Thinking about the 1920s in 2020: Fashion, Modernity, and the Body

AHA Session 149
Saturday, January 4, 2020: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Flatiron (Sheraton New York, Lower Level)
Jane Nicholas, University of Waterloo
Jane Nicholas, University of Waterloo

Session Abstract

This panel looks at the 1920s in three different geographical contexts (the United States, the European continent, and Great Britain) and from several different perspectives (one pedagogical and two based on original primary research). The goal of the panel is twofold. In the first instance, it aims to show the value of merging papers that focus on teaching and those that focus on academic research to illustrate the possibilities of cross-pollination and dialogue in the academic conference setting. It also aims to showcase how historians might think more systematically about the incorporation of research into the classroom. In the second instance, this panel attempts to introduce the audience to new ways of thinking about the 1920s (and, more broadly, the interwar period) through an interdisciplinary lens by incorporating perspectives from media studies, fashion studies, literary criticism, and art history. From a methodological and thematic point of the view, the panel seeks to showcase how careful examinations of the processes of both representation and self-fashioning help us to understand a particular moment when gender and sexual norms were in flux, when the relationship between consumerism and selfhood was being articulated in new ways, and when emergent ideas about both media influence and celebrity were starting to crystallize.
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