The theme Hidden Stories/Human Lives presents opportunities to reveal complex and hidden stories of global textile making and coincides with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Yet, just as the voices of women of color, marginalized by the suffrage movement, are only now being recognized, the stories of the many human lives that have contributed – directly and indirectly – to textile making, including enslaved people, immigrant entrepreneurs, and industrial laborers, remain untold. With this Symposium, we hope to get “behind the curtain” to explore the wider human network engaged in textile production, bringing to light hidden stories and excluded voices of all kinds, genders, and colors.
Pamela A. Parmal
Chair and David and Roberta Logie Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Senior Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Assistant Professor of Fine Arts, 3D, Massachusetts College of Art
Adjunct Professor, American History, Oglethorpe University
About the Textile Society of America
The Textile Society of America is a United States 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 made up of scholars and professionals including museum staff and university faculty located in North America. Our 800 members worldwide include curators and conservators, scholars and educators, artists, designers, makers, collectors, and others interested in textiles.
Our Focus on Diversity: Vision Statement
The Textile Society of America, an international organization, recognizes the profound global reach of textiles. We are committed to developing leadership initiatives, membership, and programming rooted in the plurality of textile histories, producers, and purposes. With an eye toward expanding our voices and audience, we will focus on inclusion of underrepresented groups, and advocacy for robust diversity of our personal and professional viewpoints.
Our aim is to be a truly inclusive organization with those involved in it to be as diverse as the textile communities that are served. This is fundamental to the future success of TSA and our ability to contribute to culture and society in the USA and internationally. The range of perspectives and experience diversity brings is an asset to our organization and we want to create an inclusive, welcoming environment for all those who work with us, attend our events, conferences, and workshops, and those who contribute to our journal and publications. We particularly encourage people from all groups currently under-represented in the cultural sector and in public discourse about textiles, social identities, and the creative process to be part of TSA’s future. While recognizing that forms of English have predominated in our organization, we foster and promote dialogue about textiles enriched by diverse languages and ways of thinking about the world, and seek to create or connect with forums in other local, regional, or global languages.