Jessica Hemmings

Textile Writer

craft within the university

Who Speaks Now? craft discourse within the university

In our current era of post-truth politics the legitimate power of storytelling risks erosion as a valid form of communication. Stories undeniably wield power. In fact the more overlooked their genre, the more potent they have the potential to be. But the legitimacy of the story and its emotive strategies are often rejected by conventional academic discourse. Stories are not without their controversy, but from human rights abuses to academic silos the inclusion of storytelling can play a pivotal role in dialogues that may otherwise face exclusion.

Craft as an emerging scholarly field shares much in common with previous decades’ development of postcolonial thinking within literary studies. Instead of acting out the poor relation of fine art or design education, craft must build discourse that captures the lived concerns of the discipline without reliance on existing but ill-fitting models. Crucially, if craft scholarship is to avoid alienating the constituents at its very core it must be pertinent rather than peripheral to the practitioner. This presentation asks where stories may find purpose in the developing discourse of craft scholarship and education.

PARSE conference presentation on the exclusion & education panel, Gothenburg November 16, 2017