FASHION MATTERS
Paola Zamperini
Amherst College
Spring 2005
Tuesday/Thursday 2:00-3:20

This course will focus on both the historical and cultural development of fashion, clothing and consumption in East Asia, with a special focus on China and Japan. Using a variety of sources, from fiction to art, from legal codes to advertisements, we will study both actual garments created and worn in society throughout history, as well as the ways in which they inform the social characterization of class, ethnicity, nationality, and gender attributed to fashion. Among the topics we will analyze in this sense will be hair-style, foot-binding and, in a deeper sense, bodily practices that inform most fashion-related discourses in East Asia. We will also think through the issue of fashion consumption as an often-contested site of modernity, especially in relationship to the issue of globalization and world-market. Thus we will also include a discussion of international fashion designers, along with analysis of phenomena such as sweat-shops.

Limited to 25 students.

Required Texts and Course Readers

The course packet (2 volumes, one ready and available now and the next on date to be announced) is available at the Asian Languages and Civilizations office in Webster 110.

The following texts are available at the Jeffrey Amherst College Store, 26 South Prospect St., Amherst. Please use only these editions, as all page numbers in your syllabus refers to them. Please note that additional texts may be added later on in the semester.

Maria Kalman, Tibor Kalman, (un) FASHION, Harry N Abrams

Roland Barthes, The Fashion System, University of California Press

Chang, Henshui, Shanghai Express, University of Hawaii Press

Films

1/26/05

Wednesday

Notebook of Cities and Clothes

GT525 .W461

81

Minutes

Webster #220
4:00 PM
7:30 PM

2/2/05

Wednesday

The Pillow Book

PN1997 .P4888

126

Minutes

Webster #220
4:00 PM
7:30 PM

2/9/05

Wednesday

Flowers of Shanghai

No Call Number available

113

Minutes

Webster #220
4:00 PM
7:30 PM

2/16/05

Wednesday

In the Mood For Love

PN1997 .I4351

98

Minutes

Webster #220
4:00 PM
7:30 PM

 

2/21/05

Monday

The Makioka Sisters (Sasameyuki)

PL839.A7 S379

140

Minutes

Webster #220
4:00 PM
7:30 PM

2/27/05

Sunday

Madama Butterfly

M1500.P97 M179

142

Minutes

Webster #217

4:00 PM

7:30 PM

3/2/05

Wednesday

The Last Emperor

PN1997 .L281

218

Minutes

Webster #220
4:00 PM
7:30 PM

3/21/05

Monday

The World of Suzie Wong

PR6063.A76 W619

129

Minutes

Webster #220
4:00 PM
7:30 PM

4/11/05

Monday

Mao’s New Suit

GT1555 .M36

51

Minutes

Webster #220
4:00 PM
7:30 PM


Schedule and Reading Assignments

Week 1

1/25 Introduction to the course

The Real Me. Or: What’s Up with Clothes?

1/26 Screening of Notebook of Cities and Clothes

1/27 Fabrications

Readings:
Jennifer Craik, The Face of Fashion. Cultural Studies in Fashion, 1-16; Ruth Barnes and Joanne Eicher, Dress and Gender. Making and Meaning, 1-29, in Reader; Chen, Tina, and Zamperini, Paola, Introduction to Fabrications, positions: east asia cultures critique 11.2 (2003)

Week 2

2/1Re-Orienting Fashion

Readings:
Sandra Niessen, “Afterword: Re-Orienting Fashion,” 243-266; Carla Jones and Ann Marie Leshkowich, “Introduction. The Globalization of Asian Dress”, 1-43, in Re-Orienting Fashion. The Globalization of Asian Dress, in Reader.

2/2 Screening of The Pillow Book

2/3 Body-talk

In class discussion
Assignment # 1: Write down the three most interesting questions (to you, that is) that emerge from the material we have read and discussed together so far, and bring them to class prepared to explore them with your classmates.

Week 3

2/8 Body-talk 2

Readings:
Anne Allison, “Cutting the Fringes: Pubic Hair at the Margins of Japanese Censorship Laws, in Hair. Its Power and Meaning in Asian Cultures, 195-217, in Reader; Laura Miller, “Mammary Mania in Japan”, in positions: east asia cultures critique 11.2 (2003) 271-300

2/9 Screening of Flowers of Shanghai

2/10 Q’s Blues and Lotus Shoes

Readings:
Weikun Cheng, “Politics of the Queue: Agitation and Resistance in the beginning and End of Qing China,” 123-142, in Hair. Its Power and Meaning in Asian Cultures; Dorothy Ko, “Jazzing into Modernity. High Heels,
Platforms, and Lotus Shoes,” 141-153, in China Chic, in Reader.
Dorothy Ko, The Body as Attire: The Shifting Meanings of Foot-binding in Seventeenth-Century China, Journal of Women's History Volume 8, Number 4

Week 4 Qipao Express

2/15 Changing Clothes

Readings:
Eileen Chang, A Chronicle of Changing Clothes, in positions: east asia cultures critique 11.2 (2003)
Chang Henshui, Shanghai Express, required text.
Henrietta Harrison, “The Republican Citizen”, in The Making of the Republican Citizen, 49-92, in Reader part 2.

