Culture Costume and Dress

5-7th May 2021 Birmingham UK

A Week to go – Meet the Team

April 29th, 2021

With only a week to go before the start of the conference, we are all getting very excited. We had a hectic meeting on Tuesday, catching up. So much done, and so much still to do. As usual though, it didn’t preclude fun and laughter. I have been very lucky over the years to work with such a dedicated and supportive team of people, who are also such entertaining company. You will meet them all at the conference, but I thought you might like to know a little about them, and what they’ve been doing.

In no particular order:

Charmaine Stint is senior development manager in the University’s Research, Innovation and Development team. She has been our mainstay over the years at every conference we have run. Personally, I knew very little when we started about how to organise a conference, but Charmaine steered us through the process effortlessly. This year, we have had new challenges to deal with, but Charmaine brought her expertise to bear and has provided invaluable support. 

Joanna Jarvis has used her knowledge of period dress as a foundation for her research into women in the eighteenth-century. She was one of the founding members of the Dress in Context Research Centre, and has contributed greatly to the success of all our events. This year, Joanna has managed the review process for submissions, a hugely complex and time-consuming procedure, not least keeping track of progress. She also helped develop the exciting programme.

Nazli Alimen joined us two years ago, and has proved to be an enthusiastic and energetic member. Her research interests are wide-ranging, but generally focus on dress as it relates to material and visual culture. For CCD2021, Nazli has taken on, almost single-handedly, the development of the Book of Abstracts. This year, it will take the form of an e-book, and that has presented its own challenges. I haven’t yet seen the finished product, but the drafts look very exciting.

Sandra Costa could be described as a cuckoo in our nest, but we appreciate that she has brought a whole new perspective to our work. She is primarily a landscape artist, whose research focuses on people’s interaction with their environment. Her work with Muslim women, and their interactions with green environments, led to an interest in the significance of their clothing, and she has recently been involved in researching the attitudes of Muslim women to dress and the role of their clothing in constructing identity. Sandra is very experienced in managing conferences, and her support has been invaluable.

Louise Chapman is currently studying for her PhD with the London College of Fashion. Coming from a costume for performance background, her archival research focuses on historical dress and its embodied practice. Louise has been closely involved in all our research events, including the CCD conferences. We have a tradition of involving students of all levels in our research-related work, and this year, Louise has taken responsibility for coordinating the contribution of our Student Associates. Thanks to Louise’s direction, they will be taking an active part in proceedings, and we are all looking forward to working with them.

Sian Hindle, also a founding member of the Centre, has research interests in jewellery, its role in identity, and its significance in marking memories and relationships. Sian has managed the Student Round Table, an innovation we have introduced for the first time, and along with Charmaine has organised the Poster display session. She was also instrumental in developing the programme – and all this achieved in her usual calm and (seemingly) unflustered way.

Poppy Wilde’s research focuses on the posthuman subjectivities, and how these are embodied. She has a particular interest in the current media fascination with zombies. Poppy is, without doubt, the most efficient member of the team. While the rest of us are discussing an issue, she has it done. She recently managed the whole process of our online Dress in a Time of Crisis symposium, and for CCD2021 she has coordinated the hosting and chairing of all sessions.

Sophie Johnson is the newest member of the team. She has recently begun her PhD into public relations and its financial value within an organisation. She is also joint host, with her colleague, Laura Arrowsmith, of the popular podcast, Fashadmix. Sophie, with her knowledge and expertise in PR and social media, has been an invaluable asset, and we all look forward to working with her more in the future.

Bethany Lewis is one of our third year students, who successfully applied for the role of Social Media Manager. She has been an enthusiastic and energetic member of the team, working tirelessly to promote the conference, and has supported all our efforts throughout. Beth hopes to go into PR and social media management when she graduates. We think whoever employs her will be very lucky.

Finally, I have to thank Jane Anderson, lecturer in graphic design at BCU, who has so beautifully refreshed our graphic design, giving it a new and contemporary lease of life.

You may ask, what have I done? I have been clever enough to surround myself with brilliant and exciting people, and have benefited from their wondrousness!

Anne Boultwood