Fashioning the academic

Davenport, Emma (2018) Fashioning the academic. In: Academic Identities, 19 - 21 September 2018, Hiroshima University, Japan. (Unpublished)


From a phenomenological perspective, clothes are never merely representational or functional but complex locales for a range of intentions, affiliations, ideals, subversions and practices. The practice of dressing, whether it be considered fashionable or not, is a complex socio-cultural process whereby what we wear contributes to how we encounter and are encountered by others in a range of critical locales. As Entwistle (2000) suggests, dress and identity always operate on a situated body, located in time and space, where social, historical and cultural relations are ascribed to both getting dressed and being dressed. How we clothe our bodies not only provides a means by which we can meaningfully position ourselves in our daily lives but also imagine ourselves in the future. Dress is a technology available to us so as to facilitate and negotiate professional, cultural, familial and personal lives.

Yet, within the disciplines of educational research, in particular that which focuses on teaching identities, dress is rarely noted or considered. It is often suggested that the role of the educator at university is mainly concerned with activities of the mind and, therefore, their relationship with their body is always secondary, if not completely ignored. As a result, the clothed academic body is made to be invisible, both to itself and others, whether they are colleagues or students. This may also be the product of an increasing pedagogic emphasis on the student at the centre of the learning process, rather than both the teacher and the student in a specific communicative interaction. This paper will not only highlight examples of how academics are aware of dress in their professional lives but also argue that using a material culture approach to research academic identities puts academics at the heart of their scholarly and pedagogical experiences.

Conference paper
fashioning the academic conference paper with references.pdf - Presentation
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (80kB)
View Item View Item