CFP 11.10.2017

Textile & Place (Manchester, 12 Apr 18)

Manchester School of Art, 12.04.2018
Eingabeschluss: 27.10.2017

Patrizia Costantin, MMU MIRIAD

The conference hosted by Manchester School of Art and the Whitworth draws upon Manchester past histories and contemporary associations with textile linked to place.

Textile as a socially dynamic, communicative and active material offers a rich seam of enquiry into how textile participates and influences how we live. This conference seeks to examine how textiles connects with the idea of place in its histories, its production, sustainable future ecologies and in its narratives of migration, sociability and politics.

Textiles as materials are deeply linked to certain places, with associated specialist skills. They signify the nature of cultural identity, particularly relevant in the current socio-economic, political and global developments with Beyond Borders, an exhibition on South Asian textiles on at the Whitworth, providing context to this discussion.


Suggestions for proposals of papers, panel discussions or film feature include but are not limited:

Displacement as site: Textile which encounters the issues of trade with the global narrative of movement and migration.
The domestic site: The domestic site: living with textiles and its relationship to ways of living, locating the relationship between textiles and the home, the interior or the human body and textiles, performing and projecting a gendered, sexual or spiritual identity.
The external site: where textiles creates networks and conversations with and between communities. The presence of textiles as efficient and decorative within the architectural frame. Imaginative spaces to occupy and form alternative environments, connections to site-specific textiles, communities and civic identity. Mapping or remembering spaces through textiles and pyschogeography.
The sustainable place: sustainable sites of material production, the local textile using technology and natural resource for sustainable means.

Collecting textile sites: the importance of histories, site-specific textile stories and traditions which link collector to collection.

We are particularly interested in exploring:

Designing of cloth within a space, functionality and interior aesthetic. The domestic site as gendered and gender explored in its varied forms within the private, intimate or flamboyant textile. Textile as the interior self, with issues of sexuality, relationships, making and homemaking.

The structural textile as a soft membrane and fluid tensile medium. The material of textile, which influences the aspect of the built environment as shelter. Textiles as actor and evocative presence that takes shape within the architectural stage.

Textiles that engages through its practice and familiar materiality, which acts as a means to create dialogue. The social nature of textile as a communicative tool, that operates as a physical and virtual exchange. Conversely textiles as an articulate message carrier and material of protest which asserts socio-political issues of oppression, identity, migration, belief and nationhood.

Discourse on the impact of textile production, consumption and labor, offering solutions to overproduction, waste and making sustainable economies.


Please submit an abstract (up to 350 words for a 20-minute presentation) or film synopsis (up to 350 words) together with a short bio to by Friday 27th of October 2017.

Successful applicants will be notified by mid-January 2018.


The papers presented at the conference will be published in a special issue of TEXTILE: Cloth and Culture 


We welcome papers from, textile artists, artists exploring textiles among other materials, designers, academics, early career researchers, art, fashion and textile historians, curators and archivists, ERCs, PhD candidates.

We also welcome short films and audio-visual work that explore textiles and place for the session ‘Film as textile site’.

This is an opportunity to explore the relationship between textiles and the idea of place which can be interpreted in its widest sense.


Alice Kettle
Professor of Textile Arts, Manchester School of Art,
​Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
Contemporary textile artist
Uthra Rajgopal
the Whitworth
Curator (Maternity Cover: Textiles and Wallpaper)
Curatorial Assistant (South Asian Textiles)

Penny Macbeth
Dean of Manchester School of Art
Manchester Metropolitan University

Patrizia Costantin
PhD Student in Curatorial Practice - Associate Lecture
Research Assistant
Associate Lecturer
Manchester School of Art

​For any queries please contact

CFP: Textile & Place (Manchester, 12 Apr 18). In:, 11.10.2017. Letzter Zugriff 06.07.2022. <>.