Mapping and Wrapping the Body: What People Wear or Wore and Why
Clothes, as the boundary between the individual and society, create a very complex relationship in which aesthetic, symbolic, and communicative "images/signifiers" establish a dialogue between wearer and viewer. Individuals all over the world cannot escape the basic human desire to transform the body’s limitations and create body shapes, adornments, and clothes that reflect the ways in which societies have stratified, categorized, and presented themselves over the centuries. No subject in regard to clothes will be excluded and every topic will be covered or “uncovered". We will cross historical and cultural boundaries as we explore, such areas as: class and fashion, conspicuous consumption, changing bodies, uniforms, tattooing, hair, shoes, feet, piercing, underwear, corsets, power dressing, cross dressing, modesty and immodesty, jocks and nerds, star creations, political and academic dress, groups and rituals, striptease, eroticism, fetishes, drag and camp, performing arts, silhouettes, "surgical changes," and finally changing concepts of "gender fluidity”. After this class you may no longer look at society with the same eyes again.
William Eddelman is an Associate Professor Emeritus in Theatre History and Design in the Stanford University Department of Theatre and Performance Studies. At Stanford he combined both the creative and academic worlds in undergraduate and graduate classes. His course offerings and theatrical interpretations were extremely varied, diverse, and interdisciplinary, moving from theatre and cultural history to contemporary design aesthetics and dramatic literature. He has taught at Stanford in Berlin, and has led tours in Italy for Stanford Alumni Travel. As an expert in international theatrical design with a focus on Europe, he is currently creating an international theatrical design research collection and library for the Achenbach Graphic Arts Council of the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums.