Speaker Bios

Master of Arts in Costume Studies

Speaker Bios

Anna Akbari is a sociologist and professor in the department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, as well as a serial entrepreneur: She is the founder of Closet Catharsis, her fashion consulting company, which takes a holistic approach to individual empowerment and identity construction through personal styling and image management; the Chief Image Officer for Dapprly, a new fashion tech startup; the co-founder and CEO of Splice, a social business engine that identifies organizational affinities and offers actionable recommendations; the co-founder of Bricoler Social Interaction Design, which uses social business software and social interaction strategies to make organizations more collaborative, innovative, and – ultimately – happier; and the co-founder of COO d’etat, a consulting service which works to optimize personal productivity and well-being through strategic systemization. Her research focuses on visual and virtual self-presentation, mediated / digital identity, group and individual identity construction, visual culture, and digital happiness. She is also a frequent guest lecturer and writer, most recently for TEDxSiliconAlley, The Atlantic, The Financial Times, and she has a regular column in Stylecaster.    

Anna attended Interlochen Arts Academy on scholarship for Theater; she received her B.A. in Religious and Middle Eastern Studies from New York University, an M.A. in Liberal Studies and a Ph.D. in Sociology from The New School for Social Research.


G. Bruce Boyer is a noted men’s fashion writer and editor for more than thirty-five years. He was associated with Town & Country magazine as men’s fashion editor for fifteen years. His feature articles have also appeared in Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Forbes, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Departures among other national and international magazines. He was the first American fashion journalist to write for L’Uomo Vogue (Men’s Italian Vogue), and is currently a consulting editor and features writer for The Rake, an international men’s fashion magazine.

He is the author of two books on the history and direction of men’s fashion: Elegance (W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 1985); Eminently Suitable (W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 1990). Additionally, he is the author of two books on the history of fashion in the cinema: Rebel Style: Cinematic Heroes of the Fifties (Assouline Press, 2006), and Fred Astaire Style (Assouline Press, 2005). And he is a co-author of a three-volume study of American menswear in the 1930s, entitled Apparel Arts (Gruppo GFT, Milan, 1989), and a contributor and consultant to The Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion  (Charles’ Scribners’ Sons, 2004). His most recent book is Gary Cooper: Enduring Style (PowerHouse Books, 2011), co-authored with Mr. Cooper’s daughter Maria Cooper Janis.

He has appeared on national TV, National Public Radio, and as consultant and commentator on the TV documentary series for American Movie Classics, The Hollywood Fashion Machine.

He has been coordinator of public relations and media for the Custom Tailors & Designers Association of America (1993 – 1998), and is an editorial consultant on clothing, fashion, and grooming. His extensive knowledge of the clothing industry and custom  trades has also led him to private and corporate image consulting, and writer/consultant to the clothing manufacturing industry, designers, and retailers. He has produced public relations, promotional text material, and advertising for Paul Stuart, Zegna, Brioni, Faconnable, Loro Piana, Kiton, Borrelli, Robert Tallbot, Edward Green, Polo/ Ralph Lauren, Bergdorf Goodman, Drake’s of London, Gant, and Joseph Abboud, among other international firms.


It is safe to say that Karen Trivette Cannell is a woman of purpose. In 2000, as she started her Master of Library and Archives Science degree, she declared to her adviser: “I want to work in New York City, in an academic setting, focused on art and design curricula, and managing archives and rare collections.” In her own words, repeated at least once a day, “I am a VERY lucky girl!” Luck probably has a lot to do with Prof. Cannell’s becoming the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Head of Special Collections and FIT Archives, but her education and experience appears to be a well-plotted path. Before coming to FIT, Prof. Cannell earned a Bachelor of Art degree With Distinction in Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then a Master of Library and Archives Science degree from the University at Albany/State University of New York. She has worked in various art and design libraries and archives since 2000 including the Albany Institute of History and Art, the Clark Art Institute, the Jenny Holzer Studio, and the Museum of Modern Art. From these environments – and four years at the New York State Archives – she developed a clear and dynamic philosophy of managing the people, services, and materials that define a department of Special Collections and Archives. Timing finally worked in her favor when, in 2007, the Head of Special Collections and FIT Archives position was created and posted; it is, as she says, tailor-made for her. She is the first incumbent to hold the position, has held it for nearly four years, and hopes to realize the countless delights and treasures of the department for many years to come.


