The Radicalness of the Accessory

By Kristin Swenson
Against the Current/Solidarity

giorcelli_exchanging coverCRISTINA GIORCELLI AND Paula Rabino­witz’s first two volumes of the four-part series in progress, Habits of Being, reveal that clothes, accessories, and fashion are anything but trivial. Rather, the manner in which we accessorize — the shoes or boots we wear, the hats and ties that adorn us, the handbag we carry — as we make our way to work, to school, to a party or a protest, reveal our cultural, political, social, economic and ontological status.

Habits of Being takes seriously a most fundamental aspect of our being: that we clothe and accessorize our bodies, and this usually unexamined daily routine, a habit, exposes essential aspects of our identities and desires.

Habits of Being includes essays from historians, fashion designers, scholars of textiles and interiors, psychoanalysts, literary and film critics and others who take seriously the accessorizing of the body and render visible the body as an accessory. These essays, many of which first appeared in the Italian series Abito e Identità, contribute to the interdisciplinary study of identity and subjectivity through the examination of daily accessories.

Read the full article.

University of Minnesota Press Podcast


Art and Posthumanism: Cary Wolfe in conversation with Art after Nature series editors Giovanni Aloi and Caroline Picard.


Life in Plastic: Petrochemical fantasies and synthetic sensibilities, with Caren Irr, Lisa Swanstrom, Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, and Daniel Worden.


Live: A book launch for We Are Meant to Rise at Next Chapter Booksellers features Carolyn Holbrook, David Mura, Douglas Kearney, Melissa Olson, Said Shaiye, and Kao Kalia Yang.