Her research interests include African dress and fashion, Islamic fashion, the politics of dress, the embodiment of religion, working-class histories of dress, narratives surrounding dress and the body, and how non-Western and minority dress is represented in museum collections.  Her teaching has included textile labs, cultural aspects of dress, autobiographies of dress and the body, fashion history, fashion theory, and aesthetics.

Interests: Histories of fashion, dress, and the body; laws and politics; museum collections

Heather Akou is a historian of fashion, dress, and the body.

Research + Teaching Interests: textile analysis, design, and product development; Africa and African Diaspora; socio-cultural textiles and apparel; non-western histories of dress; migration and globalization; fashion theory and symbolic interaction

Regional Expertise: Mali

Areas: Socio-cultural history of dress and textile in African and Islamic cultures; fashion theory; aesthetics; the formation of ethnic and religious identities; and textile design.

Past Affiliations
Middle Eastern Studies, Design, Design, African Studies, Anthropology
PhD, University of Minnesota, Design, Housing, and Apparel, 2004
MS, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Design, Housing, and Apparel, 2001
BA, Macalester College, Studio Art, 1998
africa arts and humanities culture fashion or textiles design interior design islam islamic studies material culture
African Studies Association
Arts Council of the African Studies Association
Costume Society of America
International Textile and Apparel Association
Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction
Textile Society of America