Dr Prudence Black
BA SACAE Hons Macquarie MA UTS PhD Sydney
ARC DECRA Fellow
A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney
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Gender and Modernity Research Group
Dr Prudence Black is an ARC DECRA Fellow. Prudence completed her PhD in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney in 2009. She has published mainly in the areas of design, modernism, fashion and workplace culture. The Flight Attendant’s Shoe (NewSouth Books 2011) is a design and cultural history that uses the flight attendants’ uniforms to chart the links between the Australian fashion and textile industry and versions of Australian nationalism, militarism, cosmopolitanism, and the corporate world.
Current research projects include a study of occupational dress for disadvantaged and incarcerated women re-entering the workforce, intimacy and affect in home dressmaking, aviation technologies and theories of space and the industrial and gendered history of flight attendants in Australia.
Teaching and supervision
Areas of interest in relation to supervision include women and work, modernity and modernism, fashion and design, corporate culture, aviation and transport, everyday culture and studies around intimacy and affect.
A Modern Profession: The Australian Flight Hostess 1936-1984
She is a member of the Gender and Modernity Research Group, Australian Fashion Studies Network, Australian Modernist Studies Network and the Global Aviation Research Network.
She has had consultancies at the Centre for Olympic Studies, University of NSW, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Museum Business Services and Global Campus Management, NSW Knitters’ Guild, and Pacific Brands.
Awards and honours
• Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Gender and Modernity Research Group
• Editorial Board, The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture
• Editorial Advisory Board, Fashion, Film and Consumption
In the media
‘Bleat! How Australia Fell Off the Sheep’s Back’, co-producer with Catherine Freyne, Hindsight, ABC Radio National, 13 April 2014
'Pink Collar Workers in the Sky', co-producer with Catherine Freyne, Hindsight. ABC Radio National, 29 November 2009.
Plenary and Invited Addresses and Conference Activity
Plenary and Invited Addresses
- I’m so Excited': Flight Attendant Fashion, Films and Performance 1933 to 2013, First International Cabin Crew Congress, Estoril, Portugal, February 2014
- ‘The Speed of Decolonisation: Travel, Modernisation and the 1955': Bandung Conference Postcolonial Justice Symposium University of Potsdam, Potsdam, May/June 2014
- ‘Be Kind to old Horrie’: On Memory, Archives and Living History, Animate Archive symposium, University of Technology, Sydney, 15 August 2013
- ‘New Beginnings: Tacking the Problems of Lookism and the Role of Dress for Success’, with Dr Diane van den Broek, Report Launch with The Hon Justice Elizabeth Fullerton, Clayton Utz, Sydney, 8 August 2013
- ‘The Business Suit: Organizational, but also Social Identity in a Risk Averse World’, Work and Organisational Studies, University of Sydney, June 2013
- ‘Public Administration and Fashion’, Institute of Public Administration of Australia International Congress, Melbourne, 20 September 2012
- ‘Women of the World: The Flight Attendant and Cosmopolitanism’ Minor Cosmopolitanisms Summer School, Potsdam University, Potsdam. July 2012
- “It’s just what you did”: Mothers, Daughters and Sewing in the 1960s, Transforming Cultures Seminar Series, University of Technology, Sydney, March 2011.
- ‘Something for Best, Something for Play: Mothers, Daughters and Sewing in the 1960s’, Biennial International Australian Studies Conference, University of Sydney, November 2010.
