Call For Papers

Contemporary South Asian Youth Cultures and Fashion Symposium

25th and 26th September, 2014

London College of Fashion

Dynamic growth and an expanding middle class are making South Asian (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) consumers among the most confident in the world. A large part of this includes the increasing consumption of fashion and related products amongst the youth. Whilst there has been some study of South Asian fashion and dressing cultures within history, anthropology (Banerjee and Miller 2003; Tarlo 1996), cinema (Dwyer 2000) and diaspora (Bhachu 2004; Mani 2003); there has been little work that has looked at the transnational implication of contemporary changing cultural and economic environments on dressing cultures on the youth in South Asia and its diasporas.  As Tarlo (1996) has argued, dress in India and more largely South Asia is used to instigate change, question national identities and assert power.

In this international interdisciplinary symposium we would like to extend and question the role of clothing cultures within the changing transnational discourse of consumerism, sexuality, faith, politics and media technology within the youth in South Asia and the diasporas. We invite papers and creative presentations (of up to 20 minutes) from interdisciplinary perspectives including (but not limited to) the following themes:

  • fashion and consumer cultures
  • fashioning youth in cinema /television/music/magazines
  • dress cultures, gender and sexuality
  • fashion, politics and faith
  • South Asian fashion trends and culture in the diasporas
  • dress and fashion as resistance and defiance
  • fashion, media and technology

The keynote speakers for this conference are Professor Rachel Dwyer of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Dr Rajinder Dudrah of the University of Manchester. Please send abstracts of 250 words to by 30thMarch 2014. All abstracts will be peer reviewed. All successful applicants will be notified by early May 2014. A selection of papers from the conference will be  considered for inclusion in a volume edited by the organisers and Professor Reina Lewis. I.B Tauris has shown a strong interest.

The conference is organised by Lipi Begum, Lecturer at London College of Fashion and Rohit K Dasgupta, Associate Lecturer at London College of Communication. The conference is supported by London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London.