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ART_HIST_101: First-Year Seminar: Empires of Fashion: from Marie Antoinette to Meghan Markle (Caticha SP22)

Course Description

This Freshman seminar considers the history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century fashion through the lens of European colonialism and the Atlantic slave trade. Marie-Antoinette’s lavish gowns and towering wigs, the empire-waist dresses of Regency England, and richly printed calico muslins, among other objects, will be understood through the histories of race, colonialism, science, and industry. Who made these garments? What materials did they use and where were these materials from? How was fashion deployed as a tool to perform power, gender, race, and national identity? What is the relationship between fashion and art?
Throughout this course, we will also engage with contemporary art and popular culture with the goal of understanding the historical legacy and fetishization of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century period dress.

Photo: Alexi Lubomirski