Denise Nicole Green is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design and 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, identities, and visual design. She is also a faculty member in American Indian and Indigenous Studies and the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies as well as a graduate field member in 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 where she researched fashion and gender expression at the Burning Man Festival. During her undergraduate program at Cornell University she studied fashioned youth subcultures and completed an honors thesis about redesigning 4-H clothing club curriculum for the 21st century.
In her curatorial practice, Professor Green uses fashion to engage with important social, cultural, and political issues. Her award-winning exhibitions include The Biggest Little Fashion City: Ithaca and Silent Film Style (2016, recipient of the Richard Martin Award) and Union-Made: Fashioning America in the 20th Century (2017, recipient of the Betty Kirke Excellence in Research Award). She was the faculty advisor for WOMEN EMPOWERED: Fashions from the Frontline (2018), which received international media attention and was part of the Cornell Council for the Arts 2018 Biennial. Professor Green also serves as the faculty advisor for the Charlotte A. Jirousek Undergraduate Fellowship in the Cornell Costume & Textile Collection and mentors undergraduate students curating historical fashion exhibitions. Curatorial and research aspects of the Cornell Costume & Textile Collection are chronicled on social media, including a Facebook, Instagram (@cornellcostumecollection), and the CCTC blog.
An award-winning documentary filmmaker, Professor Green runs a media production lab in the Human Ecology Building. Her most recent film, Mapping Regalia in Hupacasath Territory (2018) was shown at the Textile Society of America's juried film festival. Previous films include Histakshitl Ts'awaatskwii - We Come from One Root (2010, recipient of the Jean Rouch Award for Ethnographic Filmmaking and Best Documentary at the Cowichan Aboriginal Film Festival), Mamuu - To Weave/To Work (2013), Somewhere in Between (2009, recipient of Best Documentary award at the UC Davis Student Film Festival), Fifty-Fifty (2009), and Wash and Reuse: Textiles in the Hospital Setting (2009, funded by the National Science Foundation). Professor Green's graduate students are also active filmmakers, and recent films include #NATURALDYE (2017, directed by Kelsie Doty) and Dedicada a Margarita (2016, directed by Amanda Denham)
Research areas: anthropological studies of style and fashion; history of dress and textiles; 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
Professor Green was formally trained in textile and apparel design, anthropology, museum studies and video production. She uses ethnography in combination with archival and museum-based research methods to explore socio-cultural aspects of style, fashion, and dress. She is 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, as well as historical research about pop culture icons, including silent film serial queen heroines and singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.
Since 2009, Professor Green has investigated ceremonial textiles and regalia produced by the Hupacasath First Nation, an Indigenous group from what is now called the Alberni Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Her research and documentary film production 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. She is currently a consulting scholar for the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at the American Philosophical Society (APS) library, and working to reconnect Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations families more broadly with archival records at the APS.
In her previous research, Professor Green has examined subcultural style and identity negotiation through fashion at the Burning Man Project, 4-H sewing clubs, Northern California roller derby leagues, and small-town communities. She is currently working 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. Professor Green is 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 in Northampton, MA. She has recently published a paper 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 much of her research, Professor Green uses exhibition design, documentary film production, or other forums to make scholarship public and accessible. She directs the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection (CCTC) and works with faculty, students, and visiting scholars to use the collection for exhibitions, research, and classroom teaching. Recent exhibitions include, WOMEN EMPOWERED: Fashions from the Frontline, TEXTURE, Go Figure: The Fashion Silhouette and the Female Form, Union-Made: Fashioning America in the 20th Century, Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and The Biggest Little Fashion City: Ithaca and Silent Film Style.
Green, Denise N., Susan B. Kaiser, Kelsie Doty, and Kyra Streck (accepted - in press) Both Sides Now: Articulating Textiles and Fashioned Bodies in the Works of Joni Mitchell, 1968 – 1976. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal.
Chapin, Chloe, Denise N. Green, and Samuel Neuberg (accepted - in press) Exhibiting Gender: Exploring the Dynamic Relationships between Fashion, Gender, and Mannequins in Museum Display. DRESS: Journal of the Costume Society of America, Vol. 45, Issue 1.
Green, Denise N. (accepted - in press) An Archival Ethnography of Sapir’s “Nootka” (Nuu-chah-nulth) Texts, Correspondence, and Fieldwork through the Douglas Thomas Drawings. Ethnohistory, Vol. 65, Issue 1.
Green, Denise N. (2018) Producing Place and Declaring Rights Through Thliitsapilthim (Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations’ Ceremonial Curtains). Textile: Cloth and Culture, Vol. 16, Issue 3.
Mamp, Michael, Ariele Elia, Sara Tatayana Bernstein, Laurie Anne Brewer, and Denise N. Green (2018) Scholars’ Roundtable Presentation – Engaging Labor, Acknowledging Maker. DRESS: Journal of the Costume Society of America, Vol. 44, Issue 2.
