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Dr Ellen Sampson

VC Senior Fellow

Department: Northumbria School of Design

Ellen Sampson is an artist and material culture researcher whose work explores the relationships between clothing and bodily experience, both in museums and archives and in everyday life. Using film, photography, and writing, she examines the ways that garmnets become records of lived experience: how people and the things they wear become entwined. Sampson has a PhD from the Royal College of Art, London and was 2018/19 Polaire Weissman fellow at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and 2019/20 Professorial Fellow at University for the Creative Arts.

Ellen Sampson

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My current project 'The Afterlives Of Clothes', was  initially developed while on a Fellowship at the Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2018-19) and an artist’s residency at Bard Graduate Center, New York (2019- 2020). The project the project brings together archival research with auto-ethnographic writing, image, and filmmaking to explore the affect of damaged garments in museum collections. Focusing on accessories, objects which Jones and Stallybrass term “detachable parts” of the self, it seeks to highlight the bodily practices of wearing and maintaining clothes, clothing as lived and embodied experience, in objects where little or no biographical evidence exists. Asking how in a field where absent bodies and narratives are already understood as problematic, these traces might re-contextualize objects and bring into focus bodies and narratives which would otherwise be excluded from display. 

 

I am also co-founder of Fashion Research Network, an interdisciplinary network for researchers in fashion studies. Through collaboration we facilitate, disseminate and promote conversations which critically examine the nature of fashion studies and the parameters of the field. FRN brings together researchers from multiple subject areas and institutions to critically examine the role of dress in society. Founded a point when the field was both less established and less defined, FRN has played a key part in shaping understanding of fashion studies as a diverse and dynamic field in the UK. We work to facilitate conversations and collaboration between those who research through practice and those who research using traditional methodologies.  FRN is built on a model of collaboration, working with a diverse range of partners to deliver events. Past partners include FIT, University of Brighton, National Portrait Gallery and ICA. Since 2013 FRN have convened 11 symposia, and numerous seminars, reading groups, and curator talks- building a vibrant and resilient network of researchers

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • The Afterlives of Clothes: a Phenomenology of the Dress Archive, Sampson, E. 2023
  • Affect and Sensation: A Phenomenology of the Dress Archive, Sampson, E. 27 Nov 2020, In: Fashion Studies
  • Archives of the Everyday: Finding what is hidden in the dress archive, Sampson, E. 10 Apr 2020
  • Fashioning research- embodied knowledge, bodily practices and the role of practice-based research in fashion studies., Sampson, E. 2020, College Arts Association Annual Conference
  • On Walking, Sampson, E. 21 Oct 2020
  • Worn: Footwear, Attachment and Affects of Wear, Sampson, E. 10 Dec 2020
  • Emotional objects (Solo show and Artist Residency): Bard Graduate Centre, New York, Sampson, E. 6 Dec 2019
  • Editorial note: Hair Revisited, Savi, L., Romano, A., Sampson, E., Beard, N. 2 Nov 2018, In: Fashion Theory - Journal of Dress Body and Culture
  • Entanglement, affect and experience: Walking and wearing (shoes) as experimental research methodology, Sampson, E. 1 Apr 2018, In: International Journal of Fashion Studies
  • Experimental Fashion: Performance Art, Carnival and the Grotesque Body, Sampson, E. 27 Feb 2018, In: Journal of Design History

Professional Activity

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Organising a conference, workshop, ...: Curative Things: Medicine Fashion Art 2021
  • Organising a conference, workshop, ...: Enclothed Knowledges: What Do We Know Through Making And Wearing Clothes? 2021
  • Participating in a conference, workshop, ...: Conference Paper: Affect and Sensation: A Phenomenology Of Dress Archive, 2020
  • Participating in a conference, workshop, ...: Conference Paper: Peripheries of the Archive, Chicago Fashion Lyceum, 2020
  • Participating in a conference, workshop, ...: Conference Paper:"Archives of The Everyday" at American Everyday 2020
  • Participating in a conference, workshop, ...: Conference Paper: Fashioning research- embodied knowledge, bodily practices and the role of practice-based research in fashion studies. At College Arts Association Conference 2020
  • Participating in a conference, workshop, ...: Conference Paper: Dancing Desire and Death: Footwear in Fairy tales, Folklore and Footwear 2019
  • Participating in a conference, workshop, ...: Conference Paper: The Afterlives of Clothes Met Fellows Colloquium Cloth and Clothing, 2019
  • Participating in a conference, workshop, ...: Conference Paper: Affect and Sensation: A Phenomenology Of Dress Archives, Association for Art History Conference, 2019
  • Organising a conference, workshop, ...: Fashion Unravelled: Memory, Wear and Imperfection 2018

Qualifications

  • PhD August 31 2016
  • Fashion MA February 01 2009
  • anthropology BSc (Hons) July 01 2003


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