Jill Cole is a PhD student in the department of Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center. With a background in medical anthropology, her previous research was focused on the biopolitics of HIV therapies in postapartheid Namibia. She is currently developing a research project on the fashion industry in New York City.


Grazia d’Annunzio is the New York Special Project Editor of Edizioni Conde Nast. Since 1995 she has corresponded on various topics for publications such as “Vogue Italia”, “L’Uomo Vogue”, “Casa Vogue”, “Architectural Digest” and, more recently,  the web site Vogue.it. Two years ago, together with Professor Eugenia Paulicelli, Grazia originally conceived, and currently hosts at NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimo’, “Addressing Style”, a series of conversations with key-figures in fashion, photography and design.

Her career as a journalist began in Italy at the now defunct  “Lei” and “Per Lui”, two magazines for young readers launched by Franca Sozzani in the 80’s.  When Sozzani took over Vogue in 1988, Grazia followed her as deputy editor. In 1992 she left Vogue and became editor in chief of Italian Glamour. Member of the Ordine nazionale dei giornalisti Italiani, Grazia studied at the Universita’ degli Studi di Pavia, where she earned a degree in Classics.

She lives on New York’s Upper West Side.


Nancy Deihl is a historian of fashion and textiles with a specialty in the 19th and 20th centuries. With many years of experience in the field of modern and contemporary art, she is particularly interested in connections between fashion and art practices.  Currently Director of the Costume Studies Program at NYU, she has been an instructor there since 2003 and was Adjunct Associate Professor at Fashion Institute of Technology from 2003 to 2011. Recently she co-edited the History of Fashion content for Oxford Art Online. She is currently writing a book on the history of fashion from 1850 to present. She received her M.A. in Costume Studies from New York University in 2002.


Dr. Entwistle is currently Senior Lecturer in Culture Industries at Kings College, London, having previously taught sociology and cultural studies at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London and the University of Essex. She has published widely on fashion and the body, including The Fashioned Body: fashion, dress and modern social theory (Polity, 2000), and Body Dressing (Berg, 2001) The Aesthetic Economy: markets in fashion and modelling (Berg, 2010) and Fashioning Models (Berg, forthcoming, 2012).


Rhonda Erb has worked as a freelance writer and fashion photographer for several years with publications like Runway Magazine, the Toronto Sun and Palm Springs Life. Currently, Rhonda is a Senior Fashion Editor for the Fashion/ Lifestyle website, lookonline.com where she writes the popular Better Bets shopping column, which covers the latest trends in technology.  She is an alumna of Wellesley College, where she majored in Art History and French.  Rhonda is the mother of four children and her two youngest, Alexander and Isabelle, now 22 and 20 respectively, have worked as professional still and video fashion photographers for eight years. Their work can be found on various online publications, including New York Times.com


Francesca Granata is Assistant Professor of Fashion Studies in the School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons the New School for Design. Her research centers on twentieth century and contemporary visual and material culture with a focus on fashion history and theory, gender studies, and performance studies. She completed her dissertation at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London on the "Bakhtinian Grotesque in Fashion at the turn of the Twenty-first Century."  Previously, she taught in the visual arts department at Goldsmith College in London, and held the Polaire-Weissman Art History Research Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute. In 2009, she co-curated the exhibition Ethics + Aesthetics on the interaction between fashion and sustainability at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery. She is founder and editor of the non-profit journal Fashion Projects www.fashionprojects.org

