Princeton Offers A Course On The Runway


Leave it to an Ivy League school like Princeton to turn modeling into something to study and dissect.

Next spring the New Jersey college will be offering the course: ├óΓé¼┼ôModel Memoirs: The Life Stories of International Fashion Models”. In a way it’s ironic considering many people label models as not being very smart.

Here’s the description of the class according to Princeton’s registrar office:

Explores the life-writing of American, African, and Asian women in the fashion industry as a launching point for thinking about race, gender, and class. How do ethnicity and femininity intersect? How are authenticity and difference commodified? How do women construct identities through narrative and negotiate their relationships to their bodies, families, and nations? This course will include guest lectures by fashion editors and models; discussions of contemporary television programs, global fashion, and cultural studies; and student self-narratives about their relationships with cultural standards of beauty, whether vexed or not.

Sample reading list:

Alek Wek, Alek: From Sudanese Refugee to International Supermodel
Irina Pantaeva, Siberian Dream
Jillian Shanebrook, Model: Life Behind the Makeup
Waris Diric, Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad
Mary Gaitskill, Veronica
Linda Welters and Abby Lillethun, The Fashion Reader

Well that doesn’t sound very fun, except for the guest lecturers. With Princeton’s name attached to the class we’re sure they’ll be able to pull some big names.

Wonder how many people will sign up? Or will the Ivy Leaguers turn their noses up at it and call it a meaningless class?

[Image via AP Images.]

Nov 14, 2009 11:00am PDT

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