This week’s reading list highlights five sources from our Library that explore the complex relationship between textiles and the cultures of the African diaspora. Much of the complexity of these textiles comes from their multi-faceted existence in what Homi Bhabha termed “third space,” a place of cultural, geographical, and discursive hybridity. As such, these textiles tell so much of the story of contact between Black people and colonization, migration, and enslavement. These sources take a material culture approach to delineating the ways in which race, gender, class, and identity are intrinsically linked to the production, trade, and wearing of African textiles, such as African lace, adire cloth, and bogolanfini mudlcoth.
About The Author
Kai (they/them) is an aspiring cultural and fashion historian. Their work centers the body politics of beauty, clothing, identity, glamour and style and their interactions with the meaning-making functions of the fashion system. Their work also attempts to decolonize exclusionary historical discourses by centering the histories of queer and Black peoples who have been systematically obscured from collective memory. Kai is a recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where they received a BA in Art History and the Cultural History of Dress and Fashion.