Styling Texts: Dress and Fashion in Literature

by Cynthia Kuhn and Cindy Carlson

About Cynthia Kuhn

Cynthia Kuhn is Associate Professor of English at Metro State in Colorado. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Denver. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly, Copper Nickel, Literary Mama, and other publications, and she is the author of Self-Fashioning in Margaret Atwood’s Fiction: Dress, Culture and Identity (2005).

About Cindy Carlson

Cindy Carlson is Professor of English at Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado. She is the co-editor of Gender Reconstructions: Pornography and Perversions in Literature and Culture (2002) and Constructions of Widowhood and Virginity in the Middle Ages (1999). She has also published articles on medieval drama and Shakespeare.

About the Contributors:

Jennie Batchelor is Senior Lecturer in English and American Literature at the University of Kent. She is the author of Dress, Distress and Desire: Clothing and the Female Body in Eighteenth-Century Literature (2005), co-editor of British Women’s Writing in the Long Eighteenth Century: Authorship, History, Politics (2005), co-editor of Women and Material Culture, 1660-1830 and the co-series editor of a forthcoming ten-volume history of British Women’s Writing. She has written articles on eighteenth-century fashion for Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture and Women’s History Magazine and has also published on prostitution narratives, the fiction of Sarah Scott and the archives of the Royal Literary Fund. She is currently working on a monograph on women and work in the eighteenth century.

Amy E. Cummins is Assistant Professor of English at Fort Hays State University, where she teaches courses in composition, world literature, and nineteenth-century American literature. Her research interests include the recovery of neglected women authors. She has published articles in American History through Literature, 1820-1870, Eureka Studies in Teaching Short Fiction, and The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association and has essays forthcoming in L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables: A Children’s Classic at 100 and Southern Studies.

Suzanne Ferriss is Professor of English at Nova Southeastern University. She has co-edited two volumes on the cultural study of fashion: On Fashion (1994) and Footnotes: On Shoes (2001), which was nominated for the Popular Culture Association’s Susan Koppelman award. She is also co-author of A Handbook of Literary Feminisms (2002). Most recently, she co-edited Chick Lit: The New Woman’s Fiction (2006) and Chick Flicks: Contemporary Women at the Movies (2007).

Roxanne Harde is Assistant Professor of English at Augustana Faculty, University of Alberta in Camrose, Alberta. She earned her doctorate at Queen’s University and held a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at Cornell. She works mainly on the intersections between American women’s writing and feminist theologies. Her work has appeared in several collections and the journals Mosaic, Legacy, Christianity and Literature, and Studies in Puritan American Spirituality. Her work on Elizabeth Stuart Phelps is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Lori Harrison-Kahan is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Connecticut College. After receiving her Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and taught in the History and Literature program at Harvard. She has published several articles on multiethnic literature and women’s writing, including essays in MELUS, Modern Fiction Studies, and Legacy. She is currently working on a book, Imitations of White: Fashioning Femininity in the Black-Jewish Imaginary, which examines how twentieth-century ethnic women writers used writing, fashion, and performance as instruments of self-making.

Elizabeth Howard is Associate Professor in English at Kent State University, where she is also a Fellow at the Institute for Bibliography and Editing. Dr. Howard earned her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. She is currently working on a second edition of Tripp’s Alternative Beowulf, a groundbreaking translation of Beowulf by Raymond P. Tripp, Jr. Additionally, she is analyzing the heretofore unrecognized wordplay in Beowulf.

Clair Hughes was Professor of English and American Literature at International Christian University, Tokyo, until 2004. She was educated in Scotland, at Bristol University and at the Courtauld Institute, London. Her professional career has been in British and Japanese institutions of higher education, teaching literature, theatre history and the history of art. Dr. Hughes has published several books in Japan on English art, articles on Henry James, the Anglo-Irish Novel, and the novels of Anita Brookner. She is the author of Henry James and the Art of Dress (2001) and Dressed in Fiction (2005).

Justin A. Joyce has co-edited A Melvin Dixon Critical Reader (2006), a collection of essays by the late African-American critic. He is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at University of Illinois-Chicago, currently writing a dissertation on masculinities and violence in contemporary Hollywood Westerns.

Robert I. Lublin is Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He has published a number of essays on early modern and postmodern drama, and is currently completing a book titled Costuming the Shakespearean Stage: Visual Codes of Representation in Early Modern Theatre and Culture.

