Mode und Cultural Studies II

Monica Titton
Design, Fashion
2023S, Vorlesung und Übungen (VU), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S04504


The seminar “Fashion and Cultural Studies II” provides a critical review of current theoretical, political, and cultural debates that shape fashion today.  This term, the course's theme is “Mapping Fashion and its Discontents” and it is an invitation to pause and reflect on the fashion system as we know it, and to ask critical questions, to envision alternatives and to discuss new possibilities for the critical and necessary renewal of fashion. The course aims to re-assess what Theodor W. Adorno calls “das Ganze”: that is, the big picture of how the problematic facets of the fashion industry are connected to larger social, cultural and economic developments, and ultimately, to the crisis of capitalism.

The course maps four current sites of transformation in fashion:

  • fashion and neoliberalism,
  • labor conditions in the garment industry,
  • fashion and sustainability,
  • fashion design as activism

After situating fashion and its discontents on a temporal and spatial topography of transformation, the final aim of the course is for students to write an essay with a self-chosen topic related to the course’s main themes.

The class will be a seminar with a high expectation of participation. Students have to come to class prepared to participate actively in class discussions and discuss the assigned readings.

Examination Modalities

Participation is crucial in this class because we will rely on in-class discussion to facilitate our analyses of the course texts. It is my hope that you will learn as much (or more) from each other as you will from me. Class participation means more than how much you say in class; it’s your effort to be present—both in mind and in body—in our discussions.

Attendance is particularly crucial in a discussion-based course.

To receive credits for this course, you have to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Attendance of all three blocked units. There is an 80% attendance requirement for courses, this means that you can miss only 2,5 hours of one of the three course unit.
  • Active participation in the class discussions and group assignments
  • Submission of the final assignment (3,000 words essay, deadline 27 July 2023)


  • Mensitieri, Giulia, 2020 [2018]: The Most Beautiful Job in the World. Transl. Natasha Lehrer. London/New York: Bloomsbury, p. xi-10 and 55-79.
  • Hoskins, Tansy, 2014: Owning It. In: Stitched Up. The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion. London: Pluto Press, pp. 14-32.
  • Alessandra Mezzadri, 2017: The Chain and the Sweatshop. In: The Sweatshop Regime: Labouring Bodies, Exploitation, and Garments Made in India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 16-41.
  • Worker’s Rights Consortium, 2021: Fired, Then Robbed: Fashion brands’ complicity in wage theft during Covid 19. Research Report, April 2021.
  • Fletcher, Kate and Mathilda Tham, 2019: Earth Logic Fashion Action Research Plan. London: The J J Charitable Trust.
  • Von Busch, Otto, 2022: Making Trouble: Design and Material Activism. New York/London.


08 June 2023, 09:00–14:00 Seminar Room 9
09 June 2023, 09:00–14:30 Seminar Room 9
15 June 2023, 09:00–15:00, "room to be announced"
16 June 2023, 09:00–15:00 Seminar Room 33

Course Enrolment

From 24 February 2023, 11:19 to 08 June 2023, 21:00
Via online registration

Design: Specialisation in Fashion Design (2. Section): Fashion Communication and Fashion Business: Fashion and Cultural Studies II 584/207.02

Co-registration: possible

Attending individual courses: possible