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Personal profile

Ancillary activities

  • Palgrave Studies in Fashion and the Body | London | co-hoofdredacteur | 2020-09-16 - present
  • Journal of Design History | London | Redactieraad | 2021-01-28 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Personal information

Jane Tynan is a cultural historian who holds degrees from Ulster University and University College Dublin. Her PhD, from University of the Arts London, explored the significance of military uniform to the cultural legacy of the First World War. She joined Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2020 from Central Saint Martins in London where she taught history and theory of design and led the MA Fashion Critical Studies. Currently she teaches on the BA MKDA and MA Design Cultures at VU. She has supervised several PhDs to completion and has been visiting lecturer at Goldsmiths University of London, Royal College of Art, University of Oxford and University College Dublin.


My interdisciplinary research explores the social, cultural and political life of material things in the past and the present. I am drawn to the commonplace in design, to images, objects and spaces that shape our sense of what is real and what is possible.

Research themes encompass design politics and ethics, alternative histories of design, socio-technical imaginaries, (self-)fashioning citizenship, and intersections of design and violence. Much of my work has revolved around the political significance of the uniform, an embedded social practice critical to the development of policing, military and public service roles in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Other research interests include the (un)sustainability of fashion, improvised design practices within social movements, and utopian thinking in histories of design and technology.

My new book (in the Object Lessons series) concerns the violent imaginaries that inhabit everyday designed objects. Here, the trench coat is a catalyst for an exploration of various twentieth century struggles and preoccupations concerning time, trust, survival, gender, race, conflict, and technology. I have served as peer reviewer for various publishers and journals, including Critical Military Studies, Cultural History, Journal of Material Culture, Fashion Theory, Textile and Technology & Culture. In addition, I co-edit the book series Palgrave Studies in Fashion and the Body and sit on the editorial board of the Journal of Design History.

User created Keywords

  • Design History
  • Trust
  • Solidarity
  • Design Cultures
  • Social Movements
  • Gender
  • Power and resistance
  • Politics
  • Transnational
  • Violence
  • The Body
  • New Materialisms
  • Time


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