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Barbara Vinken

Barbara Vinken

has been Professor of Comparative Literature and Romance Philology at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich since 2004. She is a visiting professor at various institutions: Humboldt University and the Free University of Berlin, EHESS in Paris, NYU, Johns Hopkins and the University of Chicago. Currently she is a fellow at the IFK in Vienna. Last publications: "Die Blumen der Mode: Klassische und neue Texte zur Philosophie der Mode" (The Flowers of Fashion: Classical and Modern Texts on the Philosophy of Fashion) (2016), "Angezogen: Das Geheimnis der Mode" (Dressed: The Secret of Fashion) (2013), as well as regular contributions to the ZEIT, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, and Harper’s Bazaar. She is a member of the television discussion show Buchzeit on 3SAT.


Coverabbildung von 'Ver-kleiden'

Barbara Vinken - Dressing up

What We Do When We Put on Clothes

Do we dress as women or as men? Are our clothes simply a form of self-expression or are we also conveying a wealth of social codes? Fashion, according to Barbara Vinken, is always simultaneously a language, a set of conventions to which we are subject, and a means of defying those conventions – surrendering ourselves to the charms of dressing up. Only as a game played with gender, class and identity is fashion capable of performing gender as a sophisticated rhetorical construct. What fashion does, therefore, is not to erase gender, not to make gender fluid, but to radically unsettle and juxtapose the constructs of ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’. Provocative, witty and brilliant.