Author Meets Critics: Minh-Ha T. Pham on Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet

May 6, 2017Events, News

I’m excited to be organizing and hosting this Author Meets Critics event at the 2017 Cultural Studies Association conference!

Minh-Ha T. Pham

in conversation with Elizabeth Verklan

an Author Meets Critics session

When: May 25, 2017. 2:45–4:15 pm

Where: Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Participants: Minh-Ha T. Pham (featured author), Elizabeth Verklan (discussant), and Cathy Hannabach (session chair)

About Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet: Race, Gender, and the Work of Personal Style Blogging

Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet: Race, Gender, and the Work of Personal Style Blogging places the online activities of elite Asian fashion bloggers within a larger history of racialized and gendered fashion labor. While the vast majority of bloggers generate little to no online traffic and no monetary benefits, Asian superbloggers have managed to make a handsome living from taking and posting photographs of themselves wearing clothes on the Internet.

Analyzing their online activities as “taste work” practices, this book investigates the kinds of cultural and economic work Asian tastes do, the status and meaning of “Asian taste” in the early twenty-first century, and the fashion public and industry’s appetite for certain kinds of racialized eliteness.

Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet offers a framework for understanding the changing and enduring dynamics of race, gender, and class at a time when we are seeing an economic shift in fashion production towards non-material commodities like blogs as key sites of capital accumulation.

About Minh-Ha T. Pham

Minh-Ha T. Pham is an assistant professor of Media Studies at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Before arriving to Pratt, she was an an assistant professor of Visual Studies and Asian American Studies at Cornell University.

An interdisciplinary scholar, her research investigates the racial and gendered capitalist economies of participatory media (from social media to other kinds of user-generated media). The intersection of participatory media and capitalism is examined in numerous publications on the topics of fashion blogs; virtual fitting rooms; virtual, data, and material bodies and realities; and most recently, knowledge economies in social media. 

She is the author of Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet: Race, Gender, and the Work of Personal Style Blogging (Duke Univ. Press, 2015) is the first book-length investigation of fashion blogs and the first book to focus on the racial and gendered configurations of social media economies of bodies, aesthetics, and taste. Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet contextualizes the digital labor of elite Asian personal style bloggers within wider shifts in cultural, economic, and technological conditions as well as a much longer history of gendered and racialized fashion work. 

As well as Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet, she is the author of numerous essays published in a wide range of academic journals and mainstream media. Her research has been featured in, among other sites, the New York Times, the GuardianCNNWall Street Journal, and Huffington Post.

About Elizabeth Verklan

Elizabeth Verkan is an assistant professor in gender, women’s and sexuality studies at Cottey College.

Her first book project, Objects of Desire: Feminist Inquiry, Transnational Feminismand Global Fashion, examines how sweatshops are framed and represented in, and to the US. Objects of Desire is an interdisciplinary project, and draws on the fields of gender and women’s studies, American studies, ethnic studies, and marxist cultural studies in its analyses. 

Elizabeth’s research has been made possible by the American Association of University Women, the National Women’s Studies Association, and most recently, the New York Public Library.

About Cathy Hannabach

Cathy Hannabach is the president of Ideas on Fire, an academic editing and consulting agency helping progressive, interdisciplinary scholars write and publish awesome books, enliven public conversations, and create more just worlds.

Cathy is also the founder and director of the Grad School Rockstars community, which help smart, progressive, interdisciplinary scholars who struggle with the nuts and bolts of how to turn that intelligence and inspiration into tangible, effective, and repeated work.

She hosts the Imagine Otherwise podcast, which highlights the people and projects bridging art, activism, and academia to build better worlds.

Cathy is the author of Blood Cultures: Medicine, Media, and Militarisms (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), which traces the cultural history of blood as it both enabled twentieth-century US imperialism and was creatively transformed by feminist, anticolonial, anticapitalist, and queer artists and activists, and Book Marketing for Academics (Ideas on Fire, 2016), which teaches you how to harness your resources, skills, and time to build your author platform and get the word out about your new book. She currently serves on the Cultural Studies Association Executive Board and Governing Board.

Check out Ideas on Fire’s other events at CSA this year

You might be interested in