Dr. Jacque Lynn FoltynCollege of Letters and Sciences
Jacque Lynn Foltyn, Ph.D., is a cultural critic, sociologist, and media expert shaping public discourse in a variety of fields. An interdisciplinary trained scholar who is widely educated across the social sciences and the humanities, she is also a social theorist of the human body and an outspoken critic about its exploitation and commodification. Particular interests are fashion, beauty, aging, plastic surgery, death and dying, the corpse, popular culture, diversity, and the social construction of knowledge. Her analyses of the public interest in celebrity deaths, “death fashion” (skull style, corpse chic, and couture skeletons), and corpse porn have an international following; been subjects for scholars, essayists, columnists, bloggers, university courses, and graduate theses; and garnered her invitations as a plenary, keynote, and public speaker. Her studies of quasi-widowhood (gained from her 2005 caretaking of her dying ex-spouse) have been used to train clergy, grief counselors, and hospice workers.
The founder of Catwalk: The Journal of Fashion, Beauty and Style, Foltyn served as its editor in chief from 2011-2016. The author of numerous academic articles and book chapters, she is also editor/contributor of the books Fashions: Exploring Fashions through Cultures; Crafting Allure: Beauty, Culture, and Identity; and Fashion-Wise. She guest edited an award-winning special issue of Mortality: The Corpse in Contemporary Culture: Identifying, Transacting, and Recoding the Dead Body in the Twenty-First Century, and her work has been honored by the American Sociology Association; the American Anthropology Association; the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath; and the San Diego Museum of Art, Ilan Lael Foundation, and Mingei Museum. From 2009-2016, Foltyn led international conferences at Oxford University focused on fashion, beauty, and aesthetics. She chairs the Mission Hills Heritage Oral History Project in San Diego, and is an editorial board member of the Death and Culture Series, published by the Emerald Group.
Foltyn’s cultural criticism is sought by the mass media. She has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, CBS 48 Hours, and in the documentary Take My Nose…Please. She has been interviewed by CNN, BBC, Maclean’s, Inverse, Allure, More, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Sydney Morning Herald, and Brisbane News, among other publications. The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, ABC 20/20, NBC Dateline, 60 Minutes Australia, French Vogue, World Anthropologist, San Diego Union Tribune, Newsweek, Revlon Corporation, and Science Museum of Minnesota have sought her expertise.
Foltyn believes that her intellectual range, love of teaching, and general spirit of feistiness reflect a family upbringing in which her parents not only emphasized education, but also intellectual curiosity and the challenging of received knowledge.
College of Letters and Sciences