Jessamyn Hatcher teaches fashion studies and the humanities in the Global Liberal Studies program at New York University. She is working on a book called Deep Wearing:  Materiality, Affect, and the Politics of Fashion about the least examined parts of the life cycle of clothing--wear, storage, discard practices, and informal economies.  She is the co-editor, with Thuy Linh Tu and Minh-Ha Pham, of an upcoming volume about fashion and globalization.  She is working on a biography of Hortense Mitchell Acton based on Acton’s dresses and the ongoing chemical reactions taking place inside of them.  She is the co-editor, with Cathy N. Davidson, of No More Separate Spheres!:  A Next Wave American Studies Reader (Duke University Press). Jessamyn blogs at alabamachanin.com/journal/.

Dr Vicki Karaminas is Associate Professor of Fashion Studies and Associate Head of School at the School of Design, University of Technology Sydney. She is the author of Queer Style (with Adam Gezcy, forthcoming, Berg 2012) Fashion and Art (with Adam Gezcy, Berg 2012) and co-editor (with Toni Johnson Woods and Joseph Hancock II, Intellect 2012) Fashion in Popular Culture. Other book projects include, Shanghai Style, The Men's Fashion Reader (Berg, 2009) and Fashion in Fiction. Text and Clothing in Literature, Film and Television (Berg, 2009). She is Executive Director and Chair of Fashion for the Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (popcaanz)


Yuniya Kawamura is associate professor of sociology at the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.)/State Univ of NY. She is the author of The Japanese Revolution in Paris Fashion (Berg 2004), Doing Research in Fashion and Dress (Berg 2011), and Fashioning Japanese Subcultures (Berg 2012). Her second book Fashion-ology: An Introduction to Fashion Studies (Berg 2005) has been translated into Italian, Swedish, Russian and Chinese. She is currently conducting ethnographical fieldwork on sneaker collectors in NY. She received her PhD in sociology from Columbia University in 2001.


Michele Majer is Assistant Professor at the Bard Graduate Center specializing in the history of European and American clothing and textiles from the eighteenth through the twentieth century.  She is also a Research Associate at the Cora Ginsburg Gallery in New York, dealing in antique clothing and textiles.  She has contributed articles, reviews, and essays to publications including The Age of Napoleon:  Costume from Revolution to Empire, Romance and Chivalry:  History and Literature Reflected in Nineteenth-Century French Painting, Wright’s Ferry Mansion, Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Studies in the Decorative Arts, and Design and Culture as well as the annually published Cora Ginsburg catalogue.  She recently curated the exhibition, Staging Fashion, 1880-1920:  Jane Hading, Lily Elsie, Billie Burke, at the BGC and edited the accompanying catalogue.  The exhibition examined the phenomenon of actresses as internationally known fashion leaders at the turn-of-the-twentieth century and highlight the printed ephemera that were instrumental in the creation of a public persona and that contributed to and reflected the rise of celebrity culture. 


Bella Mirabella, Associate professor of literature and humanities at the Gallatin School, NYU, specializes in Renaissance studies, with a focus on drama, theater, performance, and gender. She has published articles on women, performance, and sexual politics in the Renaissance, including “Mute Rhetorics: Women, Dance, and the Gaze in Renaissance England” and “‘Quacking Delilahs’: Female Mountebanks in Early Modern England and Italy,” as well as a recent article on Othello and mountebanks, “’A Wording Poet:’ Othello among the Mountebanks.” She is the editor of Ornamentalism: the Art of Renaissance Accessories. Her current book project is on the interaction of space, object and performance in Early Modern Europe.

Fr. Andrew More O’Connor founded Goods of Conscience, a 21st Century incarnation of a medieval parish-based workshop for clothing, at Holy Family parish in the Bronx. He envisions inspiring and sponsoring similar workshops to manufacture apparel and accessories. Trained as a sculptor and visual artist, his collaborations with Paris-based English artist Lucy Orta changed his perspective on garments as art whose inherent worth is involving communities into the process or making. Following a retreat to Guatemala and El Salvador in 2004, Fr. O’Connor developed a handwoven fabric using native strains of wild cotton from Guatemala and a reflective yarn. Trademarked “Social Fabric™” manufacture protects the indigenous who weave it from predatory competition. Proceeds are used to make uniforms in the Bronx workshop for the children of the weavers in Guatemala, reversing the trend, at least symbolically, to send secondhand clothing to Central America to be resold. Fr. O’Connor has dubbed this process “The Cycle of Charity.” The innovation of production as well as attention to the organic origin of the materials has launched Fr. O’Connor into the vanguard of the dialogue on sustainability in the apparel industry.  in 2009, Vogue Magazine featured one of his shorts for the cover story on the Queen of Green, Cameron Diaz after scouring for clothing that is ethically produced with organic materials. Anna Wintour declared in her editorial on the story “My personal favorite is a neat pair of checked shorts that our marketing editor, Devon Schuster, discovered under most unusual circumstances. When she went up to see a priest to gain his blessing for her upcoming marriage, he mentioned that he had a small, charitably minded fashion company: Goods of Conscience. So much for perfect fits.” Presently, Goods of Conscience is collaborating with Mack Mozé to produce a line a hand-crafted denim using Social Fabric™ to accent the pieces. Honey from the parish hives has received 2nd prize nationally and won a blind taste testing on Martha Stewart’s October 18, 2012 show. Goods of Cosnscience is also involved in growing hops in the Bronx for the Bronx Brewery.

Eugenia Paulicelli is Professor of Italian, Comparative Literature and Women’s Studies at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Here, she co-directs the interdisciplinary concentration in Fashion Studies and coordinates the new track in Fashion Studies within MALS (MA in Liberal Studies). She teaches courses on Italian literature, culture and film, fashion history and theory, fashion and film, fashion and clothing cultures in early modern Italy.

Among her recent publications are:  Fashion under Fascism. Beyond the Black Shirt (Berg:  Oxford and New York: 2004); Moda e Moderno. Dal Medioevo al Rinascimento [Fashion and Modernity. From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance] (Meltemi: Rome: 2006, editor); The Fabric of Cultures. Fashion, Identity, Globalization (Routledge: London & New York, 2009, co-editor with Hazel Clark); 1960. Un anno in Italia. Costume, cinema moda e cultura (Cesena: 2010, co-editor with Antonio Maraldi). WithElizabeth Wissinger she is co-editing a special issue of the journal Women’s Studies Quarterly, WSQ on Fashion, to be published by CUNY Feminist Press in December 2012.

She is completing two books: Film and Fashion. Italian Style under contract with Continuum Press; and The Fiction of Fashions in Early Modern Italy. From Sprezzatura to Satire. As co-editor with Louise Wallenberg, she is working on the volume of collected essays on Fashion, Film, and Urban Space: Revisiting the 1960s.

In addition, she has organized several international conferences on Italian and global fashion, fashion and film and lecture series. She has curated and co-curated exhibitions and film festivals such as: the exhibition “Fashion + Film: The 1960s Revisited” held at the James Gallery at the CUNY Graduate Center (2010); the New York Edition of “Birds of Paradise” (May 2011); and “Antonioni’s Documentaries” at the Museum of the Moving Image (April 7-8th, 2012). With Grazia D’Annunzio (Vogue, special project), she organizes the conversation series “Addressing Style,” held at the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’, NYU: http://www.casaitaliananyu.org


Minh-Ha T. Pham is an Assistant Professor in the History of Art & Visual Studies Department and the Asian American Studies Program at Cornell University. Her research traces the historical relations of art, society, and technology through fashion’s latest technologies from fashion blogs to virtual fitting rooms. Her writings on the politics and economies of fashion, race, and technology appear in academic journals, anthologies, and popular magazines such as Ms. Magazine and American Prospect. Her research has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Hyphen magazine, WNYC, among other media sites. She also co-authors a research blog on the politics of fashion and beauty called Threadbared that engages a broad readership of scholars, museum professionals, journalists, and students. In addition, she curates a digital archive called Of Another Fashion that focuses on the everyday material cultures and practices of U.S. women of color.


Dr. Agnès Rocamora is a Reader in Social and Cultural  Studies at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London.  She is the author of Fashioning the City: Paris, Fashion and the Media (I.B. Tauris, 2009). Her writing on the field of fashion and on fashion journalism has appeared in various journals, including Fashion Theory, Sociology, Journalism Practice and the Journal of Consumer Culture. She is a contributor to Fashion’s World Cities (ed. by C. Breward and D. Gilbert, Berg, 2006) and Fashion as Photograph (ed. by E. Shinkle, I.B. Tauris, 2008), and is currently researching new fashion media.

Sarah Scaturro
is the textile conservator at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution.  She is an instructor in both the Fashion and Textile Studies MA program at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Fashion Studies MA program at Parsons The New School for Design.  Her writing has appeared in Fashion Theory, Russian Fashion Theory, Journal of Design History, Oxford Art Online, Selvedge,  Fashion Projects, and many others and she recently had a chapter published in the revised edition of Berg's The Fashion Reader.   Her independent curatorial activities include the exhibitions “Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion” and “Principals of Design: Pratt Fashion Alumni,” both located at Pratt Manhattan Gallery in New York City. Recently elected to the Board of Directors for the Costume Society of America, she is also the founder and organizer of www.ExhibitingFashion.com, a website devoted to exploring fashion and textile exhibitionism.


Paul Julian Smith is a specialist in film and television in Spain and Mexico. He is now Distinguished Professor in the Hispanic and Luso Brazilian Program in the Graduate Center, City University of New York and was for twenty years the Professor of Spanish in the University of Cambridge, UK. He is a regular contributor to Sight & Sound and a columnist for Film Quarterly. His fifteen authored books include Desire Unlimited: The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar (Verso), and Amores Perros (British Film Institute). His most recent book is Spanish Screen Fiction: Between Cinema and Television (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2009). He was a juror at the Morelia International Film Festival in 2008 and for the Cinema Tropical prize for best Latin American film 2010. Follow him on twitter: @pauljuliansmith

Carmela Spinelli currently serves as Chair of the Fashion and Accessory Design Department at the Savannah College of Art and Design, overseeing the department’s academic direction and industry initiatives.

Prior to this role, Spinelli served as Associate Chair of the Department of Fashion Design at Parson’s The New School of Design, under renowned chair Tim Gunn.  Spinelli oversaw academic curricular and faculty development, international special projects and internships programs at the renowned fashion design school.  She coordinated the department’s History of French Decorative Arts and Fashion study abroad program in conjunction with the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum and the Museé des Art Décoratifs in Paris.  Spinelli also developed special projects for Parsons, partnering with the world’s finest luxury brands, retailers and trade associations including LVMH, Saks Fifth Avenue, The Italian Trade Commission, Ducatti, SAGA Furs and Van Clef and Arpels.

Spinelli has lectured extensively on design, fashion history and the fashion business both domestically and abroad.  She has spoken at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in conjunction with the Mayor of London’s culture diversity team, the Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore, The China Academy of Art Institute in Bejing and Hong Kong Polytechinic. An admired fashion authority, Spinelli organized and assembled an incomparable Senior Thesis Jury Panel of key industry influencers and Parsons’ rising design talent such as Proenza Schouler, Christian Cota, Chris Benz and Cushnie et Ochs

Additionally, Spinelli has experience with the fashion and design industry, serving as an executive with Celine, an LVMH company and as Chief Creative Officer for Three Wildcats. LLC., a retail development firm. She led the retail creative vision for two new retail concepts with the architectural firm Gensler that garnered two international design awards in 2008 from the Association for Retail Environments for Outstanding Merit in Store Design and Store Fixtures. 