Green, Denise N. (2018) Book review: Fashioning Identity: Status Ambivalence in Contemporary Fashion by Maria Mackinney-Valentin. Dress: Journal of the Costume Society of America 44(1): 69-71.
Mida, Ingrid, Green, Denise N., and Abby Lillethun (2017) Scholar’s Roundtable Presentation – Technology: Friend or Foe? Dress: Journal of the Costume Society of America(43)2, 119 - 138.
Green, Denise N. (2017) The Best Known and Best Dressed Woman in America: Irene Castle and Silent Film Style. Dress: Journal of the Costume Society of America(43)2, 77-98.
Green, Denise N. and Susan B. Kaiser (2017) Introduction: Fashion and Appropriation. Fashion, Style and Popular Culture. London: Intellect, 145-150.
Green, Denise N. (2016) Genealogies of Knowledge in the Alberni Valley: Reflecting on Ethnographic Practice in the Archive of Dr. Susan Golla. Histories of Anthropology Annual, Vol. X. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 273 - 301.
Green, Denise N. (2016) Cornell's Sesquicentennial: An Exhibition of Campus Style. Catwalk: The Journal of Fashion, Beauty and Style 5(1): Inter-Disciplinary Press, 43 - 62.
Green, Denise N. (2016) Fashion(s) from the Northwest Coast: Nuu-chah-nulth Design Iterations. In Miguel Angel Gardetti and Subramanian Senthikannan (eds.) Ethnic (Aboriginal) Fashion. New York: Springer Publishing, 19 - 46.
Green, Denise N. and Susan B. Kaiser (2016) Men, Masculinity, and Style in 2008: A Study of Men's Clothing Considerations in the Latter Aughts. Critical Studies in Men's Fashion(3)2: 125 - 140
Satinsky, Emily and Denise N. Green (2016) Negotiating Identities in the Furry Fandom Through Costuming. Critical Studies in Men's Fashion (3)2: 107 - 124.
Kaiser, Susan B. and Denise N. Green (2015) Mixing Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Fashion Studies: Philosophical Underpinnings and Multiple Masculinities. In Heike Jenss (Ed.) Fashion Studies: Research Methods, Sites and Practices. London: Bloomsbury.
Green, Denise N. (2014)Hinkiits'am (Paired Serpent Headdresses). Otsego Institute 2010 Alumni Review. Online Publication.
Green, Denise N. (2013) Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations’ Huulthin(Shawls): Historical and Contemporary Practices / Stella Blum Grant Report. Dress: Journal of the Costume Society of America39(2): 153 - 201.
Green, Denise N., Lewis, Van Dyk and Charlotte Jirousek (2013) Fashion Cultures in a Small Town: An Analysis of Fashion- and Place-Making. Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty (4)1: 71 - 106.
Green, Denise N. (2011) Mamuu—La Pratique du Tissage / Mamuu—The Practice of Weaving. Cahiers métiers d'art / Craft Journal5(1): 37 - 59.
Green, Denise N. and Susan B. Kaiser (2011) From Ephemeral to Everyday Costuming: Negotiations in Masculine Identities at the Burning Man Project. Dress: Journal of the Costume Society of America 37(1): 1-22.
Director, Cornell Costume and Textile Collection
Vice President for Publications, Costume Society of America
Faculty Member, American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program, Cornell University
Faculty Member, Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, Cornell University
Graduate Field Member, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University
Editorial Board, Fashion Studies
Faculty Advisory Committee Member, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
Consulting Scholar, Center for Native American and Indigenous Research, American Philosophical Society
Faculty Fellow, Cornell Institute of Fashion and Fiber Innovation
Faculty Fellow, Risley Residential College for the Creative and Performing Arts
Faculty Fellow, Akwe:kon Residential Hall
Committee Member, Philosophical Missions Committee, International Textile & Apparel Association
Member, Society for Visual Anthropology
Member, American Anthropological Association
Member, USA Yoga Federation
Reviewer, Clothing and Textiles Research Journal
Reviewer, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography
As Director of the Cornell Costume & Textile Collection Professor Green curates, advises, and oversees the production of public exhibitions in the Human Ecology Building Terrace Level Display Cases, which are free and open to the public. In the year 2018, the CCTC mounted three major exhibitions: Go Figure: The Fashion Silhouette and the Female Form (November 2017 - July 2018, curated by Rachel Doran '19 and supervised by Dr. Green), TEXTURE (August 2018 - October 2018, curated by Amanda Denham MA '17 and supervised by Dr. Green), and WOMEN EMPOWERED: Fashions from the Frontline (December 2018 - March 2019, curated by students in Professor Green's class, FSAD 6415 Anthropology of the Fashioned Body).
In addition to the Cornell Costume & Textile Collection's public engagement on campus, Professor Green also works with the Seward House Museum in Auburn, NY and the Yates County History Center in Penn Yan, NY. The latter collaboration was formalized through Yates County Cooperative Extension and the CCE summer internship program. With the Executive Director of Yates County CCE, we proposed a summer project with the county's History Center to improve the storage and display of their Costume Collection.
