Fashion Culture Network Event 23 February 2016

The Winter Fashion Culture Network Lecture is fast approaching! This term, we are delighted to announce that the lecture will be given by the Department of Human Ecology’s Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Claire Nicholas who will present  "Dress, Gender, and Revolution in 20th-Century Morocco."


Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Time: 7:00-8:00 PM

Location: TELUS Centre Room 150, University of Alberta

Cost: Free

Google Calendar Invitation:



How do certain garments become key symbols of social, cultural and political transformation? How are the histories of these garments edited or forgotten in light of contemporary efforts to valorize national or cultural identity? In present day Morocco, the hooded unisex tunic called the jellaba embodies Moroccan traditions and cultural identity – an identity that transcends history. But the story of the jellaba is far more complex: It began as a masculine garment that was gradually adopted first by female domestic servants, then by “modernizing” Moroccan women and girls in the middle of the 20th century. The history of this garment is entangled with the introduction of formal schooling during the French colonial period, the nationalist struggle for independence, and shifting gender roles and presence in the public sphere. In short, this is an account of the domestication of a revolutionary garment.



Claire Nicholas is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Material Culture and Design Studies in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta.  She holds a PhD in socio-cultural anthropology from Princeton University and a DEA (Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies) from EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris).  Her research focuses on the everyday practices of textile craft, design process, and pedagogy. She has conducted archival research and ethnographic fieldwork in Morocco and across North America in contexts ranging from artisanal textile workshops to university architecture studios.