Event Date/Time: Aug 07, 2005 End Date/Time: Aug 09, 2005
Abstract Submission Date: Mar 31, 2005
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International Conference
August 7th to 9th 2005
University of KwaZulu-Natal

Keynote speaker: Prof. Joanne Eicher (University of Minnesota)

The Centre for Visual Art at the University of KwaZulu Natal invites submissions for papers to be delivered at an international conference to be hosted at the Centre, situated on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University.

This conference was first suggested in 2003 when a body of art historians recognized the need to explore the centrality of dress and clothing in this region as a marker of cultural and national identity.

While much international research on cultural display in terms of dress has focused on areas in northern, western and central Africa, relatively little has centered on the incidence of dress in Southern Africa. This conference will highlight the increase in current research on the development of dress, cloth and clothing in the region.

The cultural use of distinctive types of cloth, beads and other material and their transformation into dress for particular cultural, religious or gendered usage is highly distinctive in Southern Africa. Cloth, as one of the many trade items available in the region, reflects the interface with eastern, western or internal trade, in which cloth became appropriated and its usage culturally sanctioned. In this cloth and clothing contributed to the radical transformation of peoples' economy, practical usages and cultural appearance. Dress ahs played a central role in regional and cultural definition, but there has been little examination of its origins, cultural reception, adaptations and absorption into what have become identified as national and group based identities. In this conference we hope to draw together the work of several researchers, local and international, from diverse fields who have explored the subject in the region independently, their research appearing in dissertations, conference papers and very rarely in more widely accessible publications.

It is therefore intended to foreground the rich heritage and complexity of dress in Southern Africa with a view to publishing the refereed conference proceedings in book form, thereby disseminating the research more widely.

The organizers invite papers that centre on dress in Southern Africa. The borders of Southern Africa imply those regions within SADEC, i.e. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. We would however also welcome papers from Mauritius, Zanzibar, and other centres/countries that could be deemed part of this sphere of influence.

Several strands of themes have been identified under which your research topic might fall. However we also expect that the very nature of the abstracts will suggest further thematic, regional or cultural strands. It is for this reason that we would like to have abstracts by the suggested date in order to develop and link new thematic areas.

- Indigo cloth in Southern Africa (and elsewhereL this will also be the focus of one of the curated exhibitions to coincide with the conference)
- German and Scandinavian cloth and/or clothing influences in Southern Africa
- Gendered clothing conventions
- The absorption of oriental cloth/clothing in Southern Africa
- Culturally sourced clothing conventions
- the invention of Boer/Voortrekker and other 'national' dress traditions
- Mission clothing: influences and origins
- 'White' women in 'black' dress
- Embroidered cloth in Southern Africa
- Dress conventions in African Independent Churches
- The use of cloth by sangomas in South Africa
- Transforming traditions in culturally based dress
- Contemporary Afro-styles
- Cloth in Tanzania
- Dress traditions in other regional areas
- Dress and tourism


Additional Information

FIRST CALL FOR PAPERS 500 word abstracts due by: 31st March 2005 PLEASE SEND YOU ABSTRACTS TO: Juliette Leeb-du Toit at the Centre for Visual Art, University of KwaZulu-Natal e-mail: leebdutoitj@ukzn.ac.za fax: +27 33 260 5240 telephone: +27 33 260 5603 or +27 33 2605170 (Mrs Fowles, departmental administrator) CONFERENCE FEES: Full Conference R600 Student Fee R200 Daily Rate R200 Fee per Session R60 FURTHER INFORMATION REGARDING COSTS. ACCOMMODATION, TRANSPORT AND ASSOCIATED EVENTS WILL BE AVAILABLE IN DUE COURSE AT OUR WEBSITE WHICH IS IN PROGRESS