Class of 1963 Distinguished Professor for 2010: Regina Root

Areas of Specialization

Root’s research interests include the material and environmental culture of the Americas. She is the editor of The Latin American Fashion Reader (Berg Publishers 2005), which takes a broad look at the influence of Latin American culture on global fashion trends. The volume was awarded the 2006 Arthur P. Whitaker Prize, shortlisted for the 2006 Costume Society of America Millia L. Davenport Award, and chosen as Elle’s book of the month in June 2005 (Argentine edition) and lead title in Berg’s new online library. Couture and Consensus: Fashion and Politics in Postcolonial Argentina, which began as an archival project conducted under the auspices of a Fulbright research grant, was published in 2010 as part of the University of Minnesota Press’s Cultural Studies of the Americas series. In recent years, Root has served as consulting editor of Latin American Women Writers: An Encyclopedia (Routledge 2008), guest editor of Fashion Theory, and as a reviewer or consultant to various agencies, museums, NGOs and publishers. She currently serves on the research council of Raíz Diseño, a transnational network of Latin American designers; as President Ad Honorem of Ixel Moda; and as Past President of the Middle Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies.

Background
Originally trained as a journalist, Regina Root went on to complete her Master’s in Spanish at the University of Iowa and Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures at the University of California at Berkeley (1997). She teaches courses at all levels, including Words of the Earth, Cultural Constructions of the Environment, and Fashioning the Nation. She is also a core faculty member of the Environmental Science and Policy, Latin American Studies, and the Sharpe community scholars program. Her work with students in the field of environmental culture, new media and creative agency are featured in a university documentary on innovations in teaching with technology (scroll to 6:28): http://swem.blip.tv/file/167857/

For the past two years, she has taught a two-semester service-learning course on Ethical Fashion for the Sharpe Community Scholars Program, inspired by work conducted in the field of fashion studies currently. She is also interviewed regularly by the international fashion press, with Canal 23 of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, having dedicated a half hour television show to her research.

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