Faculty » Heather Akou, Ph.D.
Phone: (812) 855-5223
PhD - University of Minnesota, 2004
MA - University of Minnesota, 2001
BA - Macalester College, 1998
Prof. Akou joined the faculty as an associate professor in 2004 after receiving her undergraduate degree from Macalester College plus her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Minnesota. She also completed independent study work in Mali on the marketing of factory cloth in that country. Prof. Akou is a socio-cultural historian of dress with a specialty in non-Western cultures and aesthetics, especially African (Somali) and Islamic dress. Her areas of academic research and expertise include fashion theory, aesthetics, the formation of ethnic and religious identities, textile design, and international trade. Prof. Akou’s research has been published in numerous academic publications including the journals Fashion Theory and Dress. Her current research focuses on the role of the Internet in forming a global system of “Islamic” dress as well as the role dress plays in religious conversion. Her book, The Politics of Dress in Somali Culture, was published by Indiana University Press in 2011.
Prof. Akou teaches a variety of undergraduate courses related to fashion and culture, including textiles, cultural aspects of dress, international textiles and apparel trade, and aesthetics.She can also be found at her personal academic website: www.heatherakou.net