Anne Bissonnette, PhD

Associate Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Human Ecology Dept

Contact

Associate Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Human Ecology Dept
Email
anne.bissonnette@ualberta.ca
Address
325 Human Ecology Building
8905 - 116 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2N1

Overview

About

Job/Research Area: Associate Professor, Material Culture and Curatorship, and Curator, Clothing and Textiles Collection.



Research

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

March 2017-2023

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.


Teaching

Students currently supervised and their research topic/area of interest 

Undergraduate Students Research under Direct Supervision:

  • Ann Salmonson (BSC Human Ecology obtained 2014): “Qing Dynasty Embroidery: An Exploration of Historical Tradition and Practice.” Research conducted by the student in China and India during the summer of 2013. University of Alberta’s Undergraduate Research Initiative.

Graduate Students under Direct Supervision:

  • Therese Martinez-Yu (Jan. 2010–Aug. 2013): thesis-based MA, Textiles & Clothing. Completed thesis: “Five Building Blocks: A Study Madeleine Vionnet’s Construction Techniques Explained to the Novice through the Exploration of Five Patterns by Betty Kirke.”
  • Loretta Yau (Sept. 2012–Aug. 2013): thesis-based MA, Textiles & Clothing, withdrew.
  • Carlos Fiorentino (Sept. 2013: PhD program in Human Ecology, co-supervised with Dr. Strickfaden). Dissertation title: “StrC–Rich Prospect Taxonomy on Structural Colour: a Tool for Research to Connect Scientific Knowledge on Nature and Biomimetic Design Innovation.” 
  • Sarah Woodyard (Sept. 2014-Jan. 2017): thesis-based MA in Textiles & Clothing. Completed thesis: “Martha’s Mob Cap? A Milliner’s Hand-Sewn Inquiry into Eighteenth-Century Caps ca.1770 to 1800.”
  • Stephanie Huolt (Sept. 2014-Dec. 2016): thesis-based MA in Textiles & Clothing. Completed thesis: “The Power of Dress Up: Investigating Children’s Perceptions to the Use of Reproduction Period Garments in a Costume-based Museum Education Program.”
  • Yara Saegh (Jan. 2015–Aug. 2017: course-based MA in Material Culture). Practicum Report (and published article): “The Sultan’s Carpet: A Case Study of an Ottoman Cairene Textile in the Collection of the Nickle Galleries.”
  • Meg Furler (Jan. 2017-May 2018: course-based MA in Material Culture). Practicum Report: “Making a Milliner: Connecting Theory and Practice through Experiential Learning at Colonial Williamsburg.”
  • Josée Chartrand (Sept. 2016–Jan. 2019): thesis-based MA in Material Culture). Completed thesis: “Costumes of the Pavley-Oukrainsky Ballet: A Material History Analysis.”
  • Patricia Siferd (Sept. 2016–change of supervisor Dec. 2019: thesis-based MA in Material Culture transition to a PhD program in Human Ecology). Dissertation research while under my supervision: “The Assignat Fan: Stirring the Winds of Change.”
  • Fatemeh Faezi (Jan. 2018–June 2019: course-based MA in Material Culture).
  • Katelin Karbonik (Sept. 2018–Dec. 2020: thesis-based MA in Material Culture). Completed thesis: “Clothing the Medieval Body: A Reconstruction of the Pourpoint of Charles de Blois.”
  • Emma Carr (from Jan. 2021: thesis-based MA in Material Culture).
  • Qi Wang (from Sept. 2021: thesis-based MA in Material Culture).

Graduate Students: Supervisory Committees:

MA, Textiles & Clothing:

  • Committee Member & Chair for the final exam of Lesley Stafiniak (June 2011 – Aug. 2013). Completed thesis: “How Inspirational Sources are Adapted towards Textile Surface Designs.”      
  • Committee Member & Chair for the final exam of Afrin Anowar Biswas (Aug. 2013). Completed thesis: “Characterization of Disability within Design Process.”

