CFP: Crafting Identities. Handicraft Programmes in Times of War, Genocide and their Aftermaths, c. 1890-1950

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13-14 September 2022, Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre at the University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom

The conference aims to bring together historians of war and humanitarianism with art and craft historians to explore the aesthetics and the function of craft in reconstruction and rehabilitation programmes aimed at restoring or re-making the self, the community or the nation, and to consider what material objects can reveal about creative expression, emotional survival and new craft identities and practices in these contexts.

Presenters are invited to talk about, but should not feel limited to:

  • the link between the materials, processes and aesthetics of handicraft objects and the development of craft identities

  • the (re)production of social and gender roles through handicraft programmes in order to (re)build individuals, communities and nations

  • the successes or failures of handicraft programmes to create new identities at a personal, community or national level, particularly after trauma, loss and disability

  • the preservation or loss of cultural heritage for refugees and displaced communities

The conference particularly aims to stimulate conversations between art/ craft historians and historians of war/ humanitarianism, although researchers from other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences are also invited to send in abstracts. We especially welcome presentations that go beyond Western Europe. It is envisaged that a selection of conference papers will be published in a special issue.

Researchers interested in presenting a 20-minute paper at the conference are invited to send a brief abstract of 250 words and a short biography of 150 words by 31 March 2022 to Invitations will be sent out by mid-April 2022.

If covid-permitted the conference will take place at the Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre at the University of Huddersfield but we will organise an online conference otherwise. The University of Huddersfield is a one-hour direct train journey from Manchester International Airport.

Important note: early career researchers may be eligible for small travel grants. Should you wish to apply for funding, please attach a budget and a short rationale for the funding request to your abstract and biography.

Organisers Dr Wendy Wiertz, University of Huddersfield; Dr Rebecca Gill, University of Huddersfield

Engaged speakers Professor Ana Carden-Coyne, University of Manchester; Dr Stéphanie Prévost, Université de Paris; Dr Tetiana Perga, Institute of World History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; Professor Jennifer Way, University of North Texas