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Looking at Brazilian fashion studies: Fifty years of research and teaching

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This article aims to examine academic output in Brazil in the field of clothing and fashion over the last 50 years with a focus on the humanities, especially history. Formerly an invisible or insignificant subject, fashion became a powerful key for researchers in Brazil to analyse social dynamics, hierarchies, class distinction, consumption and gender issues, among others. Currently in Brazil it is evident that a significant amount of fashion research is being conducted in both public and private universities. The expansion of undergraduate courses related to fashion, the organization of academic events focused on the object, the publishing of Master’s dissertations and Ph.D. theses, and the launch of academic journals on dress and fashion have contributed to this framework. The article also analyses the work of Sofia Jobim Magno de Carvalho, a high school teacher, illustrator, costume designer, journalist, feminist and collector who started teaching clothing in 1949. Sofia’s professional training and experience led her to favour the practices of creating, collecting and preserving, rather than engaging in theoretical, historical or aesthetic discussions. The article will conclude with an overview of recent Brazilian academic research around clothing and fashion. The aim is to analyse the reception and influence of French and Anglo-American historiography in Brazil and to identify under-investigated research areas around costume, fashion and appearance.
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Keywords: Brazil; Sofia Jobim Magno de Carvalho; academic production; clothing and fashion studies; historiography

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Arquivo Nacional and Museu Histórico Nacional, Brazil 2: Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Publication date: April 1, 2018

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  • The International Journal of Fashion Studies is a scientific peer-reviewed journal that fosters the worldwide diffusion of Fashion Studies. Fashion Studies is an interdisciplinary field of research that has been producing an extensive repertoire of theories, analyses and enquiries.
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