IN AFRCA
TR 0300PM-0420PM
ALI-DINAR, ALI
WILLIAMS HALL 23