AAS 317 - Threads: What Does Clothing Have to Do with Race, Culture, Politics, and the Environment?
Winter 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Afroamerican & African Studies (AAS)
Department: LSA Afroamerican and African Studies
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/19/21 - 4/21/21 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


You get dressed every day, but how often do you consider the many ways in which clothing shapes our ideas about race, culture, politics, and environment? This course is your chance to explore questions such as: ? Why is clothing in the news every week, as with the white suit that Kamala Harris wore in acknowledging her election as Vice-President? ? Throughout history, why have laws been passed to regulate who can wear particular kinds of fabrics and clothes?  How have these clothing laws reflected prevailing ideas about race, gender, class, embodiment, religion, and nationality? ? Why do women’s clothes have fewer pockets than men’s?   ? Why have particular kinds of clothing and accessories—such as hoodies, corsets, zoot suits, safety pins, overalls, and veils—played central roles in movements for social justice and political independence?   ? How did enslaved Americans resist the dehumanization of slavery through resourceful practices of making and wearing their own clothes? ? How does what we wear shape our sense of self, our interactions with others, and even how we think?   ? When it comes to clothing, what is the difference between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation?   ? In what ways is clothing a language?   ? How do historical shifts in U.S. prison uniforms—including the resurgence of stripes—indicate shifting attitudes about prisoners and punishment? ? In what ways is clothing a carrier of memories and a means of connecting with loved ones, both living and deceased?   ? Why are jeans and athletic clothes disastrous for the environment?   ? How are writers, designers, engineers, and consumers trying to counter the inhumane labor practices and environmental devastation associated with “fast fashion”?    Our major assignments will include a written reflection about your own clothing and small group podcasts about a clothing trend or issue. So, put on your favorite outfit and get ready to think, read, write, and collaborate!


AAS 317 - Threads: What Does Clothing Have to Do with Race, Culture, Politics, and the Environment?
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
1/19/21 - 4/21/21

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