Fall 2011 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
To this day, Kenneth Cole, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Isaac Mizrahi, and Diane von Fürstenberg are widely recognized as major designers and labels next to the dominating role Macy’s and other department stores have played in Americans’ pursuit of happiness. In Dallas, the Sangers, Zales, and Neiman Marcus have had a major role in the consumer and fashion industry. The course seeks to introduce students to the study, methods and theories of consumer culture, and its history in Europe and America in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The theoretical and historical introduction will place our detailed investigation of the consumer culture and fashion industry in Dallas into a wider historical context. We will discuss Jews’ position at both the cultural centers and the social margins of modern culture and consider in particular Stanley Marcus as a pioneer in consumer culture and the fashion industry. Students will be introduced into the archival collection at SMU and the Jewish Historical Society to promote original research.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria: