So far the American Studies Seminar at the American Antiquarian Society has been fascinating. We’ve discussed everything from how slaves used the care of their hair to keep their cultural practices alive, to a republican concern over the replication of European fashions in a newly independent America.
Now we move on to our own projects. As an English major I’ve seen how people have used print as a form of agency so I was really interested to see how an object, like clothing, can be used amongst those of lower social status as a means of self-fashioning. I’ll be looking into the Lowell mill girls who had their own monthly magazine, The Lowell Offering (1840-1845), to see how they perceived clothing and how they may have used it to say something about themselves.
Looking forward to delving in!