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Denise Nicole Green is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design and the Director of the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection. Professor Green's research uses ethnography, video production, archival methods and curatorial practice to explore production of fashion, textiles, and visual design. She is also an American Indian Studies field faculty member and a graduate field member of the Department of Anthropology at Cornell.
Professor Green received a PhD in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from the University of British Columbia. With the Ethnographic Film Unit at UBC and Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations communities, she directed a series of documentary films exploring textiles, identity and Aboriginal title. Prior to this, she earned a Master of Science in Textiles from the University of California--Davis and a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Apparel Design from Cornell University.
Professor Green directs the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection (CCTC), which houses more than 10,000 items of apparel, accessories and flat textiles dating from the eighteenth century to present, including substantial collections of functional clothing, Western fashion and ethnographic costume. The CCTC advances knowledge of the social, cultural, historical, economic, scientific, technological and aesthetic aspects of fashion, textiles and apparel design through exhibition, research, teaching and preservation. A gallery displaying selections from the CCTC is located on the first floor of the Human Ecology Building, and is free and open to the public during normal weekday business hours when Cornell University is in session.
fashion, textiles, First Nations, Native American, American Indian studies, space and place, yoga, Bikram yoga, design, Nuu-chah-nulth, ethnography, visual anthropology, anthropology, ethnographic film, documentary film, hatha yoga, Burning Man
Research areas: cultural studies of style and fashion; ethnographic practice; documentary film production; Native American textiles and regalia; history of anthropology; textile printing and dyeing; space and place studies; museum studies and curatorial practice
I have been formally trained in textile and apparel design, anthropology, museum studies and video production. I use ethnography in combination with archival and museum-based research methods to explore socio-cultural aspects of style, fashion, and dress. I am working on a number of projects at the intersection of anthropology and fashion studies, including research on Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations' ceremonial textiles and fashion design, phenomenology and hot yoga practice, and historical research about modern dancer, silent film star, and fashion icon, Irene Castle, for a Cornell Costume & Textile Collection exhibition opening in April 2016.
Since 2009, I have investigated ceremonial textiles and regalia produced by the Hupacasath First Nation, an Indigenous group from the Alberni Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. My research examines how textiles and dress produce declarations of territorial rights and ceremonial privileges, records of kinship, inter-tribal and colonial histories, and relationships between families, communities, and place. I am currently a consulting scholar for the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at the American Philosophical Society (APS) library, and am working to reconnect Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations families more broadly with archival records at the APS.
In the past, I have examined subcultural style and identity negotiation through fashion at the Burning Man Project and in 4-H sewing clubs, Northern California roller derby leagues, and small-town communities. I am currently working in on an ethnographic project about regular hatha yoga practitioners and how/why yoga practice may transform bodily perceptions and impact clothing choices in everyday life. I am also interested in histories of fiber, textile and apparel manufacturing in the United States, particularly sericulture and silk production in places like the Auburn Prison and Northampton, MA. I am working on a project about Corticelli silks and their design collaboration with Irene Castle (1917 - 1927), which is the earliest evidence of a film star developing a self-named fashion brand. In most of my research, I try to use exhibition design, documentary film production, or other forums to make scholarship public and accessible. I am director of the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection and work with faculty, students, and visiting scholars to use our collection for exhibitions, research, and classroom teaching.