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Textiles in a Global World: An Interdisciplinary Conversation<p><strong>Ritchie Garrison</strong> teaches graduate courses for the Winterthur Program and the Department of History, including Material Life in America, Readings in American Material Culture, American Vernacular Landscapes, and Craftsmanship in Early America. He began his career as Director of Education at Historic Deerfield, Inc., in Deerfield, Massachusetts, and came to the University of Delaware in 1985 as the Assistant Director of the Museum Studies Program. In 2006, he became Director of the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture.</p><p>His fields of interests are the vernacular buildings and landscapes, pre-industrial craft, material culture historiography and theory, the history of agriculture, and the Civil War. He is the author of Two Carpenters: Architecture and Building in Early New England, 1799-1859 (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2006), winner of the Vernacular Architecture Forum's 2007 Abbott Lowell Cummings Prize for the best book in North American Vernacular Architecture, and the 2007 Historic New England, Inc. Book Prize. His first book, Landscape and Material Life in Franklin County, Massachusetts, 1770-1860, (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1991) was reprinted with a New Introduction in 2003. Garrison was co-editor with Ann Smart Martin of, American Material Culture: The Shape of the Field (Winterthur: The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, Inc. Distrib. By the University of Tennessee Press, 1997). Presently, he is editing a volume tentatively titled "A Most Affecting Sight: The Diaries of John Ritchie and George Thompson Garrison of the Massachusetts 54th and 55th Black Regiments, 1863-65."</p><p><strong>Kelly Cobb </strong>is Instructor in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies. Her research activities, comprising publications and numerous exhibitions (Italy, Ireland, Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, and beyond), largely focus on sustainable, ethical, socially responsible design practices. She was a participant in "Textiles in a Global World; An Interdisciplinary Conversation" funded by and IHRC collaborative multi-disciplinary grant in 2010. With Martha Carper and Marsha Dickson, she authored "The University of Delaware Sustainable Apparel Initiative: Policies for Apparel Brands and Retailers." Recent grants include: 2010 Cotton Lab; 2010, student project grant, Cotton Inc.; and 2008 Lucas Grant, The Maryland Institute, College of Art.<br></p>2010<p>​Few forms of human behavior are more pervasive than the production and use of textiles. They help navigate the course of empires, organize the work of men and women, inspire the world of fashion and design, shape social performances and spiritual rituals, encourage investments in science and technology, determine farm strategies, and knit together the politics of sweatshops and sustainability. Textiles are hidden in plain sight because they are so common. This symposium on October 1, 2010 considered the role that textiles have played in human culture, with an emphasis on the themes of art, history, science and sustainability. The goal was to foster interdisciplinary conversations and identify the ways in which people and their things intertwine, often with unintended consequences.<br></p>rjg kcobb

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  • University of Delaware
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