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Fashion & Justice with Kim Jenkins & Dr. Jonathan Michael Square

  • Columbia College Chicago 624 South Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL, 60605 United States (map)


Open Lecture, “Fashion & Justice: Creative Interventions"

Friday, April 19, 623 S. Wabash, Room 109 (Hokin Hall), 6-7:30 PM

Kimberly and Jonathan will discuss how the creative practices of curating and zine-making (among other things!) can serve as entry points for contemplating how marginalized and radicalized communities understand themselves and their place in the world.  This lecture is free and open to the public and is a great event for undergraduate design, merchandising and cultural studies students. (Come early for free pizza!) Register via Eventbrite

The Fashion & Justice Workshop

Saturday, April 20, 624 S. Michigan Ave., Room 301, 8:45AM-5PM

Fashion forms part of a society’s rich tapestry and can serve as an entry point into contemplating how marginalized and racialized communities understand themselves and their place in the world. Fashion & Justice is a daylong workshop that examines the role of fashion in challenging inequality through sartorial ingenuity. The schedule includes an analysis of artwork and artistic projects, partial film screenings, review of relevant literature, conversations with guest speakers, and a look at designers, artists, journalists, curators, photographers, and academics who explore the fashion system through a critical lens. Participants leave the workshop with a syllabus equipping them with tools to understand how marginalized communities harness fashion to negotiate the complexities of power and visibility (and the lack thereof), proposing substantive solutions for a more just fashion system.(Complete schedule below!) Tickets are $25 for non-Columbia participants and includes a light breakfast, lunch and coffee. Register via Eventbrite.

8:45-9:15—Breakfast and Registration


9:30-10:50—Lecture, Kim Jenkins, “Fashion and Race: Progressing the Field Through Public-Facing Work”

10:50-11—Coffee Break

11-12:30—Activity, "Fashion in the Family Archive”

12:30-1:00—Catered Lunch

1:00-2:30—Lecture, Dr. Jonathan Michael Square, “Sewing the Fabric of Freedom"

2:30-2:40—Coffee Break

2:40-3:45—Activity, “New Ways of Seeing: Fashion Objects as Evidence of Liberation”

3:45-5—Kim and Jonathan in Conversation with Camille Morgan (Program Coordinator, Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, University of Chicago) and Rikki Byrd (Ph.D. Student, Department of African American Studies, Northwestern University)

5-6:30—Reception, Lobby Bar, The Blackstone (636 S. Michigan Ave.)

Kim Jenkins specializes in the sociocultural and historical influences behind why we wear what we wear, specifically addressing how politics, psychology, race and gender shapes the way we ‘fashion’ our identity. Based in New York, she holds an M.A. in fashion studies and is a part-time lecturer at Parsons School of Design, where she debuted the undergraduate course “Fashion and Race” at Parsons, examining the implications of the social construct of race in fashion history, business and image-making. In fall 2018, Kim curated her first exhibition, Fashion and Race: Deconstructing Ideas, Reconstructing Identities (October 27–November 11), along with The Fashion and Race Database, an online resource for all things related to the analysis of fashion and race. Kim’s expertise has been called upon at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons School of Design, Ryerson University, Seton Hall University and SXSW, and her work has been referenced by numerous publications, including The Financial Times, NYLON, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, Fashionista, I-D, and DAZED.

Dr. Jonathan Michael Square is a writer and historian specializing in fashion and visual culture in the African Diaspora. He has a PhD in history from New York University, a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and B.A. from Cornell University. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Fashion Institute of Technology, and currently at Harvard University and Parsons School of Design. He also runs the digital humanities project Fashioning the Self in Slavery and Freedom, which explores the intersection of fashion and slavery.