Alex Esculapio

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Research interests

Alex Nora Esculapio is a lecturer in Historical and Critical Studies for the BA (Hons) Fashion Business, BA (Hons) Textiles and Business and BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Business. Her research interests include historical and contemporary cultures of sustainability, fashion and affect theory. environmental humanities, queer ecologies and the interesections of queer theory, trans studies and fashion studies.

Supervisory Interests

Alex's supervisory interests include historical and contemporary work on fashion and sustainability, and particularly research that seeks to create alternative knowledge to dominant Western-centric, technology-driven understandings of sustainability; fashion, dress and wellbeing; critical luxury and branding studies; environmental humanities approaches to visual and material culture; historical and practice-based work at the intersection of gender studies, queer theory and fashion studies; costume design in queer cinema, theatre and performance; queer textile art and crafts; wardrobe studies and everyday dress practices.

Scholarly biography

Alex holds a BA in Foreign Languages and Literatures from University of Milan, Italy, and Uppsala University, Sweden, an MA in Fashion Studies from Parsons the New School for Design and a PhD from University of Brighton. She is a member of the Centre for Design History (CDH) at University of Brighton and a member of the Union for Concerned Researchers in Fashion (UCRF).

Her interests in cultures of sustainability and critical approaches to sustainability in fashion started out with an interest in slow fashion design and in clothing libraries as spaces of alternative fashion consumption while at Parsons. In New York, she also worked as an editorial assistant on the storytelling project and book Worn Stories (2014) by Emily Spivack. Her interests led her to pursuing a PhD at University of Brighton, which examined the relationship between structures of feeling and clothing durability in contemporary fashion practices. Her chapter for the edited volume Slowness in Fashion (2020) was based off of her PhD methodology and conceptual framework. She is currently in the process of developing a book proposal based on her doctoral research. In January 2021 she also co-organised with Professor Annebella Pollen and Dani Trew a one-day international conference entitled "Fashioning Sustainment" which explored histories of resourcefulness, reuse, creative ingenuity, remaking, repair, durability, mending and sharing in twentieth century fashion and dress, with an emphasis on critical accounts that span cultural and historical contexts and intersect with histories of modernity, urban development, globalisation, craft, race, colonialism, popular culture as well as gender, disability, sexual and body politics. Together with Professor Annebella Pollen, she is currently co-editing a special issue of the journal Fashion Studies based on the conference.

Alex has also lectured and researched extensively on queer theory, history and trans studies in relation to fashion and dress. She recently authored an original article on dress and style advice as community-making tool in the Scottish trans zine The Tartan Skirt (1992-93), and is currently expanding this research for an article on community-based resourceful dress practices within the same publications. She is also in the process of writing an original research article on the representation of transgender models in the UK media 1960-1970 for an upcoming special issue of Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty.

Parallel to her work in academia, Alex has also contributed as a writer and editor to a number of publications, including BIAS, Vestoj: The Journal of Sartorial Matters, Fashion Projects, The Fashion Studies Journal and Viscose.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Emotionally Durable Fashion: Theory, Practice, Process, University of Brighton

5 Oct 20152 Feb 2021

Award Date: 2 Feb 2021

Master, MA Fashion Studies, New School for Design

26 Aug 201226 May 2014

Award Date: 26 May 2014

External positions

Visiting Lecturer

10 Jan 20211 Sept 2022

Visiting Lecturer, Central Saint Martins, UAL

1 Oct 20201 Jun 2021


15 Jan 201930 Mar 2021

Teaching Assistant, New School for Design

1 Aug 201330 Jun 2015


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