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2016 CSA National Symposium

Symposium Abstracts Available for Purchase

Angels Project

National Annual Meeting & Symposium

The Costume Society of America's 42nd Annual Meeting & Symposium

May 24- 29, 2016
Wyndham Cleveland at Playhouse Square
Cleveland, Ohio

The Full Cleveland:
Dress as Communication, Self-Expression and Identity

Download the call for papers

CSA invites submissions of original research which may include topics related to the symposium theme in all its forms, but is not limited to these:

  • Branding
  • Communication of character in performance, including historical re-enactors and/or theatrical performance
  • Communication of ethnic or national identity through dress
  • Communication of social status via dress in all time periods
  • Clothing as an expression of self

  • We invite curators, educators, designers, museum specialists, re-enactors, theater designers, industry professionals, researchers, scholars, and students to submit abstracts that offer diverse perspectives and address a wide range of topics related to costume and fashion studies. Submitters must be members of the Costume Society of America or join at the time of submission. Submit abstracts of 500 words or less, including endnotes and/or selective bibliography (for panels, each panelist’s abstract must be 500 words or less).

    Deadline for submissions: October 16, 2015


    1. Oral Research Papers including Oral Design Research Papers are strictly limited to 20 minutes, with visuals in PowerPoint, Prezi, or other visual aids.
    2. Panels or Discussion Sessions may include 3 or 4 presenters addressing a related topic, with a self-selected chair. Individual presentations may be 15—20 minutes including time for discussion. The entire panel session will be strictly limited to 90 minutes. Each panelist should submit an abstract of 500 words or less.
    3. Virtual Exhibition Tours in which PowerPoint visuals accompany a guided “tour” of an exhibition. Strictly limited to 20 minutes.
    4. Research Exhibits including Design Research Exhibits will be displayed for approximately two hours by the presenter, ideal for stimulating small group discussions around the examination of physical samples and small visuals. Provided with a table, presenters often display on their own mannequins, upright boards, and/or PowerPoint displays on laptops or iPads.


    1. Header:
    a. Abstract Type: Oral Research/Design Paper; Panels/Discussion Sessions; Virtual Exhibition Tours; Research/Design Exhibits. Centered at top of page.
    b. Abstract Title: centered beneath Type of Abstract.

    2. Abstracts of 500 words or less, including endnotes and/or selective bibliography.
    a. For panels: each panelist’s abstract must be 500 words or less, with 250 words of the panel’s cohesive description.
    b. For design submissions:
    i. Concept / Theme: clearly define the design problem or concept/theme; explain the major design decisions; the influences; the resources; and the material selection.
    ii. Illustrations: Three or four supporting images of preparatory sketches and the finished item, embedded in the abstract document.

    3. Formatting: Chicago style, double space text, single space endnotes / bibliography. Times or Times New Roman 12-point size font.

    4. Save abstract as a Word (.doc or .docx) file or in Rich Text Format (.rtf). Files should be named the abstract title, excluding subtitles (Ex: “Futuristic Fashion and Textiles of the 18th Century.doc”). For panels, combine all abstracts in one document, saved with the panel name.

    Email Body
    1. Abstract Category (e.g. Oral Research Paper)
    2. Abstract Title or Title of Panel; the session chair should submit the abstracts of all the session participants in one file.
    3. Contact Info: Name, address, email, telephone number, institutional affiliation (if any), and title of paper. For panels, list Chair first, then contact information of all panelists with corresponding individual abstract titles.
    4. Email abstracts to Carmen Keist and Leslie Littell at

    Receipt of submission is not guaranteed unless you receive an email confirmation. Contact the Abstracts Administrators if you have not received a confirmation within a week of your submission.

    Put CSA Abstract in the subject line.

    Speakers and exhibitors will be notified of their status no later than December 4, 2015. Acceptance required by December 18, 2015.

    For information about the 2016 symposium, contact Conference Chair: Gayle Strege;

    Note to Students! If your proposal is accepted, you will be eligible to apply for up to $500 Adele Filene Travel Award. This award is to assist with your symposium registration and travel expenses. See: http.//

    The Costume Society of America advances the global understanding of all aspects of dress and appearance. We work to stimulate scholarship and encourage study in the rich and diverse field of costume.