Saturday, March 16, 2013

World at Your Feet footwear conference: University of Northampton

The importance of shoes in world history has not been lost on a group of global footwear experts poised to convene in Northampton. The town was chosen as host town for the conference because its museum which houses the world's largest collection of shoes. Prof Giorgio Riello (University of Warwick) will be the keynote speaker at the two-day World at Your Feet footwear conference (20th March 2013 - 21st March 2013) to be held at the University of Northampton. His speech "The Art of the Shoe: Poetry and Pornography of a less-than-pedestrian artefact" will touch on the role of the shoe as a fetish object, as art and as a symbol of excess among the wealthy. The event has been organised in association with Northampton Museum and Art Gallery and Northampton Borough Council and will target those from different academic disciplines, including fashion and design, history, sociology, anthropology and ethnography, and psychology. It is also suitable for those interested in fashion and shoes, and aims to encourage debate and discussion about the design, wearing and social significance of footwear from across the world in the past and today. Other papers to be presented at the conference include shoe manufacture in China, the subculture surrounding the shoes of designer Vivienne Westwood, the popularity of Clarks Originals in Jamaica and how World War Two shaped the development of the stiletto in the 1950s.

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