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Crafting Dissent 2020
(November 16)

November 16, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Crafting Dissent 2020 celebrates the power of craft as a change-agent and as a political tool. The November 16 event includes the book launch of Crafting Dissent: Handicraft as Protest from the American Revolution to the Pussyhats (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019); a workshop with Jodi Colella, whose work is featured in the Fuller Craft Museum exhibition, Human Impact: Stories of the Opioid Epidemic; a trunk show with regional indie dyers; and the opening reception for Stitch by Stitch: Activist Quilts from the Social Justice Sewing Academy.

1:00 – 2:00 pm: Crafting Dissent Panel Discussion, Great Room

2:00 – 2:30 pm: Book Signing

2:00 – 5:00 pm: Indie Dyers Trunk Show

3:00 – 5:00 pm: Opening Reception for Stitch by Stitch: Activist Quilts from the Social Justice Sewing Academy. Refreshments served at 3:00 pm in the Atrium Gallery (outside Great Room).

3:00 – 5:00 pm: Jodi Colella Poppy-making Workshop. Limited to 30 participants. Included with admission.  Click here to register today.

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Crafting Dissent panel discussion

Crafting Dissent: Handicraft as Protest from the American Revolution to the Pussyhats (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019) is the first book of its kind that demonstrates how makers have used craft throughout history—typically involving the manipulation of yarn, thread, and fabric—to resist governmental policy and social norms. A panel, celebrating the fall 2019 publication of the book, will feature contributors to the anthology, including Sarah Kuhn, Lauren Leone, Felicity Lufkin, Diane Ivey, and Sandra Markus.

The panel, moderated by the book’s editor Hinda Mandell, will explore the following questions: What purpose can craft activism serve as an agent of social change? Why do people choose craft as a means to channel their activism, and how has that changed over time? Can craft as activism actually move the needle forward on social progress? Or is it more commentary than activism?


Sandra Markus is a Professor in the School of Art and Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her research interests include craftivism, participatory culture, and civic and political participation in creative online spaces. Her dissertation, (2019) Through the eye of the needle: Craftivism as an emerging mode of civic engagement and cultural participation, examined the political expression and engagement of women in three offline and online craftivist groups. She recently co-authored a paper, Crafting a way forward: Online participation, craftivism and civic engagement in Ravelry’s Pussyhat Project group in Information, Communication and Society. When not in front of a computer, you can find her stitching.

Sarah Kuhn is a professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Her research and teaching focus on how people “think with things” in the classroom and in practice. In addition to leading community mending workshops, she is collaborating with engineers, mathematicians, educators, fiber artists, and the Lowell Fashion Makerspace to develop curriculum that uses textiles and fiber arts to teach STEM concepts. She is a member of the Social Science Advisory Board of the National Center for Women in Information Technology and a Faculty Associate of the UML Center for Women and Work.

Lauren Leone is an artist, board-certified art therapist, and licensed mental health counselor who works with individuals in private and community-based art therapy settings. She is a professor of art therapy at Lesley University and her areas of academic focus include community-based art therapy, socially engaged craft practices, and the unique therapeutic benefits of craft materials and methods for art therapy practice. Her current research focuses on historical and contemporary uses of craft as a form of resistance again social and political oppression and how craft can provide a medium for engaging in art therapy with social justice aims.

Felicity Lufkin is an art historian and a lecturer in the Committee on Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University. Her interest in the cultural politics of art initially lead her to study the art of 20th century China. She is the author of Folk Art and Modern Culture in Republican China (Lexington Books, 2016), which considers how left-wing activists and educated elites sought to co-opt and control established forms of popular art. Her current research focuses on quilting and tattooing, and in particular their parallel resurgence as widely practiced popular art forms in the United States in the late 20th century. She is an enthusiastic quilter, but at the time of this writing, has no tattoos.

Diane Ivey is the founder and creative director of Lady Dye Yarns, a handcrafted yarn company. Ivey spent 16 years in the non-profit sector starting as an Americorps member with City Year Rhode Island and then joining the City Year Boston staff as a program manager. She was also the program support specialist at the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. After attending graduate school she worked for the Boston Foundation as the administrative coordinator for the StreetSafe Boston Initiative and then as the events coordinator at the Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Mass Communication with a concentration in Print Journalism from Georgia College & State University. She also holds a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from Suffolk University. A knitter for the last 17 years; dyer, spinner and crocheter for 12 years, Ivey looks forward to expanding her business.

Hinda Mandell is associate professor in the School of Communication at RIT in New York, and is editor of Crafting Dissent: Handicraft as Protest from the American Revolution to the Pussyhats (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019); co-curator and co-editor of Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism (RIT Press, 2019); a co-editor of Nasty Women and Bad Hombres: Gender and Race in the 2016 US Presidential Election (University of Rochester Press, 2018); the author of Sex Scandals, Gender and Power in Contemporary American Politics (Praeger, 2017) and co-editor of Scandal in a Digital Age (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). Mandell’s website is omghinda.com. She is also on Twitter: @hindamandell and @crochetactivism, and Instagram: @crochetactivism. Mandell is passionate about organizing crowd-created yarn installations public spaces connected to the history of a region’s social-reform movements.

Crafting Dissent 2020 is funded in part by the following cultural councils: Abington, Berkley, Braintree, Bridgewater, Brockton, Canton, Mansfield, Middleborough, Norton, Stoughton, and Whitman.We are grateful for their support.


November 16, 2019
1:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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