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 a faculty member in American Indian and Indigenous Studies and 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 and a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Apparel Design from Cornell University.
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
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.
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 in 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 much of my research, I 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 (CCTC) and work with faculty, students, and visiting scholars to use our collection for exhibitions, research, and classroom teaching. I am currently researching the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) labeling efforts for an upcoming costume exhibition in collaboration with the Kheel Center.
Green, Denise N. and Susan B. Kaiser
Taking Offense: A Discussion of Fashion, Appropriation, and Cultural Insensitivity. In Sara Marcketti and Elena Karpova (eds.) The Dangers of Fashion: Towards Ethical and Sustainable Solutions.
Green, Denise N.
Book review: Fashioning Identity: Status Ambivalence in Contemporary Fashion by Maria Mackinney-Valentin. Dress: Journal of the Costume Society of America 44(1).
Mida, Ingrid, Green, Denise N., and Abby Lillethun
Scholar’s Roundtable Presentation – Technology: Friend or Foe? Dress: Journal of the Costume Society of America (43)2, 119 - 138.
Green, Denise N.
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
Introduction: Fashion and Appropriation. Fashion, Style and Popular Culture. London: Intellect, 145-150.
Green, Denise N. and Susan B. Kaiser (eds.)
Fashion and Appropriation. Special issue of Fashion, Style and Popular Culture. London: Intellect.
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
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 I curate, advise, and oversee 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 2017 we held three major exhibitions: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue (Feburary - July 2017, curated by undergraduate student, Kennedy Rauh '17 and supervised by Dr. Green and curator of expanded exhibit in summer 2017); Union-Made: Fashioning America in the 20th Century (August - November 2017, co-curated with Dr. Patrizia Sione, ILR School); and Go Figure: The Fashion Silhouette and the Female Form (November 2017 - present, curated by Rachel Doran '19 and supervised by Dr. Green).
In addition to the Cornell Costume & Textile Collection's public engagement on campus, in 2017 I also developed relationships 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. I worked with a CCE intern to assist the Yates County History Center to evaluate the storage and display needs of their collection, advised on best practices, and worked with the intern to manufacture three dress forms sized for 19th century women's bodies (to enable display of garments from this era).
In addition to local outreach in New York State, I have also given interviews and been featured in the wider media and popular press for my work on fashion history. I gave an interview and had my exhibition Union-Made featured in a recent Racked.com article, "How Garment Workers Used Fashion on the Picket Line." Union-Made was also covered by the Ithaca Times and I was asked to give a live interview for WRFI Radio. My work on Ithaca and silent film fashion was also the featured interview for Episode 37 of Unravel: A Fashion Podcast in December 2017. I was also profiled and interviewed for The Laundress and featured on their blog in September 2017.
My CCTC duties also involve coordination and approval of loans of our artifacts to other museum instutitions for public display. In 2017 we had items on loan to the Mark Twain House & Museum, Lyndhurst, and Catherwood Library.
With support from Cornell Alumni Affairs and Development this past fall, we organized Fashion For A Cause, a fundraiser fashion show for the Cornell Costume & Textile Collection. This event took place on September 28, 2017 and brought together alumni, fashion industry representatives, and friends of the CCTC to support our efforts to redesign and improve our collection storage.
In addition to our galleries, the Cornell Costume & Textile Collection engages the public through various social media platforms that I maintain and update. I publish content to our Instagram - @cornellcostumecollection - and Facebook pages. I serve as the primary editor for the Cornell Costume & Textile Collection blog and in 2017 we published three articles by Cornell undergraduate students.
I also participate in public engagement by giving public lectures. In 2017 my public speaking engagements included: Miss Hall's School (Jan. 13), Johnson Museum of Art (Feb. 16), Cornell Reunion (June 9), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (June 23), Cayuga Museum of History and Art (Sept. 21), New York University (Oct. 21), and the Smithsonian Institution (November 27th).
I have also (since 2016) 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 2017 the Cornell Natural Dye Studio exhibited in the Jill Stuart Gallery in January and February. These exhibitions are also free and open to the public.
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: Art, Design, and Visual Thinking (every fall)
Introduction to 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)
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.
I maintain the blog for the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection:
I maintain the Instagram and Facebook pages for the Cornell Costume & Textile Collection, which also serve the broader department as needed: