Concordia University

ARTH 614 - Examining the Craft and Artisan Traditions in North America: Arts and Crafts Ethics in Contemporary Craft

T - 12:00-15:00

Vernacular revivals, like that of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain, emerged throughout Europe and North America as antidotes to the growing internationalisation and mechanisation of late 19th century society. Similarly, current DIY (Do-it-yourself) culture in North America claims to be developing alternate economies while ‘craftivism’ takes political, social and cultural action through craft production and process. Consequently, the goal of this seminar is to familiarise students with this historical material and to deepen their understanding of the Arts and Crafts Movement by exploring its continued relevance to these current expressions of craft.

In keeping with the nature of the Arts and Crafts Movement itself, this course will consider expressions of class, gender and ethnicity as well as cultural concepts such as comfort, community, domesticity, labour, skill, tradition and hygiene within a broad discussion of craft practices and objects, including furniture, metalwork, ceramics, jewellery, glasswork, fashion, and textiles. Students will be expected to engage with this material through readings, discussions and primary research.

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