Ruth Mayer holds the chair of American Studies at the University of Hanover, Germany. She has published extensively in English and in German, focusing on science studies and cultural studies, and on the debates around cultural contact and transcultural communication. Her most recent book publications are Artificial Africas: Colonial Images in the Times of Globalization (2002), Diaspora. Eine kritische Begriffsbestimmung (2005) and Melodrama! The Mode of Excess from Early America to Hollywood, co-edited with Frank Kelleter and Barbara Krah (2007).

Catherine A. Milton is Associate Professor of English at Norwalk Community College. She received her Ph.D. in Victorian Literature from New York University where her work focused on post-colonial analyses of the novels of Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell and Joseph Conrad. She is currently the Director of the Fairfield County Women's Center.

Rafael Miguel Montes is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Humanities at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida. He is the author of Making Places-Haciendo Lugares: Generational Traumas in Contemporary Cuban-American Literature (2006). He has also written a number of articles on the ever-evolving Cuban and Cuban American community in Miami.

Carole Scott is Professor of English at San Diego State University and serves on the board of its National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. She was a Senior Scholar in the Nordic Children’s Literature Network (NorChiLNet), and has served on the board of the Children’s Literature Association (ChLA) and the International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL). She is co-author of How Picturebooks Work (2001), has had significant editorial responsibility for His Dark Materials Illuminated (2005), and has articles and essays in a variety of international publications specializing in children’s literature. A particular focus has been the dynamics of picturebook communication and aesthetics.

Catherine Spooner is Lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University, UK. She is the author of Fashioning Gothic Bodies (2004), an investigation of the relationship between fashion discourses and Gothic literature and film from the late eighteenth to the late twentieth century, and Contemporary Gothic (2006), a further exploration of Gothic in material culture. With Emma McEvoy, she has co-edited The Routledge Companion to Gothic (2007) and is co-writing Beginning Gothic (forthcoming).

Natalie Stillman-Webb is Assistant Professor/Lecturer in the University Writing Program at the University of Utah, having received her Ph.D. in English from Purdue University. Her research interests include American women’s fiction, narrative experimentation, and consumer culture. She has published articles on the memoirs of Maxine Hong Kingston and Jill Ker Conway, as well as on the poetry of Elizabeth Spires.

Jessica Lyn Van Slooten is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc. Her articles on chick lit, romance, and feminism appear in Searching the Soul of Ally McBeal and Chick Lit: The New Woman's Fiction. She is currently working on a book-length study of fashion, consumption, and romance in twentieth-century New York City fiction, as well as a chick lit novel.

Tamara S. Wagner obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 2002 and is currently Assistant Professor of English Literature at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Nanyang in Singapore. Her books include Longing: Narratives of Nostalgia in the British Novel, 1740-1890 (2004), Occidentalism in Novels of Malaysia and Singapore, 1819-2004 (2005), and Financial Speculation in Victorian Fiction: Plotting Money and the Novel Genre, 1815-1901 (forthcoming). Wagner’s current projects include a study of Victorian cultural fictions of the “shabby genteel” and representations of the Regency period. She is also editing a collection of essays on nineteenth-century consumer culture.

Rachel Warburton is Assistant Professor of English at Lakehead University, where she teaches seventeenth-century English literature, women’s writing, and critical theory. Her areas of research include histories of sexuality, early modern cultural studies, and the radical writing of the English Civil War years. She has published articles on Chaucer’s Legend of Good Women, seventeenth-century Quaker women’s friendships, and the gendered semiotics of early modern cross-dressing and translation. Dr. Warburton was the recipient of the 2003 Florence Howe Award for outstanding feminist scholarship, awarded by the Women’s Caucus of the MLA.

Judith Wylie is Assistant Professor of English at Virginia Intermont College. She has contributed to the Victorians Institute Journal (“Incarnate Crimes: Masculine Gendering and the Double in Jane Eyre”) and to Persuasions: the Jane Austen Journal (“Dancing in Chains: Feminist Satire in Pride and Prejudice”). At present, she is working on a book focusing on the relationship of feminist film theory to Austen’s subversive comic strategies entitled Jane Laughs: Ambiguous Humor in the Writings of Jane Austen.


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