The Future of Dismantle: A Letter from the Co-Founders

Future Dismantle crystal ball on glitter with logo inside

As we come upon the third (!) fall since our 2018 relaunch, we wanted to share all that we’re planning for the upcoming year! It can be hard right now to keep believing things can get better, but one thing that sustains us is our deep conviction that cultural studies can be a powerful tool for social change. We think building this inclusive online community is more urgent than ever, so we’re taking steps to grow our reach. Read on to learn about exciting new developments and how you can get involved! 

Our mission at Dismantle is still to foster an inclusive community around issues related to fashion, culture and politics. At the core of that is building a space for liberatory, progressive education both inside and outside of formal institutions. Cultural studies is a tool that was never meant to stay sealed in college classrooms. And we’ve always wanted Dismantle to be more than a magazine.

So this summer we decided that it was time to take a leap! We are announcing the development of Dismantle Education: an education wing that will allow us to share cultural studies with the world! To begin, we will offer our own short, self-guided online classes that — like the magazine — use cultural studies to create broadly accessible frameworks for understanding “Fashion, Popular Culture and Social Change.” The early phase will also include educational resources and curriculum materials (like the Understanding Culture Toolbox we began developing last year). As we grow, we will add other instructors to lead webinars, workshops and a variety of self-guided and group courses. We’ll start relatively soon with a fundraiser, and then do a soft launch of the new website in January ‘21. If you’d like to support this endeavor now, head over to our Patreon! Patrons will get extra perks like early access and deep discounts on classes.

As for Dismantle Magazine, don’t worry: we will continue to publish critical essays on fashion and culture — and pay our writers for their work! One reason we can grow in new ways is that we’re not a 2 person show anymore. We are very excited to introduce our new features editor, Rebecca Bodenheimer, PhD. Rebecca is another escapee from the Ivory Tower. She’s an amazing freelance writer and editor whose pop culture criticism (among other beats) has appeared everywhere from CNN to The San Francisco Chronicle. We are truly thrilled to be working with her.  

Finally, as we work to grow our audience and our system of support, we’re making changes to our Patreon. First, we are adding new rewards and events to celebrate reaching our funding goals. In fact, when we reach our next goal of $400.00 a month we’ll host a Zoom Happy Hour Chat featuring upcycling expert, designer and writer, Ophir El-Boher! And we’re only $50.00 away! 

Second, starting in November we will begin archiving our older magazine content. This means certain essays will now be available only to Patrons. This was a tough decision for us, as we want articles to be accessible to as many people as possible. But we also need a way to keep ourselves growing and provide more value for the folks supporting us. Don’t worry, though: we’ll do this slowly, and be sure to give notice to our readers on social media.

This year has brought many — err— surprises, and we at Dismantle are doing our best to roll with the punches. But as we look back, we can’t tell you how happy it makes us to see that the Dismantle community has grown in ways we couldn’t have imagined 3 years ago. So we really are hopeful about the future. 

We’d love to hear from you for any reason, especially if you have thoughts on any of these developments or would like to get more involved! Drop us an email Sara AT or Elise AT, or connect via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Patreon.

Sara and Elise discuss the future of Dismantle
Sara (left) and Elise (right) discuss the future of Dismantle