Job/Research Area: Associate Professor, Material Culture and Curatorship, and Curator, Anne Lambert Clothing and Textiles Collection.
Research Interests: Dr. Bissonnette is a dress historian, a museum curator and a designer. Her work is rooted in the fields of material culture studies and dress history. Her research explores fashion from the late eighteenth century to the present day, the cut and construction of clothing, how the body and clothes interact, and the convergence between art, fashion and science.
On-going Research Project: “A Revolutionary Decade: Fashion & Material Culture in the 1790s”
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Grant
Summary: The importance of the body in fashion and the radical adoption of street styles by the elite go back to eighteenth-century Europe. This study examines the effects of the French Revolution on European and American style. It asks how 1790s fashion drastically changed to affect and reflect the social order. During this revolutionary decade, clothing was implicated in the changing political, artistic and ideological landscapes of Europe. As people searched for new systems of government, the meaning of dress in France took on additional importance. The research will thus begin in France and expand to places traditionally affected by French style: the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States and Canada. Finding, accessing and analyzing surviving clothing and depictions of dress such as portraits and fashion plates from the 1790s will allow us to understand the journey towards more democratic and body-conscious styles. This project examines the intertwining of fashion with political, cultural and social histories.
Students currently supervised and their research topic/area of interest
Undergraduate Students Research under Direct Supervision:
Graduate Students under Direct Supervision:
Graduate Students: Supervisory Committees:
MA, Textiles & Clothing:
MA, Department of Art and Design:
Doctoral Level (within the Human Ecology Department Unless Otherwise Noted):
Anne Bissonnette in the News
Jan. 15, 2021: "FIDM Collection Conversation" with Kevin Jones (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles, via Instagram Live).
Dec. 7, 2020: "New University of Alberta virtual exhibit explores blurred lines between private, public fashion" by Anna Junker (Edmonton Journal, https://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/new-university-of-alberta-virtual-exhibit-explores-blurred-lines-between-private-public-fashion).
Nov. 30, 2020: "Virtual exhibit explores blurred lines between private and public fashion" by Bev Betkowski (Folio, https://www.ualberta.ca/folio/2020/11/virtual-exhibit-explores-blurred-lines-between-private-and-public-fashion.html).
Aug. 19, 2020: "COVID-19 Mask Update" (14:39 minutes video, TELUS WORLD of SCIENCE). https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=311305923647867&extid=g7Vxa9Xz7ZtjbtYg
June 16, 2020: "Full Webinar| The Science behind the Homemade Mask" (1.5 hrs video, Alberta Craft Council). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9ZZr1rAX0Q&feature=youtu.be
June 10, 2020: "COVID-19 & Homemade Face Masks" (16:24 minutes video, TELUS WORLD of SCIENCE). https://www.facebook.com/EdmontonScience/videos/649322495669463/
June 3, 2020: "Comment fabriquer un masque en tissue" (3:39 minutes video, Radio-Canada). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eS4IMiMzILQ
May 27, 2020: "Costume Society of America Fellow: Anne Bissonnette" (Annoucement at https://costumesocietyamerica.com/costume-society-of-america-fellow-anne-bissonnette/ and Nov. 2020 interview summary at https://costumesocietyamerica.com/interview-with-csa-fellow-dr-anne-bissonnette-is-now-available-on-our-youtube-channel/)
April 11, 2020: "Cloth Face Masks: Merging Science & Home Remedies" (website strated April 11, 2020, University of Alberta). https://clothingtextiles.ualberta.ca/clothfacemasks/
June 2018: "Fashion Forward," by Caroline Barlott in Avenue Magazine, June 2018. Available here.
June 2017: "Consider This: Experiential Learning through Exhibition Curatorship," by Anne Bissonnette in The Quad. Available here.
March 2014: Interviewed for a segment called “Profil de Chercheur” (Researcher Profile) by Lyne Lemieux from Radio-Canada (radio). Aired on the show “La Croisée” on April 14, 2014 (17h 20 - 8 minutes). Available here (in french).
September 2013: “Telling tales through textiles at U of Alberta” by Karen Birchard in University Affairs. Available here.
Introduction to the historical development of dress in the Western World with contemporary applications in design, merchandising, arts performance, education and museums. Resources include the Anne Lambert Clothing and Textiles Collection.Winter Term 2023
The complex phenomenon of bodily adornment is explored in relationship to values, attitudes, activities, beliefs, and forms of knowledge. Clothing is considered in terms of how it is expressive of various aspects of culture. Students develop analytical skills to help them understand the role played by clothing in different times, places, and contexts. Prerequisite: HECOL 268. Normally offered in alternate years.Fall Term 2022
Examines the different ways in which artifacts-from the body to the built environment-are interpreted in physical and virtual exhibitions. The course is designed to include a variety of student interests but pieces from the Anne Lambert Clothing and Textiles Collection will serve as preferred artifacts for assignments. Guest lecturers and site visits add to lectures on museum practices such as handling and mounting, storage, registrarial processes, research and exhibition design. Students co-curate an exhibition as part of the course.Winter Term 2023
Early August (yearly, when possible) to 6 days of classes and 8 nights of accomodations
From ancient Mediterranean clothing to 21st century fashion, join Dr. Anne Bissonnette (Associate Professor, University of Alberta) in Paris, France, for a journey through the historical development of dress. This 6 day course is an immersion into the world of global textiles and apparel and the cultures from which they emerged.
Lectures will occur in the mornings at the Paris American Academy (PAA), within walking distance of many world-class museums. Afternoons will be invested admiring exceptional artifacts at these museums, which will allow participants to better understand the source civilizations and to contextualize dress.
Non-for-credit short course.
For more information, please go to https://alesabroad.ualberta.ca/fashion-history-crash-course-in-paris/