HIST 2306 Dress, Cloth and Identity in Africa and the Diaspora

October 23, 2020

HIST 2306 Dress, Cloth and Identity in Africa and the Diaspora (HGS)

Tuesday and Thursday: 3:00-4:15 (online)

Professor Judith Byfield

This course uses a multi-disciplinary approach to examine the importance of textiles in African social and economic history and the long engagement between African consumers and textile producers from other world regions.  It combines art history, anthropology as well as social and economic history to explore the role of textiles and dress in marking status, gender, political authority and ethnicity.  In addition, we examine the production and distribution of indigenous and imported cloth as well as the consequences of colonial rule and contemporary globalization on African textile industries and consumers. Our analysis also considers the principles of African aesthetics and dress that continue to shape the African diaspora in the Americas.  (originally HIST 1452, students who took FWS HIST 1452 may not take HIST 2306)

Photograph of African woman in beautiful cloth