Call for papers – Craft and War Session at the Association of Art Historians annual conference, (Newcastle, UK, 1-3 April 2020)
This session investigates relationships of craft and war and considers how they compel a reappraisal of central themes in craft history.
Although we may not readily identify craft as a cultural form associated with war, nevertheless, since its emergence during the 19th century as a hand-based fabrication valued especially for its differences from machine-made goods, craft has been engaged with civil and foreign wars, cold wars, and police and military actions. This session asks: what historical examples, theoretical frameworks, and interdisciplinary approaches illuminate how and for whom craft has mattered in these contexts or address craft’s connections to the politics of wars and to wars’ subjectivities and affects – rage, boredom, loneliness, shock, traumas of dislocation and loss? Why has craft featured in halls of diplomacy, home fronts, battlefields, internment camps, prisons, sites of rehabilitation, and spaces of memorialization? How have technologies of war informed craft practices? What has the mobility of craft contributed to its performance of the cultural and social work of wars? There is also the question of why the long association of craft and war remains untheorized and understudied. What does its emergence during the era of Western modernity suggest about connections between craft and geographies of modernity and their conflicts? How does studying craft and war privilege or trouble West/non-West binaries of culture and power? Craft historiography emphasizes times of peace and prioritizes themes of the domestic, feminine, and indigenous. What new narratives for craft histories might attention to craft and war propose?
Please email your paper proposal—a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper, your name and institutional affiliation by Monday, October 21, to Jennifer.Way@unt.edu