4.s32 | Culture Fabric: Art, Fashion, Identity

Instructor: Azra Aksamija

TA: Erin Genia

Focuses on the concept of “fabric” both as a medium and as a framework to explore the complex histories, meanings, and functions of textiles, clothing, and wearable technologies. The class evokes the concept of transcultural aesthetics, approaching identity as multilayered and fluid, so as to counter the essentialist idea of culture with clearly defined and internally homogenous boundaries. Our research in history of textile and wearable art will explore social construction of identity in relation to global circulation of materials, patterns, and labor. We will investigate how clothing signals one’s belonging to a group, how it reflects the degree of one’s conformity with established social and cultural norms. Individual projects–wearable sculptures, textile experiments, fashion design, and performances–will probe relations between bodies and space, with regards to nomadism and migration, cultural biases, and social alienation.

Enrollment limited to 20 students.

Students taking a production-based ACT class will be charged a $75 lab fee after the add date on a semester basis. The fee covers the cost of student production materials used as part of the class. SMACT graduate students are exempt from the lab fee.  


  • Lab Fee: 75
  • Credit: g
  • Schedule: TR 9:30-12:30
    Location: e15-207