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Interdisciplinary Modernisms Workshop

Book Cover
Lamar Dodd N104

Please join us for a workshop with Dr. Amy Elkins, Associate Professor of English at Macalester College, where she will discuss her recent book, Crafting Feminism from Literary Modernism to the Multimedia Present (Oxford University Press, 2022).   In the first half of the workshop Dr. Elkins will discuss her book, and in the second half she will lead the attendees in a hands-on crafts workshop, creating eco-printed artists' books (all craft materials will be supplied).


We will pre-circulate a selection from Dr. Elkins' book: "Introduction: The Weaver's Handshake," "Chapter Two: Needlecraft Feminism" (centered on the modernist poet H.D. and her needlework designs), and two examples of short "Techne" interchapters in which Dr. Elkins explores her own practice of the crafts she discusses, and reflects on how craft can serve as material, method, and theory, expanding the modernist archive and the means of engaging it ("Techne III Inky Depths"; "Techne VI Common Threads"). To receive this selection please email Dr. Rosenbaum at


This promises to be a fascinating workshop that considers craft as subject and method, and we hope that you will be able to attend: read what you have time for come regardless. We are also planning to offer a Zoom option, so if you cannot attend in person but would like to attend via Zoom, please email Dr. Rosenbaum for the Zoom info at Dr. Elkins will supply a list of craft materials for Zoom attendees who would like to participate in the hands-on workshop in addition to the opening discussion.


Book description from the Oxford UP website:

Crafting Feminism develops a dynamic study of craft and art-making in modern and contemporary feminist writing. In evocative readings of literary works from Virginia Woolf to Zadie Smith, this book expands our sense of transartistic modernist scholarship to encompass process-oriented and medium-specific analyses of textile arts, digital design, collage, photography, painting, and sculpture in literary culture. By integrating these craft practices into the book's enlightening archive, Elkins's theoretical argument extends a reading of craft metaphors into the material present. Crafting Feminism demonstrates how writers have engaged with handiwork across generations and have undertaken the crafting of a new modernity, one that is queer and feminist-threaded, messy, shattered, cut-up, pasted together, preserved, repaired, reflected, and spun out. 

An avant-garde work of scholarship, this book interweaves queer research methods and interdisciplinary rigor with a series of surprising archival discoveries. Making visible the collaborative, creative features of craft, Elkins captivates readers with generous illustrations and a series of "Techne" interchapters-interludes between longer chapters, which powerfully convey the symbiosis between feminist theory and method, and detail the network of archival influences that underpin this volume's hybrid approach. Foregrounding the work of decentering patriarchal and Eurocentric legacies of artistic authority, Elkins champions the diverse, intergenerational history of craft as a way to reposition intersectional makers at the heart of literary culture. An original and compelling study, Crafting Feminism breaks new ground in modernist and visual studies, digital humanities, and feminist, queer, and critical race theory.

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