- ‘Is an Ecological Modernism Possible?’ The New Modernist Studies in Australia Symposium, University of Queensland, November 2009
Selected Conference Papers and Presentations
- '“I Like Life in my Clothes”: Thoughts on Wearing’, Women and Men in Clothes: On Memory and Wearing Seminar, February 2015
- ‘Flight Plan: Mutidisciplinarity and Aviation Studies’, Aviation Cultures: Science, Technology, People seminar, February 2015
- 'The Speed of Decolonisation: Travel, Modernisation and the 1955' Bandung Conference, ‘Transnational Modernisms’ Australia Modernist Studies Network Conference, University of Sydney, December 2014 and Postcolonial Justice International Conference Potsdam, 2014
- ‘On Boredom: Hometown’, Transforming Cultures Research Group, University of Technology, Sydney, July 2014
- ‘Women in Flight: A Sense of Duty and Keeping the West Connected’, Women in Motion, Australian Historical Association, Wollongong, July 2013
- ‘Architectures of Space: The DC3 Flush Rivets and Flyscreens’, PopCAANZ, Brisbane, June 2013
- ‘What a Woman Should Wear Coming out of Prison’ (with Di van den Broek), Cultural Studies Association of Australia, University of Sydney, December 2012
- ‘Marx, Hegel and Pan Am: Why History Won’t Save the Airlines’, Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference, Sorbonne, Paris, July 2012
- ‘Flying across Disciplinary Boundaries’, Gender and Cultural Studies Seminar, March 2012
- ‘Practices of Intimacy: The Touch of the Cloth’, Modernism, Intimacy and Emotion, Australian Modernist Studies Network, The Grace Hotel, 6-7 February, 2012
- ‘Preempting the Future: Nevil Shute, The Comet, the Constellation and the Holden’, PopCAANZ Auckland New Zealand, June/ July 2011
- ‘Don, Betty and Jackie Kennedy: Mad Men and the 60s’, Mad Men Seminar, Gender and Modernity Group, University of Sydney, November 2010
- ‘Designed to Death: A Single Man’, Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand, UNSW, December 2010
- ‘Better City, Better Life: General Motors takes on China’, PopCAANZ, Vibe Hotel, June 2010
- ‘Strapped to the Drainpipe: Mrs Peel and the Vinyl Catsuit’, Thinking Fashion and Dress Symposium, Gender and Modernity Group, University of Sydney, December 2009
- ‘Taking Flight: Australian Cosmopolitanism and the Qantas Flight Attendant’, ‘Constructing the Past’ conference the Australian Historical Association, University of the Sunshine Coast, June/July 2009
- Fashion Takes Flight: Amy Johnson, Schiaparelli and Australian Modernism’ Women Writers/artists Travelling Modernisms conference, University of Queensland, June 2009
- ‘Airplane Crash’: Performative Utterances’, Post Graduate Seminar Series, University of Sydney, October 2008
- ‘Fitting Like a Glove: From Voltaire to Steve Martin’, Fashion and Fiction Conference, University of Technology, Sydney, May 2007
- ‘The Detail: The Materiality of Time’, Cultural Studies Association of Australia Annual Conference, University of Canberra, December 2006
- ‘The Flight Attendant’s Shoe’, Post Graduate Seminar Series, University of Sydney, March 2006
- 'Lines of Flight: Uniforms in the Jet Age', AAANZ Conference, University of Sydney, December 2005
- ‘Minimal Resistance: Qantas and Australian Cosmopolitanism’ (with Stephen Muecke), Cosmopolitanism and Place: Design and Resistance conference, University of Technology, Sydney, October 2005
- ‘Riot on Angel Street: Popular Responses to the 2004 Australian Election’ (with Stephen Muecke), Elections and Popular Culture. National University of Singapore, February 2005 (invited guest)
- ‘The Discipline of Appearances: Uniforms’, Post Graduate Seminar Series, University of Sydney, November 2004
- ‘The Stain’ (with Peta Shera) Making an Appearance: Fashion, Dress and Consumption Conference, University of Queensland, July 2003
- ‘Flying High: Flight Attendant Performative Fashion’ Making an Appearance: Fashion Dress and Consumption Conference, University of Queensland, July 2003
- A Modern Profession: The Australian Flight Hostess 1936 - 1984; Black P; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA).
Selected publications & creative works
The Flight Attendants Shoe (NewSouth Publishing, 2011)