19th Century Dress & Society
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art and Design History and Theory
Department: Art and Design History
Course Number: PLFS 4004
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
The political and industrial revolutions of the early 19th century and their concomitant restructuring of society created profound changes in the style, production, consumption and representation of fashion. Our exploration of the resulting modern practices and attitudes towards dress and the body include the redefinition of masculinity through dandy style, the evolution of the female ideal from the Cult of True Womanhood to the celebrity courtesan (and the role of the corset), and the creation of the designer- centered modern fashion system. Though we focus primarily on Paris as the model modern city of spectacle and shopping, we also experience 19th century spaces of New York City, such as Merchant’s House and Ladies’ Mile. Readings include the works of Balzac, Zola and Baudelaire, Benjamin’s The Arcades Project, Hiner’s Accessories to Modernity, Steele’s Fashion and Eroticism, and Hollander’s Sex & Suits.
Course Open to: Degree Students
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: All university undergraduate degree students. Pre-requisite(s): first-year university writing course and at least two prior history or methods course in art, media, film, or visual culture. This course counts toward the Gender Studies minor. One of these courses should be 3000-level.


Open to Undergraduate students.