The clothing of politics: dress, appearances and political identities (19th‐20th centuries) | Call for papers

Capture d’écran 2016-01-11 à 20.06.52The clothing of politics: dress, appearances and political identities (19th‐20th centuries)
Call for papers for a special issue of Contemporanea. Rivista di storia dell’800 e del ’900
Fashion and clothing, a crucial aspect of social life, has aroused strong interest in recent years in many different fields of the social and human sciences. After a long period of neglect, many historians have begun to develop new approaches to the experience of dress as a situated bodily practice and as a form of language, always allusive and polysemic. If the social world is a world of dressed bodies and dress a basic element of everyday life, clothing can by the same token tell us much about the ways in which bodies are shaped by culture and made meaningful. This may also relate to the field of politics, whose symbolic and performative aspects have now been extensively studied. Exploring the political dimension of dress, or the significance of dress in different political contexts, entails an investigation into the capacity of clothes and fashion to convey or to mobilize political meanings. In other terms, it entails asking how clothing can be viewed as an active object within a political culture. The special issue of Contemporanea aims to engage in a reflection on the relationship between clothing and politics in the widest sense of the term, analyzing how “appearances” can express, perform and negotiate political, ideological, and national identities. In particular, Contemporanea would welcome proposals focusing on:
‐ Dress as a site of political struggle and mobilization
‐ Gender, clothing and citizenship
‐ Dress as a component of a national agenda
‐ The political meanings of fashion (and fashion discourses) in totalitarian regimes
‐ Clothing, politics and consumer culture
‐ Fashion and empire
‐ Race, ethnicity and dress
‐ The clothing industry and politics

The proposals (around 500 words) accompanied by a brief CV should be sent by January 30, 2016 to the editor Carlotta Sorba ( along with a CC to the editorial secretary ( The essays selected have to be submitted in their final form by June 30, 2016; all manuscripts will be refereed through a peer-°©‐review process (double blind). The special issue will be published by Summer 2017.

Contemporanea publishes contributions in Italian and English. For more information about the journal:‐3070#presentazione
Contemporanea is indexed by: ISI Web of Science (Art & Humanities Citation Index), Scopus Bibliographic Database, Historical Abstracts, America: History and Life, Articoli italiani di periodici accademici (AIDA), JournalSeek, Essper, Bibliografia storica nazionale, Catalogo italiano dei periodici (ACNP), Google Scholar

Illustration : vêtements de patriotes de 1848, Corriere delle Dame, mars 1848.

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