She holds a Masters Degree in the History of Decorative Art from Parsons The New School for Design and The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum.  Spinelli received the Lisa Taylor Fellowship from the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum for academic achievement.   

Spinelli resides in Savannah, Georgia.

Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she has organized more than 20 exhibitions since 1997, including Daphne Guinness (2011), Gothic: Dark Glamour (2008); Love & War: The Weaponized Woman (2006); London Fashion (2002), and The Corset (2000). She is also founding editor of the influential scholarly quarterly, Fashion Theory:  The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture.

A prolific author, Steele combines serious scholarship (and a Yale Ph.D.) with a rare ability to communicate with general audiences. She is author or co-author of more than a dozen books, including Fashion Design, A-Z (Taschen, 2012), The Impossible Collection Fashion (Assouline, 2011), Daphne Guinness (Yale, 2011) Japan Fashion Now (Yale, 2010) Gothic: Dark Glamour (Yale, 2008), The Corset: A Cultural History (Yale, 2001); Paris Fashion (Oxford, 1988, revised edition, Berg,1999); Fifty Years of Fashion (Yale, 1997) Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power (Oxford University Press, 1996); Women of Fashion: 20th-Century Designers (Rizzoli, 1991); and Fashion and Eroticism (Oxford, 1985). She is also editor-in-chief of the three-volume Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion (Scribners, 2005), abridged as The Berg Companion to Fashion (Berg, 2011). Several of her books have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian.

Steele has appeared on many television programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and Undressed: The Story of Fashion.  After she appeared on the PBS special, The Way We Wear, she was described in The Washington Post as one of “fashion’s brainiest woman.”  The subject of numerous profiles, such as “The Freud of Fashion” by Suzy Menkes for the International Herald Tribune, “Fashion Professor” in Forbes. and “High-Heeled Historian” in The New York Time, she was listed as Number 18 of “Fashion’s 50 Most Powerful” in the Daily News (August 27, 2009). As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual, Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and in raising public awareness of the cultural and social significance of fashion.


Torkild Thanem's research is in organization theory and critical management studies, but he also draws on ideas from social theory and philosophy. Thanem is particularly interested in how embodiment, identity, space and power are expressed in and around organizations. He is Associate Editor of Gender, Work & Organization and he has guest edited a special issue of Tamara on Deleuze & Organization Theory. Selected publications: The Monstrous Organization, 2011 Cheltenham: Edward Elgar; “Free at last?  The assembling, production and organization of sexual spaces in Swedish sex education. Gender, Work & Organization 17(1), 2010; ‘There’s no limit to how much you can consume’: The New Public Health and the struggle to manage healthy bodies.” Culture & Organization 15(1), 2009; with S. Linstead “Multiplicity, virtuality and organization: The contribution of Gilles Deleuze.” Organization Studies 28(10): 1483-1501, 2007; “Living on the edge: Towards a monstrous organization theory.” Organization 13(2): 163-93, 2006; with S. Cummings “The ghost in the organism.” Organization Studies 23(5): 817-39, 2002.

Thuy Linh Tu is Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and Director of the American Studies Program at NYU.  She is the author of The Beautiful Generation: Asian Americans and the Cultural Economy of Fashion (Duke UP, 2011) and the co-editor of Alien Encounters: Asian Americans and Popular Culture (Duke UP, 2007) and Technicolor: Race, Technology and Everyday Life (NYU Press, 2001).


Vicki Vasilopoulos of Orestes Films is the producer and director of MEN OF THE CLOTH, a documentary portrait of Italian master tailors. The film unravels the mystery of their artistry and reveals how their passionate devotion to their craft is akin to a religion. MEN OF THE CLOTH has received grants from The National Italian American Foundation, and contributions from dozens of individuals around the world. The film is now in post-production.

