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Religion, Attire, and Adornment in North America Seminar

Call for Proposals

For 2022, the Religion, Attire, and Adornment Seminar is particularly interested in papers on any of the following topics:

  • Elaborate religious garments
  • Dress that decolonizes, and/or decolonizing dress
  • Mundane clothing made sacred
  • The means of production (for example: ethics of the clothing/fashion industry; Native American beadwork; church knitting groups; organic cosmetics made at home; et cetera)

The committee will also consider proposals on other topics not specifically listed above for presentation in the Seminar.

Statement of Purpose

Focusing on the North American context, this seminar explores specific instances of religion, attire, and adornment, as well as theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of religion and dress. Religion and dress includes a wide range of expressions, including not only clothing but all forms of bodily adornment: hairstyle, jewelry, cosmetics, scents, bathing, tattooing, and more. Many religions prescribe and proscribe various forms of dress in both sacred and secular settings, but beyond basic questions of who, what, and why that are prompted by such religious rules, this seminar is especially interested in exploring connections between religious dress and meaning-making. We also seek to move beyond dress as merely a sign or communicator of meaning to attend to the materiality of dress itself, and the ways it shapes bodies and selves.


Steering Committee Members



Review Process

Proposer names are visible to chairs and steering committee members at all times