These Professors Are Here To “School The Ignorant” On Race And Fashion

Though Fashion & Justice is new, the two are no strangers to, well, schooling the ignorant. Square and Jenkins have unpacked these topics for years with their students, colleagues, and in conversation with friends, through a series of acclaimed panels, journals, and studies.

The "Fashion Culture and Justice: A NYFW Dialogue" Panel held at Parsons School of Design

After attending a "Fashion and Justice" workshop at Parsons — the brainchild of the panel's moderator Kim Jenkins and her colleague Jonathan Michael Square — that analyzed the intersectionality of fashion and race, Becca McCharen believed it was imperative to discuss those findings and issues with the public, especially during NYFW.

History and Literature Increases Ethnic Studies Offerings

This semester, students concentrating in History and Literature can take a course on fashion and slavery—and receive credit toward the concentration’s newly-created Ethnic Studies track. The course’s professor Jonathan M. Square will be teaching courses in the concentration’s Ethnic Studies field, one of seven “focus fields” available to students studying Harvard’s honors humanities concentration.

 

Despite Historical Links to Slavery, Fashion Can Be a Modern Tool for Challenging Inequality

Jonathan explains how the fashion system is intimately linked to the institution of slavery and also how dress and adornment can serve as a form of radical self-determination.