Lecture examines the fashionable legacy of Edward Bok

The Schulich School of Business kicks off its fall speakers series New Research in Consumer Culture  today with a presentation by Professor Marlis Schweitzer, from the Department of Theatre, Faculty of Fine Arts.

In her lecture, titled "American Fashions for American Women: Edward Bok and the Rise of Fashion Nationalism", Schweitzer will examine the legacy of Edward Bok (right), the longtime editor of the Ladies’ Home Journal and a noted philanthropist. In the late 1800s, an increasingly prosperous middle class was gaining prominence in American life. As prosperity increased, Americans grew more alike in their fashons, their homes and daily habits. A key reason for this increasing similarity was the rise of the national magazine. The most successful of these magazines was the Ladies’ Home Journal (1883 to present), edited by Bok. The magazine strongly influenced women’s fashions, homemaking, cooking, interior decorating and architecture.

Schweitzer is currently working on a book titled "Becoming Fashionable: Actresses, Fashion and American Consumer Culture", which will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. Her research interests and areas of expertise include 19th- and 20th- century popular performance, celebrity culture, the history of gender and sexuality, and historiography.

Right: A cover from the Ladies’ Home Journal, August 1904

Schweitzer received her PhD from the University of Toronto’s Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama in 2005. She holds a BFA in acting and a BA in History from the University of Victoria. Schweitzer spent 2005 as an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was part of an interdisciplinary forum on Word and Image.

Schweitzer will deliver her lecture today, at 12:30pm, in W256 in the Seymour Schulich Building on York’s Keele campus.