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ARTH 266 Global Perspectives On Fibre: Scrapbook Assignment

February 28th - March 28th, 2018

Students in the 2017 fall semester course “Global Perspectives on Fibre” considered particular examples of the development of fibre art in Western and non-Western traditions. Historically affiliated with craft and viewed as signifier of the feminine and the non-industrial, textiles have at the same time played a key role in capitalist and industrial development. Through specific but linked case studies, the students considered the tactile, sensual and human dimensions of the textile arts, along with the political and social elements of their production and consumption and transcultural aesthetics produced in what Mary Louise Pratt calls the ‘contact zones’ of colonial interaction.

The “Global Perspectives on Fibre,” scrapbook assignment allowed students to explore, through engagement with course themes, their personal selection of six textiles they encountered during the semester. The textiles were to be chosen from a wide variety of locations, such as museums, homes, retail outlets, be made using a variety a variety of techniques and encompass a range of materials. The scrapbooks document the students’ reflections on why they were attracted to each textile, their considerations of how their choice fit within a global context, their analyses of each example’s formal and material qualities, insightful questions about each textile, its production and use and finally their suggestions for consequent research strategies.

The Scrapbook style adopted by each student was a personal choice, the only requirement being that it was easily portable by the instructor.

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