Welcome and Introduction to the 2016 Textile Society of America Symposium Blog

by Deborah First and Anne Swartz, Professors at Savannah College of Art and Design

In October, members of the Textile Society of America (TSA) will travel to Savannah, Georgia to attend the 2016 Symposium, “Crosscurrents: Land, Labor, and the Port.” Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is co-hosting the event with TSA, which is co-chaired by SCAD professors Jessica Smith, Fibers, and Susan Falls, Anthropology.

As SCAD professors in Fibers and Art History, respectively, we will pave the way for the 2016 Symposium through the TSA blog. We hope that this space and place will allow for a meaningful conversation about the current state of textiles, especially in relationship to the conference theme of “Land, Labor, and the Port”. Savannah is a port city, and this Symposium theme highlights how textiles have played a role in everything from slavery to migration to importation. We want to make this exchange of ideas as broad and as big as possible. There are no limits to the topics we will discuss!

In advance of the symposium, we are approaching artists, scholars, curators, and other practitioners about writing blog posts so we can start a serious dialogue that we hope will continue at the symposium (and beyond). If you are interested in participating, drop us a line at and

We already have some incredible artists, designers, writers, and curators committed, and look forward to more in the months ahead. Get ready for the 2016 Symposium! It promises to be an exciting occasion for us to consider this current moment in textiles.