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Critical Craft


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Table of Contents

1: Introduction: Taking Stock of Craft in Anthropology Alicia Ory DeNicola, Oxford College of Emory University, USA and Clare M. Wilkinson-Weber, Washington State University Vancouver, USA Part I: Contentions 2: Who Authors Crafts? Producing Woodcarvings and Authorship in Oaxaca, Mexico Alanna Cant, University of Oslo, Norway 3: Forging Source: Considering the Craft of Computer Programming Lane DeNicola, Emory University, USA 4: American Beauty: The Middle Class Arts and Crafts Revival in the United States Frances E. Mascia-Lees, Rutgers University, USA 5: Designs on Craft: Negotiating Artisanal Knowledge and Identity in India Clare M. Wilkinson-Weber, Washington State University Vancouver, USA and Alicia Ory DeNicola, Oxford College of Emory University, USA 6: Nomadic Artisans in Central America: Building Plurilocal Communities through Craft Millaray Villalobos, Direccion General de Migracion y Extranjeria, Costa Rica Part II: Conundrums 7: Number in Craft: Situated Numbering Practices in Do-It-Yourself Sensor Systems Dawn Nafus and Richard Beckwith, Intel Corporation, USA 8: Crafting Good Chocolate in France and the US Susan Terrio, Georgetown University, USA 9: Creativity, Critique and Conservatism: Keeping Craft Alive among Moroccan Carpet Weavers and French Organic Farmers Myriem Naji, University College London, UK 10: Refashioning a Global Craft Commodity Flow from the Central Philippines B. Lynne Milgram, OCAD University, Canada Part III: Conflicts 11: ConflictingIdeologiesof the DigitalHand: Locating the Material in a Digital Age Daniela Rosner, University of Washington, USA 12: Materials, the Nation and the Self: Division of Labor in a Taiwanese Craft Geoffrey Gowlland, University of Oslo, Norway 13: Craft, Memory and Loss: Hand-Embroidery in Zaria City, Nigeria Elisha Renne, University of Michigan, USA 14: Crafting Muslim Artisans: Agency and Exclusion in India's Urban Craft Communities Mira Mohsini, Kalamazoo College, USA Notes References Index

Promotional Information

This collection asks how and why craft is valorized, claimed, and interrogated, using case studies from all over the world, ranging from digital domains and media practice, to textile and ceramic manufacture.

About the Author

Clare M. Wilkinson-Weber is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Washington State University Vancouver, USA. Alicia Ory DeNicola is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Oxford College of Emory University, USA.


Critical Craft is an effective contribution to the anthropology of craft, of work, and of 'thing' or objects. It clearly demonstrates that there is more to crafts of all sorts than 'tradition,' expertise, and 'authenticity.' Anthropologists and others must be wary of assumptions about who does what kind of work or possesses what kind of knowledge, and we must be, like the authors of these quality essays, aware of the (unequal) agency of individuals and groups as they struggle within the field of any particular craft industry. -- Jack David Eller * Anthropology Review Database *
[The book] has extended my understanding of craft as an integral part of contemporary global change ... It puts forward a convincing case for craft as a fruitful topic of study for social science scholars. * International Journal of Education Through Art *
This collection admirably addresses, in cross-cultural perspective, the range of implications of such terms as craft, labor, and artisanship, and energetically deploys the topic as a critique and exploration of modernity as well as of the past. -- Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University, USA
Critical Craft moves the discourse away from the spectacle of the contemporary arts scene and the overly Western bias that prevails in scholarship. It resituates research on production and is as valuable for the questions it raises as for the range of artistic ecologies it mines. -- Ezra Shales, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, USA

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