1st Edition

Make it Work
20th Century American Fiction and Fashion

ISBN 9780367203139
Published April 25, 2019 by Routledge
178 Pages

USD $155.00

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents


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"


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Dr. Jan Ellyn Goggans is an Associate Professor of Literature & Language, Humanities & World Cultures at the University of California, Merced.