Imagine a new critical theory that bases its literary value on fashion. In this theory exists a community that explores and interrogates conventionality, and in American literature of the 20th century, it includes fashion and home decoration, two paths to achieving white femininity, a prized component of many novels written by and for women. Drawing on cultural materialism and its connection to the cultural forms of objects, including apparel, Making it Work: 20th Century American Fiction and Fashion provides readers a new understanding of the aims of American writers, and the desires of their readers.
Dr. Jan Ellyn Goggans is an Associate Professor of Literature & Language, Humanities & World Cultures at the University of California, Merced.
Part One: Fashion in Fiction; Fiction as Fashion
1. Edith Wharton: Fashioning White Privilege as Commodification, Consumption, and Corruption.
2. Margaret Mitchell: Fashioning A-Historical and Anti-Canonical White Modernism.
3. Toni Morrison: Re fashioning white privilege
Part Two: Scripting Style and Signifyng Scripts
4. "Fashioning Color: Skin-tone Discrimination and Anglo Normative Passing"
5. "Fashioning Class: Creating Canonical Costume"
6. "Fashioning the Home: Deploying Domesticity and The Saturated Home"
7. "Fashioning the Self: Sewing, Designing, and Dressed in Dreams"
8. "Re-fashioning Age"