Program in Comparative Literature

Talk: Napoleon's Closet: the Emperor, the Priest, and the Men Who Invented Modern Fashion

Wed, April 26, 2017
Talk: Napoleon's Closet: the Emperor, the Priest, and the Men Who Invented Modern Fashion
poster

The Department of French and Italian invites you to a talk on fashion, male dress, and gender relations, given by invited speaker Dr. Margaret Waller, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Pomona College. Dr. Waller will be giving a talk titled "Napoleon's Closet: the Emperor, the Priest, and the Men Who Invented Modern Fashion," to take place Friday, April 28, 4-5pm, in CLA 1.302D. An informal reception will follow.

Dr. Waller will also be hosting open office hours 10am-12pm, in HRH 3.104C. Feel free to stop by at your leisure.

You can find more information at the link:

http://liberalarts.utexas.edu/frenchitalian/events/event.php?id=43412

Abstract: "Napoleon's Closet: the Emperor, the Priest, and the Men Who Invented Modern Fashion”

This talk and the book manuscript from which it is drawn offer an iconoclastic, twenty-first-century approach to understanding the origins of the modern assumption that male dress is by nature more sober and understated than women’s and any aberration is a sign of suspect femininity. Examining historical patterns in male dress and visual works from the decades before and after the French Revolution, Dr. Waller shows Napoleon’s wardrobe, along with priests’ garb, as uncanny harbingers of three key characteristics of normative masculine appearance today: the importance of displaying constraint, the necessity of covering up display, and the fear of exposure. In so doing, she makes visible the ways that closets (clothing) as closeting (hiding) underlie not just normative ideas of queerness but male normativity as well.  

Bookmark and Share