Friday, November 22, 2013

“The Enterprise of Culture” Research Project Launched at Leeds

A new three-year collaborative research project on the business history of fashion, based in the School of History at the University of Leeds, has been awarded €1m funding from the HERA II (Humanities in the European Research Area II) Joint Research Programme. ‘The Enterprise of Culture’ "seeks to explore the relationships among fashion as a cultural phenomenon and a business enterprise, and to examine the transmission of fashion as a cultural form across national and international boundaries by intermediaries such as educational institutions, media outlets, advertisers, branders, trend forecasters, and retailers." The principal investigators are from the universities of Leeds (project leader Regina Lee Blaszczyk), Erasmus Rotterdam (Ben Wubs), Oslo (Véronique Pouillard Maliks), Heriot-Watt (Robert MacIntosh), St. Andrews (Barbara Townley), and Newcastle (Alan McKinley).
    Over the next three years, the Enterprise of Culture team will hold a series of workshops, conferences, and public programs. The group of historians and management scholars has a strong commitment to public understanding and will work closely with non-academic institutions, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Centre for Business History in Stockholm, the Marks and Spencer Company Archive in Leeds, and the sponsors of fashion-textile trade fairs throughout Europe.
     Readers in the vicinity of Leeds are alerted that the Project will hold a launch event on December 5, 2013. Featuring talks from a panel of European researchers alongside fashion professionals, curators, and archivists from the V&A Museum, the Centre for Business History (Stockholm), and the M&S Company Archive, this event offers an insight into the business history of fashion. Open to anyone with an interest in the business history of fashion, this event is particularly aimed at academics, post-graduate students, curators, archivists, fashion designers, textile-related organizations, and wider public audiences. The full program is available here. The event is free but places are limited. To book or for further information, please email Fiona Blair at or phone +44(0)113 343 1910.