Book Signing, Presentation of Bulletproof Fashion: Security, Emotions, and the Fortress Body

A composite of Barbara Sutton, left, smiling outdoors in a black shirt and glasses, with a book cover featuring nine illustrations of people wearing various styles, with a red site mark hovering between four of the drawings. The title, white text on a red background, reads "Bulletproof Fashion/Security, Emotions and the Fortress Body/Barbara Sutton.

On Wednesday, October 18, WGSS Professor Barbara Sutton will deliver a presentation on and sign copies of her new book Bulletproof Fashion: Security, Emotions, and the Fortress Body.

Wednesday, October 18, 12 p.m.
Standish Room, 3rd Floor, Science Library, Uptown Campus, University at Albany

Contact: Barbara Sutton

About the Book:
In the context of gun proliferation and persistent gun violence in the United States, a controversial security strategy has gained public attention: bulletproof fashion. In this book, Barbara Sutton examines concerns about security focusing on armored clothing and accessories for civilians. Available for children and adults, such ballistic products include colorful backpacks, elegant suits, sports jackets, feminine dresses, trendy vests, and medical lab coats. These products are paradigmatic of what Sutton calls a “fashion of fear”—the practice of outfitting the body with apparel aimed at maximizing personal security. This fashion encourages the emergence of both a fortress body and an armored society.

Sutton also explores the wider social factors influencing the bulletproof fashion phenomenon, including the inequalities associated with neoliberalism and the militarization of civilian life. The book sheds light on the role of emotions in relation to discourses and perceptions of security, and encourages feminist and sociological studies to pay attention to the linkages between security, bodies, and dress. It is ideal for students and scholars interested in security and gun violence, culture and politics, neoliberalism and consumption, and bodies and emotions.

“Barbara Sutton provides an unflinching consideration of the grim collision of unfettered violence and marketized fear.”
 - Caroline Light, Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Harvard University, USA

“Sutton links this militarised fashion to the security state in a book as important as it is fascinating, as innovative as it is timely.”
 - Laura Sjoberg, British Academy Global Professor of Politics and International Relations, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

“Sutton’s book will help us to understand the powerful interests pushing us in the direction of a militarized society where we are all responsible for our personal safety rather than looking out for one another.”
 - Mary Bernstein, Associate Dean of The Graduate School and Professor of Sociology, University of Connecticut, USA

“Anyone who wants to understand the effects of excessive gun violence in the US should read this surprising and compelling book.”
- Elisabeth Anker, author of Ugly Freedoms