Symposium 2018

Symposium 2018

The Social Fabric: Deep Local to Pan Global
Textile Society of America’s 16th Biennial Symposium

Vancouver, BC, Canada; September 19 – 23, 2018


The 2018 Textile Society of America Symposium will take place in Vancouver, BC, Canada, at the Sheraton Wall Centre. To maximize scholarly interchange, the Symposium will consist of multiple, concurrent sessions, plenary and keynote speakers, a poster session, “Warp Speed” presentations, and exhibitions that intersect with the scholarly program (see call for submissions below). In addition to the Symposium sessions and exhibitions, there will be a series of stimulating pre- and post-conference workshops and study tours to local and regional art institutions and sites, receptions, special programs, and an awards ceremony.


The theme of TSA’s 16th Biennial Symposium is The Social Fabric: Deep Local to Pan Global. Located on the Pacific Rim, Vancouver offers a pertinent setting to probe the impact and influence of settlers and immigration on an already long-inhabited land, and how textile traditions have been influenced, changed, and/or adapted through and by cultural contact. In 2014 Vancouver city council unanimously voted to acknowledge that the city is on un-ceded Aboriginal territory, creating fertile ground for this conversation

We invite participants to examine textiles within the context of the “Deep Local,” defined as knowledge, beliefs, resources, and practices that are profoundly anchored in particular communities and places, which reflect not only the cultures of the original inhabitants but also those of later settlers. We encourage investigations that complicate as well as untangle relationships between people and their place, expressed in and through cloth. How is the Deep Local entwined in materials, processes, and objects that articulate cultural identity? How do textiles fuse and/or adapt in the “contact zone” to become Deep Local? We particularly invite presentations that examine difference and diversity as aspects of the Deep Local, the impact of cross-cultural contact including settlement and colonization, and how globalization both challenges and enriches the Deep Local.

“Textiles as social fabric” allows for the inclusion not only of research of an historical nature but also investigations of contemporary artwork that reflects concerns for the Deep Local and the relationship between deep local and pan global. We welcome historic and contemporary perspectives that focus on disruptions to the social fabric of Deep Local textile processes by global pressures and products, including immigration.

The Board and Organizing Committee regret that pre-conference events of the 2018 Vancouver symposium fall on Yom Kippur. We were unable to avoid this due to the dates that were available for the hotel. We apologize for any inconvenience caused, and hope that those affected will still decide to join us from September 20 – 23. There are many synagogues of all denominations in Vancouver if you care to attend services while here. Thank you for your understanding! 

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.

About the TSA 16th Biennial Symposium Logo

The logo for the TSA 16th Biennial Symposium recognizes the vibrant Aboriginal cultures that continue to practice their traditions in the context of modern Canadian society. More broadly, the image acknowledges the multiple narratives that exist in many places, where (for better or worse) original peoples and settlers create, contribute to, and contest the Deep Local while sharing those particular locations, often in competition, with global interests.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

Vita Plume, TSA President 2016-2018

Academic Program Co-chairs:

Michele A. Hardy, PhD; Curator, Nickle Galleries; Program Coordinator, Museum and Heritage Studies, The University of Calgary

Jean L. Kares, Independent Scholar and Educator, 2016 FPA recipient

Bettina Matzkuhn, Artist and Independent Scholar

 Exhibitions Chair: Ruth Scheuing, Artist and Educator

Proceedings Editor: Lynn Tinley, Independent Scholar and History Professor

Questions? Please contact