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Although fashion is often regarded as superficial and deceptive as it presents delightful, dazzling images which trigger endless consumption, in scholarly circles, the subject has evolved from a subaltern domain to a crucial field of study that draws from various disciplines, such as Media and Cultural Studies. Scholars have been particularly interested in the complex interaction between individuals and institutions within the fashion system and in the oppressive as well as the potentially subversive function of fashion.

We will explore the ways in which fashion can work as a tool to construct, perform and transgress identities, exert political agency, and make sense of our incongruent memories and fantasies. We will thus investigate the multivalences and contradictions of fashion – as materiality, discourse, and industry – which is simultaneously a capitalist tool for shaping mass consciousness, consumers’ orientations and needs, and for enabling self-transformation and the manifestation of affects and desires that can often only be expressed sartorially. These are some of the topics that will be closely and critically addressed as we look at how fashion performs itself in art, runway shows, social media, television, film, advertising, and everyday life.

Day, time, location and costs

  • 10 April - 22 May 2024
  • Wednesday 15:00-17:00
  • Oudemanhuispoort, D0.09
  • Costs: € 165 (AUV-members € 148)

Registration for this OUC is no longer possible, as all places have been booked.

Important to know

  • For the current study schedule, please consult the UvA timetable website
  • Study material: Literature is made available in digital form (through Canvas)
  • You can only audit an OUC, which means that you may only attend lectures and cannot attend seminars, take part in the examination, or obtain ECTS credits.


Dr. D. (Diego Semerene) Guimaraes Semerene Costa

Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen

Dep. Mediastudies

Dr. M.A.M.B. (Marie) Lous Baronian

Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen

Dep. Mediastudies

Public programme Humanities

This Open UvA Course is part of the Faculty of Humanities' public programme. Beside Open UvA Courses, the public programme also comprises special lectures and series of courses. The public programme is intended for alumni, employees looking for extra training, and all others who are interested in art, culture, philosophy, language and literature, history and religion.

Facts & Figures
Open UvA Course
Language of instruction
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