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Albright College Fashion Pair Recognized for Research Project

by Albright College

This June, Albright College graduate Emily Johnson ’24 (Robesonia, Pa.) and her mentor, MeeAe Oh-Ranck, M.S., (Lancaster, Pa.) associate professor of fashion merchandising and design at Albright, earned third place in the American Association of Family Consumer Science Annual Conference’s professional division — for their joint Albright Creative Research Experience (ACRE) project, “Uncovering the Veil.”

Through ACRE projects, Albright College undergraduate students and faculty conduct joint research or pursue creative endeavors outside of regular semester sessions. Student proposals that are accepted by a faculty review board are rewarded with college stipends.

A summa cum laude graduate, Johnson earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in communications: journalism and fashion this May. Oh-Ranck joined the Albright College faculty in 2015, and this year was promoted with tenure in recognition of her innovative coursework and diverse scholarly activity with undergraduate students.

“Uncovering the Veil,” is a garment collection that delves into the historical and ideological contexts surrounding women’s rights and the contentious perspectives on the hijab.

In addition to the June 2024 award at the Minneapolis, Minnesota conference, American Association of Family Consumer Science President, Debra K. Anders, invited Johnson and Oh-Ranck to present their project in a session of next year’s AAFCS annual conference in Kansas City, June 2025.

About “Uncovering the Veil”

Johnson and Oh-Ranck drew inspiration from the September 2022 death of 22-year-old Jina “Mahsa” Amini — an Iranian woman who died after being arrested by Iran’s morality police. Her death sparked nationwide protests in Iran, with people demanding greater personal freedoms and women’s rights, particularly the right to choose whether to wear the mandatory hijab.

Analyzing diverse texts, the pair discerned a parallel between the protesters’ anti-authoritarian, anti-martial, and do-it-yourself ethos and the rebellious spirit of 1970s punk culture. This resonant connection echoed the defiance of groups historically confronting oppressive social institutions. The hijab, in this context, emerged as a poignant symbol, representing the enduring struggle of women to advocate for their rights — a metaphorical veil hindering progress toward gender equality.

To translate these implications into a garment collection reflecting the historical context of the hijab in Iranian society, Johnson and Oh-Ranck scoured a variety of sources, including newspaper articles, peer-reviewed journals, and interviews with Muslim women. The pair researched Iran’s history and Islamic beliefs, compared contrasting perspectives, and translated insights into the creative design process.

“Through our creative garment work, we strive to catalyze dialogue and understanding, encouraging a deeper exploration of the complex narratives surrounding women’s rights and cultural identity,” the pair explain in their project brief. The collection utilized donated fabrics and repurposed materials to commit to sustainable and ethical production. This approach aligned with a broader goal — beyond mere aesthetic expression.

The post Albright College Fashion Pair Recognized for Research Project appeared first on BCTV.

Source: bctv

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