CfP: Silhouettes of the Soul: Meditations on Fashion, Religion, and Subjectivity (Edited Volume); DL: 15.09.2018

Co-editors Benae Beamon (Boston University), Otto von Busch (The New School), and Jeanine Viau (University of Central Florida)

The Submission of proposals is September 15, 2018

Is fashion always frivolous and religion always sanctimonious? What is the relationship between dress and the depths of the soul? This project began with a session at the 2017 American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting. Panelists examined the interplay of religious, ethical, and sociohistorical dimensions of subject formation as assembled and expressed through fashion. These papers focused on the generative potential of tensions and transgressions in this interplay, such as the paradox between conformity and innovation whether preparing a sermon or tying a scarf. Sites of inquiry included the classroom, the sanctuary, the street, and our grandmother’s closets, signaling new locations for religious and fashion subjectivity.

As we continue this conversation, our aim with this volume is to move beyond traditional, social scientific and historical analysis of religious attire and adornment to an examination of conscience through fashion, style, and dress. Our focus reflects the movement of religious and theological discourses outside institutional spaces and dogmatic vocabularies, just as it favors the new look of fashion studies as an autoethnographic becoming inside complex creative, social, and economic systems. What does it mean to dress the soul in public? What is the importance of sartorial choice to moral discourse? What about religious and political belonging, respectability, and resistance? What methods and vocabulary are necessary for these transdisciplinary exchanges to occur? How does the process of fashioning authentic identity relate to the idea of vocation?

We invite essay proposals from across sub-disciplines in the fields of Fashion Studies and Religious Studies. We encourage submissions that move beyond simplistic analogies between religious dress and fashion to instead seek the deeper mysteries of dress and devotion, pushing the boundaries of disciplines. We are open to traditional essay formats, as well as midrash, allegories, and other more experimental forms of scholarship. Topics of specific interest include:

– Illusion, deceit and honesty
– Symbolism, identity and resistance
– The „soul“ of or in dress
– Ritual stitches and spiritual materiality
– Permanence, essence and change
– Interiority & exteriority
– Individuality & community
– Patterns of inclusion and exclusion – religious, political, cultural
– Theories of ascent and aspiration
– Mysticism, darkness, inversion and the unknowing of fashion
– Silhouettes and penumbras of moral identity
– Affective methods for shaping and articulating the subject
– Soteriology of style
– Anointment, perfumes and teen spirits
– Glamour, magic and transubstantiations
– Avatars, possessions, voices, and the multiplicity of subjectivities
– Vitalism, spirits and animations of matter

Co-editors Benae Beamon (Boston University), Otto von Busch (The New School), and Jeanine Viau (University of Central Florida) invite proposals for chapters to be included in the volume. Proposals should be 500-1000 words (excluding bibliography). The submission deadline is September 15, 2018.

Please submit your proposal with your Curriculum Vitae via email to Benae Beamon at

Source: Qstudy-l Digest, Vol 119, Issue 4