Center for Asia Pacific Studies
The Center is San Francisco’s academic gateway to the Asia Pacific, fostering and promoting innovative research, teaching and public programs.
The University of San Francisco Center for Asia Pacific Studies is pleased to announce the publication of Asia Pacific Perspectives vol. 16, no. 1 (April 2019). This special issue is dedicated to exploring how fashion shapes identities in the Asia Pacific region.
Within this issue, we share three examples of the latest research on cultures of dress, clothing, fashion and the formation of identity in the Asia Pacific region. These articles reveal the innovative work that scholars are currently pursuing in this area of research, ranging from the history of the tattooing in Japan, to fashion exchange between China and Mozambique, to the phenomena known as cosplay.
Johanna von Pezold’s article addresses China’s rising influence in Africa through the lens of fashion exchange. Through field research and interviews on the ground in markets in Mozambique, von Pezold examines what motivates Chinese and Mozambicans to adopt foreign fashion elements from either side. Her study provides important insight into fashion exchange between non-Western countries and adds depth to our understanding of Chinese soft power in Africa.
Anne Peirson-Smith explores the increasingly popular phenomena of cosplay (costume-play) in this article. Based on fieldwork conducted in Hong Kong and Macau, Peirson-Smith’s study reveals the motivations, challenges, and rewards behind cosplayer’s acts of performance and their “fantastical fashioning” and creation of a “spectacular self.”
In this issue’s book review, Barbara Molony introduces us to Kyunghee Pyun and Aida Yuen Wong’s edited volume, Fashion, Identity, and Power in Modern Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Their collection of 14 essays explores “the intersection of Western clothing, accessories, hair fashions, and fabrics with existing local versions of those aspects of dress and representation of the body” through the themes of garments and uniforms, accessories, fabrics, and fashion styles.