Vicki was introduced to the world of Italian master tailors through her many trips to Italy as a men’s fashion editor for WWD MEN’S (formerly DNR), the fashion news magazine where she produced photo spreads, reviewed runway shows and wrote fashion features. She was also a contributor to Fashion Wire Daily (an international newswire service) and has had feature stories published in The New York Times, Esquire, Time Out NY and New Jersey Monthly. She is a member of ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors) and has served as a programmer for a monthly film series at Anthology Film Archives showcasing the work of emerging women filmmakers and sponsored by New York Women in Film and Television.


Suzanne Wasserman is an historian and award-winning filmmaker. She has a Ph.D. in American History from New York University. She is the Director of the Gotham Center for New York City History at the City University of New York, Graduate Center. Wasserman lectures, writes and consults about New York City history, especially the history of the Lower East Side. She has published widely on topics such as the Great Depression, Jewish nostalgia, housing, restaurant culture, tourism, pushcart peddling, silent films, 19th century saloons and 21st century street fairs. She was an historical consultant on Ron Howard’s, Cinderella Man. She is the co-author of Life on the Lower East Side, 1937-1950: Photographs by Rebecca Lepkoff (Princeton Architectural Press, 2006) which is in its third printing.

Her 2003 award-winning film, Thunder in Guyana, is about her cousin, Janet Jagan, who became President of Guyana in South America. The film premiered at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center in June, 2003 and aired nationally on PBS as part of the Independent Lens series in 2005 and Global Voices in 2010. Her second film, a short documentary, titled Brooklyn among the Ruins premiered at the Coney Island Film Festival in 2005 and was broadcast on PBS/WNET’s series REEL New York in 2006. Her films have been seen at over 50 festivals and other venues. Her most current work is a new, short film, Sweatshop Cinderella, about the immigrant writer Anzia Yezierska. Sweatshop Cinderella and Thunder in Guyana are distributed by Women Make Movies.  She is at work on a fourth documentary about New York City butchers entitled Meat Hooked! 


Elizabeth Wissinger is Associate Professor of Social Science at Borough of Manhattan Community College whose current work deals with deconstructing accepted notions of culturally idealized bodies, looking beyond patriarchy and consumerism to consider how the current state of productive and scientific technologies influence the bodily ideal. Her forthcoming book is titled Fashioning Models: Image, Text, and Industry (London: Berg Publishers, 2011). Select journal publications include, “The Top Model Life” (Contexts: a publication of the American Sociological Association, 2010), “Modeling Consumption:Fashion modeling work in contemporary society” (Journal of Consumer Culture, 2009), and “Modeling a Way of Life: Immaterial and Affective Labor in Fashion Modeling Industry” (ephemera: theory and politics in organization, 2007).


Amanda Wunder (Ph.D., Princeton University) is an assistant professor of early modern European history and art history at the City University of New York whose work focuses on the cultural history of Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Publications in fashion history include an article on veiled women (tapadas) in the early modern Hispanic world, co-authored by Laura Bass (Hispanic Review, 2009) and an essay on Spanish dress in the forthcoming Lexikon of the Hispanic Baroque. Currently she is completing an article on the Spanish farthingale (guardainfante) and is researching a book on early modern Spanish fashion entitled The Spanish Style: The Politics of Extreme Fashion in an Age of Empire, 1492-1700. She held a fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2005-06 and will be teaching a graduate course on early modern European textiles at the museum’s Ratti Textile Center in the fall of 2012.


Tara Zanardi is an Assistant Professor of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century European Art at Hunter College, whose research interests cover the visual and material culture of Spain. Her work examines the artistic construction of Spanish identity and nationalism in painting, prints, fashion plates, and decorative arts. She has published articles in Dieciocho, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body and Culture, and The Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies. Her book-length manuscript, The Spanish Body: Nationalism, Fashion, and Visual Culture in the Revolutionary Period, is currently under review. Zanardi has received fellowships from the Fulbright Program, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain and United States, and the American Association of University Women.