Sequined Styles, Intersectional Moves: Economic Geography, Let’s Dress Up!

Authors: Dominica Whitesell*, University of Texas - Austin, Caroline Faria, University of Texas
Topics: Feminist Geographies, Economic Geography, Africa
Keywords: Africa, commodity trade, fashion, Feminist geography, neoliberal globalization, postcolonial geography
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 26
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Focusing on the burgeoning Ugandan bridal industry, this article demonstrates the insights of a feminist, postcolonial intersectionality in economic geography. This lens makes visible how power-relations drive and are manifest in commodity trade, and how power forms the fabric that connects seemingly distinct processes, relationships, objects, and affects. In what follows we touch down in two moments of the Ugandan bridal industry: first, the international trade into Uganda of imported dresses and, second, their refashioning, design and sometimes original manufacturing there. We use dress, and the act of dressing up, then in two ways. First, we see Ugandan bridal gowns as deeply instructive material objects that tells us much about the geographies of economies. And second, as a metaphor for playful connection, helping us to refashion, and reimagine the subfield of economic geography as malleable, open, transformative, transgressive, and always in-becoming.

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