This course examines the rise of the modern fashion system through key texts across the French, British, and American literary traditions from the 19th-century to present. Through texts, both fiction and non-fiction, we chart the emergence of the ˜modern fashion system and learn how fashion mediates our understanding of a literary text. By the 1860s, fashion had become an integral part of daily urban life, an expression of modernity itself in the words of French poet Charles Baudelaire. Why did, for instance, canonical writers like Charles Baudelaire and Colette also happen to work as fashion journalists? In what ways did the cultural mapping of fashion conducted by these writers from three distinct geographic areas diverge and converge? Why do so many modernist texts in the 20th century revolve around themes of dress? At once social, economic, political, and aesthetic in nature, fashion provides us with a unique lens through which to examine literature and culture. Key themes explored in the course include: rise of the modern city; gender and identity; class and capital; fashion and the environment. Some of the texts studied in the course include but are not limited to: Sartor Resartus (Thomas Carlyle), Painter of Modern Life (Baudelaire), Ladies Paradise (Zola), Orlando (Virginia Woolf) and Banjo: A Story without a Plot (Claude McKay), among others.

offering time

Spring 23


Katarzyna Stempniak(V)


Course code


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