Mots Pluriels



It is a truism to say that our time is dominated by fashion, trends and visual images. Some would even argue that substance has largely given way to appearance, yet the postmodern assumption that the way we look is the way we are is certainly far from being the last word on the issue. Scholars interested in re-visiting the fundamental issue of "form versus content" in the light of contemporary developments are invited to contribute to a forthcoming issue of "MOTS PLURIELS" which will focus on fashion in terms of its role, purpose, (dis)empowering potentialities and mode of expression in various settings or as an agent of social interaction. Why do certain styles or modes prevail for a while then disappear, sometimes as suddenly as they emerged? What social, historical or other factors dictate the emergence and disappearance of fashions? How do we interpret or rationalize their ephemerality?

At a time when "visual" elements dominate society --and increasingly university curricula--, valuable insights into contemporary life can be gained from a serious investigation into issues of fashion, visual packaging, surfaces and appearances. Submissions on the importance of fashion expressed under various guises are welcome, but scholars interested in discussing this topic are also encouraged to go beyond conventional interpretation and to envisage the problem in a range of contexts. Of special interest would be papers dealing with literary "packaging" (book covers, writing formulae, literary prizes, canonisation, etc.), marketing, publishing and teaching (the replacement of literary curricula by studies of film); readers' expectations; historical trends and purposes; popular style; highbrow culture; the importance of costume in the theatre; dress-code in a range of cultures and its effect on people and women in particular; etc...

As has been the case with previous issues of "MOTS PLURIELS", things African are proposed as a focal point to investigation of the issue, but the problematic goes above and beyond the African experience. Articles dealing with the theme as it is perceived elsewhere are strongly encouraged as they will widen the scope of the discussion and extend readers' reflections.

Dr Phillip Winn
Dr Jean-Marie Volet

Please add a short bio/bibliography (5 or 6 lines) of the author of the article mentioning affiliation, teaching activities and latest publications (3 or 4).

Deadline for submission : January 31, 1999

For more information, please write to the editors:

Dr. Jean-Marie Volet. The University of Western Australia. Department of French Studies. Fax: (61) 8 6488 1182 . Email:

Mots Pluriels :