Professor Green has also given interviews and been featured in the national and international media for her exhibitions and research about fashion and social issues. She has been featured on National Public Radio, Vice.com, Elle Canada, and The Washington Times, Her exhibitions have been covered by CNN, Teen Vogue, Fox News, CBS News, Hollywood Reporter, and Quartzy, among other media outlets.
Her CCTC duties also involve coordination and approval of loans of our artifacts to other museum institutions for public display. In 2018 we had items on loan to the Mark Twain House & Museum, Lyndhurst, Olana State Historic Site, and Catherwood Library.
In addition to our galleries, the Cornell Costume & Textile Collection engages the public through various social media platforms that I maintain and update. We publish content to our Instagram - @cornellcostumecollection - and Facebook pages. Professor Green serves as the primary editor for these pages, as well as the Cornell Costume & Textile Collection blog. In 2018, the CCTC blog included 25 posts: 7 authored by undergraduate students, 7 authored by faculty/staff, 3 authored by alumni, and 8 interviews with undergraduate research assistants.
Professor Green also participates in public engagement by giving public lectures. In 2018 her invited speaking engagements included: Ryerson University Fashion School, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (private alumni event), the Tompkins County League of Women Voters, and the Seward House Museum.
Since 2016, Professor Green has coordinated the Cornell Natural Dye Studio and Cornell Natural Dye Garden, entities that serve students, local artists, and the broader community through public exhibitions and gardens.
In the fields of textiles, clothing, design and fashion studies we prepare our students to evaluate and anticipate human needs and desires. Fashioned bodies are an important part of cultural and economic worlds, which means students must consider ethics, social psychology, human behavior and cultural studies alongside design, textile science, anthropometry, fit, and technical design. Our field is interdisciplinary and multi-faceted; therefore, I strive to create a learning environment that challenges students to engage multiple perspectives and think both critically and creatively about textiles and fashion.
FSAD 1250: Fashion, Art, and Design Thinking (every fall)
Introduction to fashion, visual arts, and design that explores aesthetic and cross-cultural dimensions of visual experience. Augmented by slide presentations, artifacts, video, and an Internet-based textbook, lectures emphasize the varieties of visual expression seen in works of art and design. Discusses social, cultural, and historic interpretations of visual expression.
FSAD 3250: Color and Surface Design of Textiles (every spring)
Studio experience in textile dyeing and surface design combined with exercises in color theory. Natural and synthetic dyeing techniques are taught. Students will produce a portfolio of textile surface designs using block printing, shibori, batik, silk painting, silk screen, and stitchery methods. Studio work is augmented by lectures on pattern and color theory illustrated by slides and textile examples.
FSAD 4021/6021: Textiles and Apparel in Developing Nations (Fall 2015 & Spring 2016 / Fall 2017 & Spring 2018)
Introduction to the history of textile and apparel production and global trade in the Indian subcontinent and the contemporary situation of fiber/textile/apparel manufacture in India. The course explores ethical issues (labor, human health and environmental), economics, technological advances and politics, all which affect textile and apparel industries in India. The course culminates in a two-week study tour of the apparel industry in India, focusing on the following cities and apparel parks in surrounding village areas: Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Tirrupur, and Ooty.
FSAD 3000/6000: Natural Dye Studio (Special Studies course for fall 2015, 2016, and 2017)
Studio experience and research experiments with locally sourced natural dyes, culminating in an exhibition of original design work colored entirely by natural dyes. Final project exhibit on display in the Jill Stuart Gallery, Jan. 26 - Feb. 20, 2017.
FSAD 6415: Anthropology of the Fashioned Body (Fall 2016 & 2018)
Graduate course where anthropology and cultural studies concepts and methods are used to study the fashioned body as it is represented in popular media and produced in everyday life. Anthropologists have long been concerned with diverse cultural approaches to modifying the body and producing textiles, dress and other forms of material culture. The course begins by studying early theoretical interventions and attempts to define the field of fashion, followed by the material culture turn and lastly analyzes contemporary research about the production, consumption and representation of globalized fashion. In this course students examine fashion as a site of cultural production and the multiple, overlapping influences of age/generation, class, ethnicity, gender, nationality, ability, race, religion, and sexuality on visual and material production of identity.
FSAD 4010/6000: 150 Years of Cornell Student Fashion (Empirical Research, special topic course for 2014-2015)
Introduction to research methods appropriate to the field of fashion studies, with particular emphasis on oral history, archival- and materials-based methods. Students will develop a practical and theoretical understanding of curatorial practice. The course outcome will be a collaboratively curated costume exhibition about changing fashions on the Cornell campus since 1865, primarily using garments and accessories from the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection.
PhD, Anthropology, University of British Columbia
MS, Textiles, University of California--Davis
BS, (honors), Fiber Science and Apparel Design, 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.
Professor Green maintains the Instagram and Facebook pages for the Cornell Costume & Textile Collection, which also serve the broader department as needed: