Craft and War

Session Convenor:

Jennifer Way (University of North Texas)

Please email your paper proposal to the session convenor using the Paper Proposal Form


This session investigates relationships of craft and war and considers how they compel a reappraisal of central themes in craft history. To be sure, we may not readily identify craft as a cultural form long 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.

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 memorialisation? How have technologies of wars 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 untheorised 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 emphasises times of peace and prioritises themes of the domestic, feminine, and indigenous. What new narratives for craft histories might attention to craft and war propose?

Submit a paper

Please email your paper proposals direct to the session convenor above, using the Paper Proposal Form

You need to provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper (unless otherwise specified), your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

Please make sure the title is concise and reflects the contents of the paper because the title is what appears online, in social media and in the printed programme.

You should receive an acknowledgement receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenor.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 21 October 2019




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