From sorority colors to religious garb to everyday clothes, our dress and style is a representation of our community, our values, and ourselves. Clothing is often used to show faith, to mark a rite of passage, or to indicate inclusion in a group. Drawing on her research into African American communities in seven cities, Diana N’Diaye asks: “How do we define and express our community through the clothing we wear?” Come with us as we delve into the nature of both community and self-expression.
This session was illustrated in real time. Click the thumbnail image to the left for an illustrated summary of this session.
Diana Baird N’Diaye’s interdisciplinary training in anthropology, folklore, and visual studies—and her experience as a studio craft artist—support more than three decades of scholarly work, which focuses on expressive culture in Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. N’Diaye has taught at Georgetown University, is currently a research associate at Michigan State University, and has served on innumerable advisory, policy, and funding panels. Her personal motto is the Guyanese saying “Hand wash hand make hand clean.” (Working together we reach our goals.)