1st Edition

Encountering Craft Methodological Approaches from Anthropology, Art History, and Design

Edited By Chandan Bose, Mira Mohsini Copyright 2023
    184 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book reflects on the methodological challenges and possibilities encountered when researching practices that have been historically defined and classified as ‘craft.’ It fosters an understanding of how methodology, across disciplines, contributes to analytical frameworks within which the subject matter of craft is defined and constructed. The contributions are written by scholars whose work focuses on different craft practices across geographies. Each chapter contains detailed case study material along with theoretical analysis of the research challenges confronted. They provide valuable insight into how methodologies emerge in response to particular research conditions and contexts, addressing issues of decolonization, representation, institutionalization, and power. Informed by anthropology, art history and design, this volume facilitates interdisciplinary discussion and touches on some of the most critical issues related to craft research today.

    1. Introduction

    Chandan Bose and Mira Mohsini

    2. Critical Cloth: The Contemporary Toile de Jouy Print as Postcolonial Critique in Art and Design

    Stephanie Sabo

    3. On crafting history in a time without craftiness

    Sarah Teasley

    4. Narrating indigo: Telling and re-telling subjectivities of craft in India

    Aarti Kawlra

    5. Disentangling history and practice in the weaving and dyeing course at Kyoto City University of Arts

    Elena Cinelli

    6. Prolegomena for World War I craft therapy for American injured soldiers and Reconstruction Aides

    Jennifer Way

    7. Theorising Indigenous art practice, practicing Indigenous art theories: Māori weaving as research methodology

    Hinekura Smith

    8. Encountering gendered sociality on field: People and objects in Kashmir

    Nikita Kaul

    9. "Writing Practices" and Writing "Practices": Observation and struggle in fieldnotes about artisanal work

    Alanna Cant

    10. Coda

    Chandan Bose and Mira Mohsini


    Chandan Bose is a cultural anthropologist who works on craft production in contemporary India. He is Assistant Professor at the Department of Liberal Arts, Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad.

    Mira Mohsini (she/her) is a trained cultural anthropologist. She has conducted ethnographic research in India on urban craft economies, with a focus on how Muslim artisans adapt, survive, and create in the midst of multiple intersecting forms of marginalization.