Undergraduate Humanities Forum 2006-7: Travel

Document Type

Presentation

Date of this Version

April 2007

Comments

2006-2007 Penn Humanities Forum on Travel, Undergraduate Mellon Research Fellows.

URL: http://humanities.sas.upenn.edu/06-07/uhf_fellows.shtml

Abstract

In different ways, power is represented, constituted, articulated, and contested through dress. Dress functions as a compelling political language, comparable in eloquence and potency to the words of the most skilled orator or the writings of the most persuasive propagandist. In Africa, dress provided a powerful arena for colonial relations to be enacted and challenged, and served as a method of cultural expression and resistance. Moreover, dress revealed dimensions of political and social transformations that could not be discerned through observed behavior or verbal and written articulations. It is impossible to generalize how each colonial power utilized clothing to assert domination, or how various African nations employed the politics of dress in response.

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Date Posted: 03 August 2007