17h : Cristina Giorcelli & Paula Rabinowitz : Habits of Being
Habits of Being is a four-volume series published by the University of Minnesota Press: Accessorzing the Body (vol. 1) and Exchanging Clothes (vol. 2) are in print; Fashioning the Nineteenth Century (3) and Extravagance and Everyday Wear (4) are forthcoming. It collects essays by artists, psychoanalysts and scholars in an array of fields—from art history to sociology—to explore the complex meanings of articles of clothing, habits of dress and the multitude of images and textual renderings of material and fashion. At a time when fashion has become a valued source of revenue for national budgets, garments are becoming emblems of culture and of selves. As many scholars maintain, dresses talk: of money, of class, of ethnicity, of personality, of creativity, but also of homogeneity, of ideology, of camp. They are indeed multivocal!
18h : Paula Rabinowitz : American Pulp
American Pulp explores the demotic effects of the paperback revolution on literacy, social movements and legal and government efforts at censorship between 1939 and 1962. Its scope encompasses visual and textual analysis of a cheap and demeaned but ubiquitous object to discern how modernism moved onto Main Street through the circulation of these almost ephemeral objects. Seemingly mundane objects—articles of clothing, cheap paperback books—acquire dense social, psychological and even political meanings after production as they are used, discarded, circulated, collected and so forth.
Both presentations will develop some of the implications for materiality, materialism and material culture evoked by the various images and their readings. As such we open up theoretical debates surrounding the tactile object as a materialization of image and text.