2016 Symposium Call For Submissions

Savannah, Georgia, October 19th – 23rd, 2016

Textile Society of America’s 15th Biennial Symposium: Crosscurrents: Land, Labor, and the Port

Organized in collaboration with Savannah College of Art and Design.

Academic Program Co-Chairs: 

Jessica Smith, Professor of Fibers, Savannah College of Art and Design (

Susan Falls, Professor of Anthropology, Savannah College of Art and Design (

About the Textile Society of America

The Textile Society of America is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides an international forum for the exchange and dissemination of textile knowledge from artistic, cultural, economic, historic, political, social, and technical perspectives. Established in 1987, TSA is governed by a Board of Directors from museums and universities in North America. Our 800 members worldwide include curators and conservators, scholars and educators, artists, designers, makers, collectors, and others interested in textiles.

About Savannah College of Art and Design

Founded in 1978, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) offers 40 majors and 60+ minors taught by 650 full time faculty for 11,000 students at campuses located in Savannah, Atlanta, Lacoste (France) and Hong Kong. SCAD has eight galleries in Savannah, four in Atlanta, two in Lacoste, and one in Hong Kong as well as a major museum space in Savannah.

The 2016 Textile Society of America Symposium will take place in Savannah, Georgia on the campus of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. To maximize scholarly interchange, the Symposium will consist of multiple, concurrent sessions, plenary and keynote speakers, a poster session and curated exhibitions that will intersect with the scholarly program (see call for exhibits below). In addition to the symposium sessions and exhibitions, there will be a series of dynamic pre- and post-conference workshops and study tours to local and regional art institutions and collections, receptions, special programs, and an awards ceremony.

The theme of TSA’s 15th Biennial Symposium is Crosscurrents: Land, Labor, and the Port. We invite participants to explore the ways in which textiles shape, and are shaped by historical, geographical, technological and economic aspects of colonialization and/or globalization. How and why have textile practices moved around? As they travel, how have they been translated, modified, or used within acts of compliance or resistance? What impact have different regimes of labor, consumption, aesthetic valuation, or political/social economy had on textile production, use, and circulation? These questions may apply to contemporary or historical fine art, utilitarian, or ethnographic textiles, which may be addressed through scholarship or creative practice.

Due to its location and history, the southern United States is an ideal place to examine the interaction between local practices and global markets. We encourage contributions that explore textile practice in the broader contexts of agriculture, labor, innovation, or exchange. We welcome historic or contemporary perspectives on the role of technology and alternative economies in shaping design, production, circulation, consumption, exhibition, collection, valuation, interpretation and use of textiles.

TSA seeks presentation proposals from all textile-related disciplines and interdisciplinary areas, including but not limited to history, anthropology, archaeology, art, conservation, geography, design, economics, ethnic studies, history, linguistics, marketing, material culture studies, mathematics, science, political science, sociology, and theater, among others. Participation of international and U.S. scholars, researchers, artists, curators, museum professionals, and others is welcome. Submission of abstracts is open to TSA members.

In addition to our usual submission categories (papers, organized sessions, roundtables, films and other media), we are extending a call for poster sessions and for curated exhibitions. The review committee will select submissions that cogently and directly address the theme of the symposium

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

Submission Categories:

Application forms and detailed submission guidelines for each category are available online:

Or download the PDF Here.


Notification of Acceptance to Presenters and 1st round exhibition proposals (via email): December 15, 2015

Deadline for presenters to submit need-based fee-waiver applications: January 7, 2016

Deadline for 2nd round exhibition proposals: February 12, 2016

Notification of Acceptance of 2nd round exhibition proposals: March 15, 2016

Deadline to Confirm Participation: March 15th, 2016

Registration Opens: May 16th, 2016

Deadline for Presenters to Register: June 15th, 2016