Ilya Parkins

Associate Professor, Gender and Women's Studies


  • MA, Women’s Studies, York
  • PhD, Social and Political Thought, York

Current Projects 


A Cultural Politics of Unknowable Femininity, 1910-39, funded by a SSHRC Insight grant, 2013-17.

A transnational analysis of images of women as spectacularly unknowable in feminized mass cultural domains in the early twentieth century, including the beauty and fashion press, beauty manuals, window display, and film celebrity. The project traces the epistemological implications of such figurations and their relevance to modernity and modernist studies, and contributes to recent feminist interrogations of concepts of visibility, voice, and presence.

Research Interests

  • Feminist social and cultural theory       
  • Fashion and dress        
  • Theories of modernity 
  • Early twentieth-century cultural formations
  • Femininities

Selected Publications


  • Poiret, Dior and Schiaparelli: Fashion, Femininity and Modernity. London: Berg, 2012

  • Cultures of Femininity in Modern Fashion. Ed. Ilya Parkins and Elizabeth M. Sheehan. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England, 2011.


  • “Hurricane Sandy in Vogue: Fashion, Disaster, and Urban Neoliberalism.” Australian Feminist Studies 30, no. 85 (2015): 221-37.

  •  "Fashion" in The Cambridge Companion to Modernist Culture, ed. Celia Marshik, pp. 96-110. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

  • “Texturing Visibility: Opaque Femininities and Feminist Modernist Studies,” Feminist Review 107 (2014): 57-74. 

  • “ ‘Nineteen Funerals’: Ethics of Remembering Murdered Women in a Service Learning Classroom,” Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies 36, no. 2 (2014): 127-43. 

  • “Territories of Knowledge and Nostalgia in Modern Fashion Designer Life Writing.” In Fashion in Popular Culture: Literature, Media and Contemporary Studies, ed. Joseph Hancock, Vicki Karaminas and Toni Johnson-Woods. London: Intellect, 2013: 103-20.

  • (with Lara Haworth) "The Public Time of Private Space in Dior by Dior." Biography 35, no.4 (2012):628-49.

  • " Elsa Schiaparelli and the Epistemology of Glamorous Silence." Topia 25 (2011): 20-25.

  • “Fashion as Methodology: Rewriting the Time of Women’s Modernity.” Time and Society 19, no. 1 (2010): 98-119.
  • “Building a Feminist Theory of Fashion. Karen Barad’s Agential Realism.” Australian Feminist Studies 23, no. 58 (2008): 501-15. 
  • “Teaching Fashion and Feminist Theory: The Pedagogical Project of Ambivalence.” Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy 12, no. 2 (2007-08): 67-82.
  • “Feminist Witnessing and Social Difference: The Trauma of Heterosexual Otherness in Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth.” Women’s Studies 26, no. 2 (2007): 95-116.
  • “Fashion, Femininity, and the Ambiguities of the Modern: A Feminist Theoretical Approach to Simmel.” Georg Simmel in Translation: Interdisciplinary Border Crossings in Culture and Modernity, ed. David D. Kim. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006.

 Professional Service

  • Secretary, Executive Board, Women’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes, 2015-17
  • Member-at-Large, Executive Board, Women’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes, 2012-14


Winner of the 2013 Provost's Award for Teaching Excellence and Innovation (UBC, Okanagan Campus)

  • GWST 100, Gender, Race, Sexuality and Power I: An Introduction
  • GWST 215, Women and Popular Culture
  • GWST 216, Histories of Difference in Feminism
  • GWST 333, Perspectives on Gendered Bodies
  • GWST 335, Feminist Theory in the Humanities
  • GWST 419, Gender, Dress and Fashion: Histories and Theories
  • GWST 430, Femininities

Last reviewed shim10/5/2016 11:45:08 AM


ART 258
Phone:  250-807-9625 
Fax: 250-807-8001

Community, Culture, and Global Studies
Irving K. Barber School of Arts & Sciences
University of British Columbia - Okanagan
1147 Research Road
Kelowna, BC
V1V 1V7

Ilya Parkins