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Course Descriptions

FT 521
Fashion History through the Nineteenth Century

Surveys the history of fashionable dress in the West from the late Middle Ages through the nineteenth century, with the goal of surpassing the simple chronicle of changing styles to explore the meaning of fashion in the broadest possible context. Students will define fashion, its relation to the arts and function in society, and determining when its history begins, using an interdisciplinary approach that examines a range of scholarly resources, including literature of the field and primary sources. Lectures supplemented by extensive use of the costume collection at The Museum at FIT. A midterm presentation interpreting fashion in a work of art, a 10-15 page research paper, and an object-based final examination are required. 3 credits

FT 522
History of Western Textiles

Examines the history of Western textiles from antiquity to the early twentieth century, including significant developments in the style, technology and function of such materials. Surviving evidence and representations of textiles in the arts and literature are used to examine their social and historical context and their central economic role in pre-industrial societies. Textiles as works of art and as constituents of dress will be presented as expressions of novelty and fashion. Their designs will be used to trace cultural continuities that span the societal strata, and the role technological advances play in their evolution will be examined. Pattern-woven silks, tapestry, embroidery, lace, and printed/painted fabrics are covered. 3 credits

FT 523
History of Twentieth Century Fashion

A study of western fashion, from the Belle Epoque to hip-hop America. The formation and definition of "modern" fashion and the influences of modern art, internationalism, postmodernism, the world wars, designers, Hollywood and advertising will be considered. A term paper and presentation on 20th-century costume or accessory, with analysis of its historical or cultural influences, and development of a theory regarding its importance to 20th-century culture, is required. Students take an interdisciplinary approach and examine the full range of sources available through their readings and assignments. Lectures are supplemented by use of the costume collection at The Museum at FIT. 3 credits

FT 524
Dress and Textiles in World Cultures

Examines important manifestations of dress and its context in a selection of world cultures. The historical range spans two millennia, and the settings include nomadic societies, rural communities and urban court and merchant groups. Strong emphasis is placed on the impact of such issues as religious/symbolic beliefs, ideas of gender, and the transmission of design and technology. Aspects of material culture will be included, particularly in the development of the dress typologies, the conditions for lifestyles, textile production, and their artifacts. Emphasis will be placed on examples typically encountered in collections of museums and other cultural institutions. 3 credits

FT 541
Proseminar: Critical Writing, Research Techniques, and Documentation Methods

All matriculated students are expected to begin their coursework in Fashion and Textile Studies with this class. Introduces interdisciplinary research techniques to establish solid research and writing skills and a foundation in theory and methodology. Students complete interrelated research and writing assignments focused on different types of primary and secondary using various methodologies. Provides an understanding of the material nature of historic costume and textile objects, guidelines for reporting the physical condition of objects, and photo-documentation methods. Materials research studies will be discussed and a project based upon those resources will be required. All assignments will be critiqued in class. 0 credits

FT 551
Collection Management Skills

Covers all aspects of the physical handling practices and storage techniques necessary for the proper management of textile and costume collections. Assessment and planning, archival material choices, environmental control, lighting, custom-built supports and boxes, packing and shipping issues, risk evaluation, crisis control, and current collections management software systems used in institutions will be investigated. Collections assessment methods and an introduction to the use of electronic media in collections care will be covered. 3 credits

FT 552
Museum Theory and Practices

Explores the various roles of museums and examines these institutions as workplaces. The course includes presentations by senior museum professionals, including administrators, curators, educators, and editors. The leadership role of museums in the history of style and taste; how museums collect, conserve and interpret objects; public expectations of museums today; trends that influence professional thinking and practice; and the use of modern technology in collections management and exhibition planning are covered. 3 credits

FT 561
Fiber and Fabric: Identification and Analysis

Investigates the components and structures of textiles examining polymers, fibers, yarns, and weave structures. The chemical and physical nature of individual fiber types is studied at the polymer level; methods for fiber identification are introduced. Students will become familiar with the polarizing light microscope and photomicroscopy. Examination of all standard fabrics as generic structures and as specific/vernacular-technique materials. Particular emphasis on technical and analytical skills, and descriptive vocabularies for application in labs, cataloguing assignments and exams. The historic framework and interaction between the requirements of technology and design are also included. Students will be expected to perform professional identifications of fibers and textiles from the Fashion and Textiles Study Collection. 3 credits

FM 562
Conservation Practices: Theory and Technique

Provides both the scientific foundation and the basic technical skills used in designing and implementing preservation plans for collections management. Simple conservation treatments for historic textiles, costume, and accessories materials covered, including recognition of signs of deterioration and design basic preventive conservation procedures including documentation, vacuuming, realignment, rolling/folding, stitching (for both repair and mounting), wet and dry cleaning, dye-to-match techniques, and the identification and understanding of problematic materials. The course will use objects from the Fashion and Textiles Study Collection and the students will be asked to perform and document simple treatments and handling procedures in a standardized and professional manner. 3 credits

FT 625
History of American Men's Wear

Explores the history of men's clothing and fashion from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Traces the development of the modern suit with reference to its European roots, the influence of world cultures and the impact of media on it, as well as its relationship to women's dress. Includes illustrated lectures of garments and sample books in the costume and textile collections of the Museum at FIT, the Costume Institute, and Special Collections of the Gladys Marcus Library. 3 credits

FT 626
Modern Textiles: Designers, Makers, and Markets

Investigates contextual relationships of textiles in terms of their creation, marketing, and reception. Includes structural and stylistic analysis, as well as biographical research. Historical and contemporary textiles are examined and a methodology of analysis and documentation that specifically includes interdisciplinary approaches is developed. The rapid, global, technological advances of the twentieth century are given particular attention as they pertain to traditional, industrial, and contemporary textile practices. 3 credits