2/16 Screening of In the mood for love

2/17 Changing Clothes 2

Readings:
Chang Henshui, Shanghai Express, required text.

Week 5 Kimono Blues

2/21 Screening of The Makioka Sisters

2/22 Guest Lecture on clothing in the Genji Monogatari by Professor Caddeau

2/ 24 The Kimono Discovers Itself

Readings:
Lisa Dalby, Kimono, 59-107; Lesley Downer, “The Real Madame Butterfly,” in Madame Sadayakko, 187-203, in Reader 2.

2/27 Screening of Madame Butterfly

Week 6 Performing Gender and Authority

3/1 Mister Butterfly. The Stuff of Asian Masculinities

Readings:
Li Yu, “A Male Mencius Mother”, in Silent Operas, 99- 134; David Hwang, M. Butterfly, introductory pages, 38-41, 47-49, 51-63, in Reader 2.

3/2 Screening of The Last Emperor

3/3 The Emperor’s New Clothes

Readings:
Huang Nengfu and Chen Juanjuan, “The Emperor’s Clothes”, in Evolution and Revolution, 26-39; Inwoo Chang and Haekyung L. Yu, “Confucianism Manifested in Korean Dress”, in Undressing Religion. Commitment and Conversion from a Cross-cultural Perspective, 101-112, in Reader 2.

Facultative Reading
Rey Chow, Woman and Chinese Modernity. The Politics of Reading between West and East, 3-33, in Reader 2.

Week 7 Wearing Ideology

3/ 8 Men of the Cloth

Readings:
John Kieschn ick, The Monk’s Robe, 86-107; The Rosary, 116-138, in The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture; Karen Lang, “Shaven Heads and loose Hair. Buddhist Attitudes toward Hair and Sexuality,” in Off with Her Head! The Denial of Women’s Identity in Myth, Religion and Culture, 31-52, in Reader 2.

3/ 10 Dressed to Kill, Rule and Learn

Readings:
Antonia Finnane, “Military Culture and Chinese Dress in early Twentieth Century”, in China Chic; 119-131; Brian McVeigh,Wearing Ideology. State, Schooling and Self-presentation in Japan , 19-55; 62-102; Verity Wilson, “Dressing for Leadership in China: Wives and Husbands in an Age of Revolutions (1911-1976),” in Material Strategies, 238-258, in Reader 2.

Week 8

March 12-20 , Saturday-Sunday. Spring Recess.

Week 9 Transnational Tales

3/21 Screening of The World of Suzie Wong

3/22 East Meets West?

Readings:
Wei Hui, Shanghai Baby, 27-31; “Packaged in Japan. Elite Weddings in Osaka”, in Wedding Dress Across Cultures, 39-51; Rebecca Ruhlen, “Korean Alterations. Nationalism, Social Consciousness, and Traditional Clothing,” in Re-Orienting Fashion, 117-137, in Reader 2.

3/24 Ganguro Girls

Readings:
Ian Skoggard, “Transnational Commodity Flows and the Global Phenomenon of the Brand”, in Consuming Fashion, 57-70, in Reader 2

Week 10 Transnational Tales 2

3/29 Red China Blues

Readings:
Julia Andrews and Kuiyi Shen, “The New Chinese Woman and Lifestyle Magazines in the Late 1990s”, in Popular China, 137-161; Xiaoping Li, “Fashioning the body in post-Mao China, in Consuming Fashion, 71-89; Susan Brownell, “Making Dream Bodies in China”, in China Urban, 132-142, in Reader 2.

3/31 CLASS CANCELED DUE TO CONFERENCE

Week 11 The Bondage of Fashion

4/5 Dangerous designs

Readings:
Margaret Maynard, Dress and Globalisation, 134-152; Robert Ross, Slaves to Fashion, poem “The Shirt” by Robert Pinsky (unnumbered pages), 26-41,47, 108-113.

4/7 CLASS CANCELED DUE TO CONFERENCE

Week 12 Asian Designs

4/11 Screening of Mao’s new suit

4/12 Guest lecturer: Samuel Morse on Issey Miyake

4/14 Asian Designers in the World

Readings:
Lise Skov, “Fashion-Nation: A Japanese Globalization Experience and a Hong Kong Dilemma,” in Re-Orienting Fashion, 215-242; Vivianne Tam, China Chic, 308-309.

Week 13

4/19 The Body Politic in China

Guest Lecture by Tina Chen

4/21 West through East and South-East. Re-Thinking Barthes’ The Fashion System

Readings:
Barthes, The Fashion System, 1-188.

Week 14

4/26 West through East. Re-Thinking Barthes’ The Fashion System 2

Readings:
Barthes, The Fashion System, 189-303.

4/28 Undoing fashion.

Readings:
Tibor+ Maira Kalman, (un)FASHION, required text.

Week 15

5/3 In class presentations of final projects

5/5 In class presentations of final projects

Final projects due 5/12 by noon