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The BMCC office of Academic Affairs will present “Significant Findings,” a new series of talks by BMCC faculty that will cover publically relevant research and scholarship. Her topic will be:
Is Biology our Destiny? Wearable Bio-tech, Fashion, and Gender
This presentation features Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice Professor Elizabeth Wissinger, November 8 at 7 p.m. in Richard Harris Terrace.
About Professor Elizabeth Wissinger
Dr. Elizabeth Wissinger is a Professor of Fashion Studies and Sociology in the Masters of Arts and Liberal
Studies program at the Graduate Center, and in the Department of Social Sciences at BMCC/CUNY. She has spoken frequently about technology, fashion, and embodiment in the U.S. and internationally, and has published across a range of fields, including sociology,
fashion studies, and communication. Her book, This Year’s Model: Fashion, Media, and the Making of Glamour (NYU 2015), examines fashion models’ “glamour labor” and how it pressures ordinary people into forms of body and self-optimization that profits corporations. Her current research critically addresses the coming fusion of wearable technologies with biology, and examines this transition’s gendered
and bodily effects.
Dr. Wissinger's work draws on gender, fashion, and data as key tools for assessing the social impact of wearable technology, and wields this knowledge to provide cautionary but informative insights into new developments joining wearable tech with biotech. Built from multi-sited research via participant observation at meet ups in tech accelerators and fashion tech summits, and one-on-one interviews with fashion and tech professionals, synthetic biologists, community science lab biohackers, and DIY fashion practitioners, her project draws on these observations and experiences to argue that, left unchecked, hidden conflicts within wearables’ deployment regarding the ownership of women’s bodies, their place in science and technology, fashion’s role in contemporary power struggles, and battles over individual versus corporate data ownership will similarly shape biotech’s integration as an embodied technology.
Offering a much-needed critical analysis of this cutting-edge technology, her research findings will equip the public, and innovators in technology, bio-science, and fashion, to push embodied technologies’ future trajectory toward more equitable and inclusive ends.
Please RSVP if you are planning to attend.