Nothing of what we wear is politically innocent. Our clothing constitutes the skin of our public body, what Mimi Thi Nguyen calls its “epidermalization.” This public body is read through a set of norms and expectations that crystallize society’s ostracism. Mimi and I talked about normative processes that unfold themselves through clothing (the hoody, the veil, the sweatpants), as well as neo-colonial politics implemented in the various American military operations in countries like Vietnam and Afghanistan.
Mimi Thi Nguyen is Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of The Gift of Freedom (see below) and the coeditor of Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America (Duke University Press). She is the co-editor of the blog Threadbared (along with Minh-Ha T. Pham) that questions the relationships between fashion and politics. See her Funambulist contributor page.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE FUNAMBULIST MAGAZINE:
– “Punk Pants: Trash, Time, Labor,” in The Funambulist 3 (Jan-Feb 2016) Clothing Politics.
– “Teaching: Brief Notes on the Unreliable Stories Clothes Tell”
– “The Hoodie as a Sign, Screen, Expectation, and Force”
– “Clothes Epidermalized, as Republican Representative Targets “Illegals””
– “You Say You Want A Revolution (In a Loose Headscarf)”
– “Sartorial Classification as a Weapon of War”
– Mimi Thi Nguyen, The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages, Durham: Duke University Press, 2012.
– Mimi Thi Nguyen and Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu, Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America, Durham: Duke University Press, 2007.
– Leila Ahmed, A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence, from the Middle East to America, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011.
– Minoo Moallem, Between Warrior Brother and Veiled Sister: Islamic Fundamentalism and the Politics of Patriarchy in Iran, Berkeley: University of California, 2005.
SYNTHESIS ARTICLE ON THE FUNAMBULIST: