20 February: Hand-weaving as heritage
Hand-weaving as heritage: The making of a "craft tradition" and the politics of cloth in colonial and post colonial south India
Focusing on the biography of a culturally valued cloth, the silk and gold contrast-bordered “wedding sari” of Tamil Nadu in south India, she will discuss the twentieth century construction of hand-weaving as an inherited “craft tradition”. She examines the reformist and revivalist agendas of state and non-state actors and institutions, to foreground the politics of cloth within a wider, hegemonic process of traditionalization of India’s techno-culture in modernity. Some of the questions her research poses include - How was hand-weaving implicated in the construction of a national and regional heritage? Who are the living repositories of this commingled past? Are they mere place-holders of culture or do they have any claims of their own?
Every third Wednesday of the month one of the IIAS researchers will present his/her work-in-progress in an informal setting to their colleagues and other interested attendees, followed by a lunch provided by IIAS. These lunch lectures are organized to give the research community the opportunity to freely discuss ongoing research and to exchange thoughts.