“Beauty, Fashion, and Self-Styling,” drew over 50 curious shoppers despite its early 9:25 am start-time today.
The course, cross-listed in African Studies, Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, and Anthropology, is a study of “the human body and its adornment” as a window into cultural values and social relations, according to the syllabus. Themes include the social symbolism of hairstyling and the politics of fashion.
Professor Graeme Reid, a visiting lecture in WGSS and Anthropology, said he became interested in the topic after conducting fieldwork in South Africa in hair salons run by gay men. He found that “it was ironically gay men who were entrusted with the task of producing ‘modern African’ [hair] styles” despite the fact that gays “are often seen as ‘un-African.’”
The course was offered the past three years and garnered reviews noting that the course’s “flashy” title belied its rigorous, academic focus.
The seminar, which is capped at 18, currently has 73 people registered as shoppers online. Graeme said he received applications from majors across all disciplines, from Religious Studies to Architecture to Mechanical Engineering.