Dr. Becky Conekin is a fashion historian, theorist and writer, currently based at Yale University. An American from the Deep South, she earned her PhD in Modern European History from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1998. She has held fellowships at the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, CRASSH at the University of Cambridge, and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.
She is Senior Research Fellow at the European Studies Council, The Whitney & Betty MacMillan Center for International & Area Studies, and Senior Lecturer in History at Yale University. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, prior to moving to Yale, she taught for over a decade at the London College of Fashion where for many years (2004-2009) she ran the MA in the History and Culture of Fashion. She has held visiting professorships in British Studies at the EHESS, Paris; and Humboldt University, Berlin.
Dr Conekin’s first book, ‘The Autobiography of a Nation: The 1951 Festival of Britain', used the 1951 events across the United Kingdom as a prism through which to analyse a society and a government recasting national identity and culture after WWII.
In 2002 she co-edited ‘The Englishness of English Dress’ with Professor Christopher Breward. Then, initially under the auspices of the AHRB-funded, ‘Fashion and Modernity’ project, she started working on writing relating to the life of fashion model, photographer and war correspondent Lee Miller. Dr. Conekin co-edited the special 10th anniversary Fashion Theory (March/June, 2006), dedicated to Vogue magazine, with fashion curator Amy de la Haye, focussing on Miller and Vogue, a project she is currently continuing to pursue with London’s Conde Nast’s support. She has spoken on Miller in Berkeley, Paris, Florence, Berlin, Philadelphia, Toronto, Cambridge and London.
Conekin is also the author of Eugene Vernier: Fashion, Femininity & Form, Essays by Robin Muir and Becky E. Conekin. (Verlag, 2012 in Press). She is the co editor of Moments of Modernity: Reconstructing Britain 1945-1964. Most recently she has published “Fashioning Mod Twiggy & the Moped in ‘Swinging’ London”, History & Technology, and guest edited the special issue of Photography & Culture on “Celebrity & Photography”, (Vol. 4, issue 3, Nov. 2011). She had the great pleasure of speaking at the “Diana Vreeland After Diana Vreeland” symposium in Venice to open the exhibition of the same name at the Museo Fortuny, co-curated by her former colleague Judith Clark. That talk was entitled: “’I suggest that she is refreshing and that you use her’: DV & Models" (March 9-11, 2012). This summer she is completing a book, Lee Miller in Fashion, Thames & Hudson (2013), and at work on her next big book, Pretty Hard Work: A History of Fashion Modelling From the Bomb to Bowie, funded by fellowships from the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust. Her work has recently been discussed in the Huffington Post and Slate.