Bard Graduate Center is excited to announce our 2021 Undergraduate Summer School in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture. Open to advanced undergraduates (rising juniors and seniors) and recent college graduates, the program draws on resources at BGC and around New York City to provide an intensive, two-week program on material culture studies. Our topic for 2021 is “Re-Dress and Re-Form: Intersectionality in the History of Fashion and Design, 1850 to Today.” The course will introduce students to the history of design and fashion in the United States and Europe from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day with a focus on how conceptions of race, gender, and class have shaped the world of goods as we know it. Led by faculty members Michele Majer and Freyja Hartzell, this summer school will combine small seminars and behind-the-scenes access to collections. Eligible for 3 upper-level undergraduate credits.

Program dates: Monday, July 12–Friday, July 23, 2021
Applications due: April 1, 2021
Contact: summer.school@bgc.bard.edu

We will determine whether this course will meet in person, online, or in a hybrid manner closer to the date.

Description

Re-Dress and Re-Form: Intersectionality in the History of Fashion and Design, 1850 to Today

This two-week summer course will introduce students to the history of design and fashion in the United States and Europe from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, with an emphasis on the revolutionary significance of this period for both fields. In particular, the course will explore how intersectionality—that is, the interconnected nature of social categorizations including race, class, and gender, and how these create overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination and disadvantage—can inform and inflect the major issues and debates that have characterized and constructed European and American histories of clothing and objects. We will also consider how historical and contemporary practices of museums, dealers, and collectors shape our conceptions of the material past. Beginning around 1850, this two-week course will trace key themes and developments in fashion and design scholarship in conjunction with more recent critical responses, examining national traditions; the emergence of new materials and technologies; the formation of museum collections; and how conceptions of race, gender, and class have shaped the world of goods as we know it.

Morning seminars will be followed by afternoon supervised visits (in-person or remotely) to New York collections, often with curators and conservators bringing special insights into the ways in which dress and designed objects are interpreted. This combination of academic discourse complemented by close examination of specific items central to the themes of the course will give students a rich understanding of both the intellectual and material aspects of fashion and design.

Course Features
  • Seminars taught by Bard Graduate Center faculty
  • Visits (in-person or remote) to New York City museums and collections
  • Access to Bard Graduate Center’s Library, Digital Media Lab, and Object Lab
To Apply

Eligibility

Currently enrolled undergraduate students (rising third- and fourth-year) and recent graduates from any accredited institution may apply. Recommended majors: art history, anthropology, archaeology, classics, gender and sexuality studies, fashion studies, museum studies, religious studies.

All students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Bard Graduate Center is unable to provide visa sponsorship for foreign nationals to participate in this program. International participants must have authorization from their sponsoring institution before they enroll and/or be in an immigration status that allows them to register for academic coursework.

How To Apply

Please submit the application form along with the following materials (as a single pdf file) to summer.school@bgc.bard.edu:

  • 250-word personal statement of academic interest (this should address how this summer program relates to your major and academic / professional interests)
  • Academic writing sample (8-10 double-spaced pages preferred, not including works cited/references; may be a final paper or an excerpt from a longer work)
  • Resume or CV
To be submitted with the above application form or separately by your institution and referee:
  • Official college transcript
  • Letter of recommendation from one faculty member / advisor

Supplemental materials (transcript and letter of recommendation) can be emailed to summer.school@bgc.bard.edu or mailed to Bard Graduate Center, Undergraduate Summer School, 38 West 86th Street, New York, NY 10024, by April 1, 2021 (11:59pm EST).

Deadlines

April 1 - Applications due

April 15 - Notification

May 1 - Decisions and deposits due

Fees/Aid

  • Tuition: $5,312(3 credits)*
  • Tuition: $2,656 (not for credit)*
  • Housing: $700
*Please note these are estimated tuition rates. Final tuition rates will be posted in April prior to the decision deadline.

Limited scholarship money is available to those taking the course for credit. Students who wish to be considered for scholarships must complete a FASFA by April 1, 2021. Bard Graduate Center’s FAFSA number is 002671.

For those seeking housing through BGC, housing is provided at Bard Hall, our housing facility near Columbus Circle, a short distance from BGC. Students will share spacious two-bedroom apartments that include private bedrooms and shared common areas, kitchens, and bathrooms. The cost for the two weeks is $700 per student.