Material visions: dress and textiles

2013-05-14T13:23:47Z (GMT) by Sandra H. Dudley
How far can dress and textiles, and anthropological images and texts concerned with them, be said to constitute a visual anthropology? And to what extent do ethnographic photographs and film deal with clothing, fabric and their production and consumption? This chapter explores these and other questions, in the process assessing both the relationship between clothing, textiles and other visual media, and the limitations of the visual lens in this context. Inevitably the chapter is not comprehensive, not least because much of the writing around dress and textiles does not actually deal with the visual and other sensory dimensions of those material objects and is thus excluded here. Additionally, I do not cover areas such as the growing literature on second-hand clothing and recycling,factory-produced cloth and garments,or the social analysis of aspects of the textile production process such as the religious strictures and prohibitions placed upon it in some parts of the world and at some periods in history.

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