MA, Department of Art and Design:

  • External Examiner for Ceren Pektas (Sept. 2014). Completed thesis: “Innovation Through Design: Understanding the Challenges, Improving the Practices of Using New Materials Application in the Building Industry.”

Doctoral Level (within the Human Ecology Department Unless Otherwise Noted):

  • Committee Member, Leanne Page (Dec.2011–withdrawal Dec. 2019) (English and Film Studies Department). Dissertation research: “Bodies, Spaces, and Identities: The Functions of Dress in the Victorian Sensation Novel.”
  • Committee Member, Sandra Tullio-Pow (Nov. 2013-June 2016). Dissertation research: “Exploring the Clothing Taskscape: Mapping the Relationship between Ability and Environment to Design Specialized Functional Apparel for Occupational Rehabilitation Therapy.”
  •  First place winner in the 2017 Student Best Paper Competition at the Doctoral level, International Textile and Apparel Association.
  • Committee Member, Kyung Hwa Eun (April 2018 on) (English and Film Studies Department). Dissertation research: “Frances Burney's Realism and the Ephemerality of Female Shopping.”

Announcements

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.

Award (Design)

  • 2010 individual winner, award for excellence, target market design, International Textile and Apparel Association, for the design and production of “Canadian Greatcoat: Variable Winter Wear for Mild to Subarctic Temperatures” by Dr. Anne Bissonnette.

Awards (Exhibitions) 

  • 2017 Richard Martin Award for Excellence in the Exhibition of Costume (small museum category), Costume Society of America, for the University of Alberta exhibition “Eyewear: Fashion with Vision” (Nov. 2016 – Feb. 2017) co-curated by Dr. Anne Bissonnette, Cybil Cameron, Katelin Karbonik, Naomi Milne, Kathy Mooney, Danielle Peel, and Donnalee Riley. First student co-curated project to receive this prestigious international award.
  • 2011 commendation from the jury of The Richard Martin Award for Excellence in the Exhibition of Costume, Costume Society of America, for the University of Alberta exhibition “In Mother’s Hood: Inuit Packing Dolls from Taloyoak” (Sept. 2010 – Aug.2011) co-curated by Dr. Anne Bissonnette and Christina Williamson, undergraduate student intern.
  • 2009 exhibition finalist, visual arts category, Northern Ohio Live Awards of Achievement: Northern Ohio Live Magazine, for the Kent State University Museum exhibition “Rudi Gernreich: BOLD” (July 2008 – May 2009) curated by Dr. Anne Bissonnette.
  • 2008 Richard Martin Award for Excellence in the Exhibition of Costume (small museum category), Costume Society of America, for a series of three late 18th and early 19th-century exhibitions curated by Dr. Anne Bissonnette held concurrently in Ohio in 2006-07: “Fashion on the Ohio Frontier: 1790-1840,” Ohio Art Council’s Riffe Gallery; “Hair: The Rise of Individuality, 1790-1840,” Decorative Arts Center of Ohio; “The Age of Nudity,” Kent State University Museum.

Award (Teaching)

  •  2017 recipient of the Ed and Peggy Tyrchniewicz Award for Innovation in Teaching, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta.

Courses

HECOL 268 - Survey of Historic Dress in the Western World

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 2022
HECOL 360 - Dress and Culture

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 201.

Winter Term 2022

Browse more courses taught by Anne Bissonnette

Scholarly Activities

Teaching - Fashion History Crash Course in Paris.

