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Dr Elizabeth Kramer

Assistant Professor

Department: Northumbria School of Design

Dr Elizabeth Kramer is a Senior Lecturer in Design History, specialising in transnational fashion, textiles and material culture with a specialisation in fashion and textile exchanges between Japan and Britain.

Before joining Northumbria University in 2009 as Senior Lecturer in Design History, Elizabeth Kramer held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship in Historical Studies at Newcastle University (2007-9), during which time she conducted research on the material culture of manias. This expanded upon her research on the Japan mania in Victorian Britain (1875-1900) conducted during a previous postdoctoral fellowship in Material Culture-Textiles for the AHRC Research Centre for Textile Conservation and Textile Studies (2005-7). Her interest in what we can learn about the participants in, and critics of, manias as informed by the material culture associated with them as well as her interest in Anglo-Japanese artistic exchange stemming from the topic of her PhD, "Art, Industry and Design: Japanese and Anglo-Japanese Textile Culture in Victorian Britain, 1862-1900", completed at The University of Manchester in 2004.

Dr Kramer is a longstanding member of the Design History Society.  In 2019, she convened the Society’s annual conference on the topic of ‘The Cost of Design’, which considered the relationship between design and economy, at Northumbria University (  She is a member of the Editorial Board for Visual Culture in Britain, published by Routledge, and Committee Member for the Society for the Study of Japonisme.  She is also a member of the AHRC Peer Review College. 

Elizabeth Kramer

Currently Dr Kramer is researching how the materiality of garments can be used to understand cultural flows and transcultural identities, as demonstrated in her recent articles investigating the meanings of the global, mainstream fashions for the kimono jacket (Fashion Theory 2019) and souvenir jacket (International Journal of Fashion Studies 2020).  She is also investigating how historians might use fashion garments in a decolonial approach to global/historical studies.  Her contribution as Co-Investigator to the AHRC-funded network, ‘Fashion and Translation: Britain, Japan, China Korea’ (2014-15), led to her involvement as one of the lead authors on Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk (2020), which accompanied an exhibition by the same name at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (, which was the first exhibition in Britain to present the historic and contemporary kimono as a fashionable rather than traditional garment.  Dr Kramer has received funding from the AHRC, Pasold Foundation, British Academy, Design History Society and College Art Association to support her research activities.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Josephine Rout, Japanese Dress in Detail, Kramer, E. 23 Mar 2023, In: Costume
  • It’s all in the fold: an historical, transnational and material investigation to understand the 2010’s kimono jacket trend, Kramer, E. 16 Apr 2022, In: Fashion Theory - Journal of Dress Body and Culture
  • East Asia Global Connections and Fashion Histories, Cheang, S., Kramer, E. 12 Aug 2021, Rethinking Fashion Globalization, London, Bloomsbury
  • Kimono Rental, Tourism and Sartorial Expression, Kramer, E. Feb 2020, Kimono: From Kyoto to Catwalk, London, Victoria and Albert Museum
  • New Vintage – New History? The Sukajan (Souvenir Jacket) and Its Fashionable Reproduction, Kramer, E. 1 Apr 2020, In: International Journal of Fashion Studies
  • Picturing Kimono in Britain, Europe and America, Kramer, E. Feb 2020, Kimono: From Kyoto to Catwalk, London, Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Statement Piece: The Kimono Jacket Trend, Kramer, E. Feb 2020, Kimono: From Kyoto to Catwalk, London, Victoria and Albert Museum
  • The Kimono Craze: From Exoticism to Fashionability, Kramer, E., Savas, A. Feb 2020, Kimono: From Kyoto to Catwalk, London, Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Fashion and East Asia: Cultural translations and East Asian perspectives, Cheang, S., Kramer, E. 1 Oct 2017, In: International Journal of Fashion Studies
  • “Charles Robert Ashbee”, “Aubrey Beardsley”, “Lewis Foreman Day”, “Christopher Dresser”, “Ernest Gimson”, “Ambrose Heal”, “Margaret Macdonald”, “Charles Rennie Mackintosh”, “Augustus Pugin” and “Charles Voysey”, Kramer, E. 5 Nov 2015, The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design, London, Bloomsbury

  • Caroline Gill Christopher Dresser (1834-1904) and Meiji Japan: A Transcultural Approach to Perceived Nationalized Aesthetics in Material Culture Start Date: 01/10/2021
  • Massimiliano Papini Transcultural Fows from Japan to the North East of England 1862-1913: visual and material culture in relation ot the Anglo-Japanese interaction Start Date: 01/10/2016 End Date: 01/07/2022
  • Janine Barker Henry Rothschild and Primavera: The Retail, Exhibition and Collection of Craft in Post-War Britain, 1945 - 1980 Start Date: 25/09/2013 End Date: 11/11/2016

  • History of Art PhD June 30 2004
  • History of Art MA December 01 1999
  • Art BA June 28 1996

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