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November 8-9, 2012
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Paper submissions from senior and emerging scholars are invited for this symposium, which will examine craftâ€(tm)s increasingly urgent role within contemporary American culture. Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the Renwick Gallery, American Artâ€(tm)s branch museum for contemporary craft and decorative arts, this program seeks to broaden the dialogue surrounding craftâ€(tm)s recent histories, and to articulate rapid changes to the field since the advent of the current century.
Scholarship is invited that complicates our understanding of modern craft as a response to mass culture, and that probes the evolution of the field beyond the studio movement. Investigations of post-studio practice, craft education, â€ścraftivism,â€ť DIY (Do-It-Yourself) and Slow movements, converging practices in craft, design, and contemporary art, and shifting attitudes towards technology, skill, and materiality are welcome. How making engages gender, identity, class, politics, economics, the environment, and everyday life are also possible subjects of inquiry. The title of this symposium references modern craftâ€(tm)s history as a regenerative (and often political) force in society, but also Hannah Arendtâ€(tm)s assertion that what fundamentally distinguishes us as a species is our capacity for â€śworld-building.â€ť The value of craft as evidence of diverse human agency is at the heart of this project. Ultimately, this program seeks a pluralist view of craftâ€(tm)s impact on the contemporary American experience.
Proposals must be received by April 2, 2012. Confirmed speakers will be required to submit the text of their 20-minute symposium presentations by October 8, 2012. A final text of the essay with endnotes will be due January 2, 2013, for possible publication in the symposium proceedings. The symposium will be available for viewing in a simultaneous and, later, an archived webcast.By Andrew Offenburger, Sat, January 14, 2012 - 10:59 am