20200802 - 20200810

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/

Publications

Towards Transparency, Accuracy, and Reproducibility: Exploring British and North American Key Works on Pattern Research with Clothing Artefacts, 1954-2020
Author(s): Anne Bissonnette, Patricia Siferd, Katelin Karbonik
Publication Date: 8/31/2021
Publication: The Journal of Dress History
Volume: 5
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 8-47
External Link: https://dresshistorians.org/journal/
Improving Improvised PPE: A Custom-fitted, Low-cost, and Reusable DIY Respirator with a Removable Filter
Author(s): Anne Bissonnette
Publication Date: 8/12/2021
Publication: The International Journal of Designed Objects
Volume: 15
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 53-69
External Link: https://cgscholar.com/bookstore/works/improving-improvised-ppe
The Re-Birth of Venus: Neoclassical Fashion and the Aphrodite Kallipygos
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne, and Sarah Nash
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Dress
Volume: 41
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 1-20

The Tea Gown: Origin, Use and Evolution
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: High Tea: Divine Manifestation - East and West, ed. Laurie Barnes
Page Numbers: 118-127

Victorian Tea Gowns: A Case of High Fashion Experimentation.
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Dress
Volume: 44
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 1-26
External Link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03612112.2018.1435347
Travelling Brunswick Day to Evening Reversible Mode
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne
Publication Date: 2013
Publication: Regeneration: Building a Forward Vision/Design Exhibition Catalog
Page Numbers: 85

Canadian Greatcoat: Variable Winter Wear for Mild to Subarctic Temperatures
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne
Publication Date: 2010
Publication: Building Alliances: 2010 Design Exhibition Catalog
Page Numbers: 54

Charles Kleibacker entry
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne
Publication Date: 2010
Publication: Encyclopedia of Alabama
External Link: www.encyclopediaofalabama.org
Tea Gown
Author(s): Anne Bissonnette.
Publication Date: 2010
Publication: The Berg Companion to Fashion. New York: Berg Publisher
Volume: 2010. S.v.

Chado Ralph Rucci
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne
Publication Date: 2005

Fashion on the Ohio Frontier: 1790-1840
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne
Publication Date: 2003

The 1870s Transformation of the Robe de Chambre
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne
Publication Date: 2003
Publication: In A Separate Sphere: Dressmakers in Cincinnati’s Golden Age, 1877-1922, ed. Cynthia Amnéus
Page Numbers: 169-173

Fashion Design
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne, and Betty Kirke
Publication Date: 2002
Publication: Computer Sciences
Volume: 91-94

Charles Kleibacker: Brilliance on the Bias
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne
Publication: Threads
Page Numbers: 66-69

Dessiné d’après nature: Renditions from Life in the Journal des Dames et des Modes 1798
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne
Publication: Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Volume: 38
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 213-237

Doing History with Objects: Betty Kirke and Madeleine Vionnet
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne
Publication: Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture
Volume: 19
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 281-314

Fit for a Sultan: An Investigation of an Ottoman Cairene Carpet in the Collection of the Nickle Galleries
Author(s): Saegh, Yara, and Bissonnette, Anne
Publication: Material Culture Review / Revue De La Culture matérielle
Volume: 85
Page Numbers: 48-63
External Link: https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/MCR/article/view/28668
Introducing Isabel Toledo
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne
Publication: Threads
Page Numbers: 38-43

Marie Louise Renée de Charnay, Co-seigneuresse of Kamouraska, and Transitional 1790s Dress / Marie Louise Renée de Charnay, co-seigneuresse de Kamouraska, et les tenues transitionelles des années 1790
Author(s): Anne Bissonnette
Publication: National Gallery of Canada Review / Revue du Musée des beaux-arts du Canada
Volume: 10
Page Numbers: 1-29
External Link: https://ngcr.utpjournals.press/doi/full/10.3138/ngcr.10-001
Review of Accessories to Modernity: Fashion and the Feminine in Nineteenth-Century France, by Susan Hiner
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne
Publication: Dress
Volume: 38
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 102-104

Savoring the Process: Designer, Educator, and Curator Charles Kleibacker, 1921-2010
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne
Publication: Dress
Volume: 38
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 1-23

Toledo Toledo
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne, and Alix Browne

Worn in Ohio: Research on Clothing and Early Settlement
Author(s): Bissonnette, Anne
Publication: American Folio
Volume: 1
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 1-6