Parsons Festival 2012: Graduate Student Symposium

This symposium highlights a diverse sampling of student research on decorative arts history, fashion studies and history, and design studies and theory. The event promotes lively scholarly presentation and constructive dialogue on current research in these fields by bringing together scholars from the MA History of Decorative Arts and Design and MA Fashion Studies graduate programs and students to view and discuss the work of their colleagues.

Contextualizing Aesthetics: Fashion, Design & Society

Thursday, May 10
Breakfast & Socialize

Heike Jenss, Director, MA Fashion Studies

Panel One: Girl Problems: Post-Modern Feminist Readings of Design
Moderated by Michelle Jackson, MA History of Decorative Arts & Design candidate

Natalie Balthrop, “A Feminist Perspective of Socially Responsible Design: A Case Study of Sustainable Health Enterprises”
Molly Rottman, “It’s a Nice Day for a White Wedding: The Past and Present of the White Wedding Dress in Western Culture”
Laura Jane Kenny, “Dressing Like a Slut: An Exploration of Dress, Re-appropriation and Identity as it relates to the SlutWalk NYC Movement”

10 min Q&A Session/Break

Panel Two: Mediating Popular Culture
Moderated by Ann Jacoby, MA Fashion Studies candidate

Kadie Yale, “The Importance of One or Two Red or Blue Fish: The Psychology of Dr. Seuss Children’s Books”
Maeve Kelly, “I Look at Her and Immediately Start Laughing: How Rachel Dratch & Saturday Night Live Make Clothes Funny”
Anya Kurennaya “‘Look What the Cat Dragged In’: Analyzing Gender and Sexuality in the ‘Hot Metal Centerfolds’ of 1980s Glam Metal”

10 min Q&A Session/Break


Panel Three: Modes of Self-Fashioning Identities
Moderated by Danielle Mastrangelo, History of Decorative Arts & Design candidate

Miranda Elston, “Interiors of Persuasion: Henry VIII’s Ceremonial Chambers at Whitehall Palace”
Rebecca Crawford, “Male Dolls in the “Great Indoors”: Playing with Dress, Design and Space”
Lauren Downing, “Fashionably Fatshionable: A Consideration of the Dress Practices of Self-Proclaimed Fat Women”

10 min Q&A Session/Break

Panel Four: Design Through the Societal Lens
Moderated by Laura Jane Kenny, MA Fashion Studies candidate

Hillary Hummel, “The Transformation of Textiles: The Ideological, Political, and Everyday Influence of Chemically Engineered Textiles in the GDR”
Laura Peach, “Seductive Clothing and Starving Souls: Lee Miller as War Writer”
Tressa Brathwaite, “Fashion as a Mirror of Opulence and a Shadow of Death: A Cultural and Social Investigation of the Reappearance of 1980s New York Fashion in the Early 21st Century”
Heather Herbst, “The Rosetta Stone of Design: Defining the Designer”

10 min Q&A Session/Break

5:30-7 PM
Graduate Reception

Friday, May 11
Breakfast & Socialize

David Brody, Director, MA History of Decorative Arts and Design

Panel Five: The Designer and the Designed
Moderated by Cally Varner, MA Fashion Studies candidate

Rebecca McNamara, “How William Lescaze Led the Future of New York Townhouse Design: Modern Residential Architecture in Early-Twentieth-Century Manhattan”
Maleyne Syracuse, “Sheila Hicks: The Lasting Influence of Ancient Textiles”
Laura Snelgrove, “So Fabulous You Wouldn’t Lay a Hand on Her: McQueen’s Fashion of the Tough Woman”

10 min Q&A Session/Break


Panel Six: Redesigning the Body
Moderated by Katie Bradley, MA Fashion Studies candidate

Penny Wolfson, Vehicles of Expression: The Wheelchair in Mid-Century Films”
Rachel Kinnard, “Fashioning Synthetic Bodies: DIS Magazine’s ‘Shoulder Dysmorphia’ and the Permanence of Dress Through Aesthetic Surgery”
Elizabeth Cutler, “Beautiful Other: Exploring the Dichotomous Media Reaction to Lea T”

10 min Q&A Session/Break

Panel Seven: Transcending Design: Spirituality & Aesthetics
Moderated by Anya Kurennaya, MA Fashion Studies candidate

Anne Hilker, “Images of Absence: American Public Mourning from Gettysburg to 9/11”
Roberto Filippello, “The Body in the Cell: Nun’s Religious Clothing in Medieval Europe”
Nami Kim, “Your Body is a Temple: Modesty as a Spiritual Principle in Mormonism”
Sarah Mallory, “What’s Your Sign: Astrology and Cold War Counter-Culture in The United States”

10 min Q&A Session/Break

Closing Event



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