CfP: Labor in the Creative Industries: The Case of Fashion

Call for papers, deadline 7 April 2019

On the occasion of the exhibition “Tomorrowear. A French Story” at Villa Stenersen, this international conference will shed new light on labor in the creative industries, with a special focus on fashion. The present conference intends to do so without chronological nor geographical limitations. 

Since the exhibition explores the work of emerging fashion designers, the conference encourages papers that research so-called canonical figures of the fashion industry, such as fashion designers, photographers, and models, provided that they uncover new aspects on said figures, and challenge historiographic accounts of them.

Beyond the framework of the exhibition, the conference welcomes papers on all workers of the fashion industry from fashion PRs to sewing workers, buyers, influencers, etc. Of particular interest are papers that analyze overlooked fashion professions, forgotten professions, and emerging professions, together with professionalization of new practices.

We invite papers that consider questions of work processes and networks, as well as structural and institutional aspects of labor in the global fashion industry.

We welcome relevant papers from many different fields of research, including but not limited to history, sociology, anthropology, management, marketing, organization, and literature. Additionally, we look forward to papers fostering an interdisciplinary approach. 

We are open to those providing a comparative approach, not only between fashion and other creative industries such as music, but also in terms of geographical areas (countries, regions, clusters, cities, etc.) Given the exhibition’s focus on France, we particularly encourage papers comparing labor in the French fashion industry with labor in foreign industries.

Papers may address one or several of the following areas, but are not limited to them:

- The creative class and creative labor in the fashion industry, including questions on the redefinition (or lack thereof) of the profession of fashion designer, personalization of fashion in the fashion designer, and issues of transfer of creativity within fashion companies;
- Affective labor in the fashion industry;
- New and old fashion jobs, including the professionalization of new fashion activities;
- Collective labor and invisible labor in the fashion industry;
- Representations of fashion labor;
- Ethical labor and labor conditions in the fashion industry;
- Fashion education and the training of fashion workers;
- Professional organizations; trade unions; labor movements and activists. 

Available formats
Speakers have the possibilities to choose between three formats:
- 20-minute talk (followed by an anticipated Q&A: the audience will write three questions in advance and ask the ones that remained unanswered during the presentation).
- 5-minute diamond presentation (speakers will show 20 images, and comment each for 15 seconds).
- Poster session (preceded by lightning talks: speakers will pitch their work 2 minutes before presenting their poster).
Speakers who wish to submit a proposal but are unable to travel to Oslo have the possibility to deliver a pre-recorded 20-minute talk, which will be followed by a live Q&A (through Skype). NB: remote delivery must be specified when submitting the proposal, and will not be available for any speaker choosing one of the three other formats.

Please send a 250-word abstract and a 100-word short biography, specifying your format of election.

DEADLINE: April 7, 2019, by midnight CEST.

Send all relevant documents to the following address:

The papers will be delivered in English.

Johanna Zanon & Romy Wyche
Eirin Sæther & Lillegerd Hansen
Maude Bass-Krueger & Sophie Kurkdjian

VENUE: OsloMet, Oslo

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