FT 631
Special Topics

An advanced, third-semester research seminar focusing on a topic of special interest or import to the field of fashion or textile studies. Requires original research leading to a meaningful outcome, such as publication in a professional-level magazine, journal. Use of the collections of The Museum at FIT and the Special Collections of the Gladys Marcus Library is strongly encouraged. The process of selecting an appropriate publication target will be discussed. Topics can range from focused studies of a specific historical periods, designers, fashion trends, regional areas, types of accessories, or specific influences, to themes including the history of fashion photography, the history of fashion theory, examinations of cultural and consumer studies, material culture, or related decorative arts. Term paper required. 3 credits

FT 633
Advanced Theory: Professional Seminar

An advanced, fourth-semester research seminar focusing on a topic of special interest or importance to the field of fashion or textile studies. Requires original research leading to a meaningful outcome, such as participation in a professional academic conference or symposium. Use of the collections of Ther Museum at FIT and the Special Collections of the Gladys Marcus Library is strongly encouraged. Two oral presentations of research and an abstract of the presentation, including the bibliography, are required, one at mid-term and one at the end of the semester. Abstracts will be graded by the instructor and a panel of readers. The final set of presentations will be made to the class, instructor, and a panel or industry professionals who will contribute to the evaluation. 3 credits

FT 634
Advanced Curatorial: Historical Interiors

This course encompasses a basic survey, and is intended to broadened fashion and textiles studentsí understanding of the decorative arts beyond their specialization. †Students will gain a basic foundation of knowledge should they become employed as a curator, exhibition designer, exhibition coordinator, registrar or conservator in an encyclopedic museum or a historic house with diverse collections. †Decorative art objects and textiles typically encountered in American public collections are highlighted.

Aspects of material culture, geography, and trade are addressed to aid the student in developing a well-rounded understanding of decorative history. † The course examines key European and American decorative arts from the seventeenth through the early twentieth century. Objects, their makers, and the interiors they occupied will be explored. It will also introduce issues of professional museum interpretation and care of objects within historic interiors. ††

FT 653

Costume and Textile Mounting Skills
Examines the issues and provides practical experience in the preparation and mounting of dress items, accessories, and flat textiles for exhibition. Skills include sketching, historical research, analysis of apparel structure, draping techniques, customizing of mannequins to accommodate historic style and size variations, and specialized supports. Construction of special strainers, tubular supports, press-mounts, and a variety of stitch-supported hanging techniques covered. All assignments include use of standard professional documentation and photography. Includes general introduction to garment construction though lectures and use of both the Fashion and Textiles Study Collection and The Museum at FIT. 3 credits

FT 654
Exhibition: Planning and Interpretation

Focuses on the practical aspects of exhibit creation, and on the exhibition as a vehicle for the interpretation and presentation of objects. Research on the topic is undertaken and a preliminary selection of objects is made. Outside experts provide assistance with didactics, labels, brochure copy, and press releases and help with design issues. Lectures, assigned readings, case studies, class exercises and on-site observations of actual installations included. 3 credits

FT 655
Exhibition: Practicum

Using the exhibition theme selected in FT 654, students make the final selection of objects, prepare the narrative materials, create a publicity plan, design and participate in the installation, and evaluate the educational program. Outside experts are invited to assist the students as appropriate. 3 credits

FT 663
Advanced Conservation I

Required for conservation-emphasis students; open to qualified curatorial students with instructor permission. Provides practical experience in advanced conservation treatments, including adhesive treatments and advanced support treatments, permanent press-mounts, surface consolidations, re-warping and re-weaving. Visits to museum conservation labs allows in-depth contact with specific conservation disciplines, specifically upholstery, ethnographic objects, tapestry, and rugs. Students will select an appropriate object and begin work on a conservation-related qualifying paper. 3 credits

FT 664
Advanced Conservation II

Required for conservation-emphasis students; open to qualified curatorial students with instructor permission. Provides practical experience in advanced conservation treatments, including adhesive and advanced support treatments, surface consolidations, overlay and underlay procedures, and re-warping and re-weaving. In addition to several treatment experiments, students will continue work on the required qualifying paper, performing a treatment on the object selected in FT 663. The treatment must include analysis, condition assessment, treatment pre-testing, treatment proposal, photo documentation, time and cost estimates, completed treatment and final assessment. Professional reporting and documentation, as well as historical-context research and full structural analysis, are required. All documentation will be assembled in a portfolio. 3 credits

FT 691
Internships

Students are expected to complete 135 internship hours at an appropriate collection, historic site, or museum. All internships will be approved by the department chair and will be satisfied according to department guidelines. No program credit will be given for internships, but at least one is mandatory as a graduation requirement. 0 credits

FT 692
Independent Study

Under the guidance of a faculty member, students undertake advanced work or pursue an individual project in a subject of their choosing. Proposals for independent study must be submitted in a timely fashion and must adhere to the guidelines of the School of Graduate Studies. Variable Credit (3 credits maximum)

FT 701
Qualifying Paper

The qualifying paper may take the form of a scholarly research paper or article, an exhibition proposal or catalogue, a conservation treatment proposal and report, a grant proposal, a collection survey, or an interpretive program utilizing a variety of formats, including electronic media. Paper should not exceed 30-40 pages in length. 0 credits

FT 702
Maintenance of Matriculation

Students must maintain matriculation after completion of their coursework, until the qualifying paper has been approved. 0 credits

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