In this groundbreaking MA program, students engage with the evolving field of fashion studies. Using an interdisciplinary approach, they explore fashion as object, image, text, practice, theory, and concept and develop a critical understanding of fashion and its complex global intersections with identities, histories, and cultures in the contemporary world.
Recognizing the growing significance of fashion, MA Fashion Studies offers a new academic route to advance the research and analysis of fashion as a cultural phenomenon. It will be of particular interest to students with degrees in the humanities and social sciences as well as students with art, design, and fashion industry backgrounds who want to gain a deeper understanding of fashion and its scholarship. The program provides an entryway for students who want to pursue careers in fashion research, including fashion archives, museums, and galleries, media and consulting, as well as teaching and academia. MA Fashion Studies also prepares students for advanced research in fashion leading to a PhD.
MA Fashion Studies launched in fall 2010 at Parsons' main campus in New York City, and it will be offered at Parsons Paris in fall 2013. The two campuses have the same application process and curriculum, so students will have the opportunity to begin their study in one city and take a semester or a year in the other.
The courses in this master's program are informed by perspectives and approaches from a variety of disciplines, including fashion history and theory, art and design studies, history, museology, anthropology, sociology, ethnology, cultural studies, and film and visual studies.
Core and elective courses open up broad perspectives on fashion and its interfaces with design, production, consumption, imagination, representation, embodiment, and identity. Students investigate the complex material and visual dimensions of fashion, as dress, image, and bodily practice, and as a major culture industry that positions the individual within the social and global world. They will be challenged to explore the interdisciplinary theories and methodologies that have informed the evolving field of fashion studies and contribute their own inquiries to its advancement.