Uniforms in Practice


People and bodies are dressed every day. We dress and are being dressed all through our life whether we decide ourselves what to wear, or are instructed to be dressed in certain ways due to corporate dress codes, or for security and functionality in specialized work environments. But how do one practice uniforms and standardized dress codes with an individually sized, shaped, and gendered body? How do uniforms shape micro-practices of authority, equality, power, masculinity, and femininity? How are ideologies of individuality and uniformity negotiated and practiced in everyday life?

The Ethnology section, at the Saxo Institute UCPH would like to invite students and colleagues to reflect upon and discuss in particular the practice of uniform dress codes at the interdisciplinary seminar Uniforms in Practice where international scholars within the field of cultural studies, ethnology, design history and gender studies meets to present their studies of the everyday practices of uniform dressing.


Welcome by Tine Damsholt & Marie Riegels Melchior, University of Copenhagen

Presentations of (approx. 15 min. each) 

Prudence Black, Research Associate, Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, The University of Sydney, “Prison Greens: The Embodied Experience of Incarceration”

Trine Brun Petersen, Associate Professor, University of Southern Denmark & Vibeke Riisberg, Associate Professor, Design School Kolding: “Pockets, Buttons and Hangers: Designing a New Uniform for Health Care Professionals”

Beate Sløk-Andersen, PhD Fellow, SAXO Institute, University of Copenhagen: “Challenging the uniform: Exploring paradoxes of homogeneity in the Danish army”

Mari Bjerck, PhD, Eastern Norway Research Institute: Uniforms and gendered bodies. Notes on how a standardized garment can negotiate gender. 

Helle Leilund, Ph.d. European Ethnology, Currently working at Museum Vestsjælland as a Museum Consultant: “They will kill you if you wear that one here!" Experiences from my field work on uniform working clothes in DSB (Danish Railway) 

Ingun Grimstad Klepp, Research professor at SIFO  Consumption Research Norway, at  Oslo and Akershus University College  of Applied Sciences: “Perspectives and methods in studies of Uniformity”

Lunch break

Round table discussion: Uniformity and uniforms in practice
Moderated by Tine Damsholt & Marie Riegels Melchior, University of Copenhagen

Reception & book presentation
Kate Fletcher
& Ingun Grimstad Klepp (eds.)(2017):
Opening up the Wardrobe. A Methods Book, Nouvus Press.


 (See program as PDF-file)