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Weaving Stories: Textiles, Fabrics, and Feminism in South India

Bangalore, India

Term Offered: 
Approximate Dates of Instruction: 
January 3, 2018 to March 9, 2018
Application Deadline: 
October 10, 2017
Information Session: Monday, May 22nd, 10AM, Padelford C101

This program is co-sponsored by English and the South Asia Center.

What is the relationship between textiles and technology, globalization and gabardine, or craftsmanship and class? The “Weaving Stories” program in South India seeks to answer such questions by focusing on Indian weavers who thread together creativity and artistry in sarees, carpets, clothing, and handicrafts, as well as the ways that weaving traditions are embedded in broader cultural, social, and global relationships.

We will look at the historical and contemporary significance of weaving from political statements made by Gandhi and his followers during the anti-colonial struggle for independence, and to the rallying cry for urban textile workers organizing for fair wages and safe working conditions. How did colonialism influence weaving? How do gender, sexuality, and class operate in these weaving spaces? What is the role of globalization in shaping this centuries-old craft?

By visiting weaving centers throughout South India as well as hands-on experiences and engagement with films, readings, and local Indian experts and activists, we will explore the textiles of South India, the women who weave, and the stories that accompany the history and culture of cloth.

  • CHID 390 / JSIS 485 or 392: Indian Expressions (5 Credits)
  • ENGL 316 / JSIS A 316: Postcolonial Literatures & Cultural Studies (5 Credits)
  • CHID 474 / JSIS 392: Asia Study Abroad (5 credits)
Fulfills Requirements: 
CHID Gateways
CHID Power & Difference
CHID 390
VLPA Credit
Total Program Fees: 

*Note that the fees stated above do not include some additional costs, including, but not limited to: airfare, Study Abroad Insurance ($2/day), and personal spending money. Remember that these costs will differ by program. Be sure to read our Fees, Financing, and Withdrawal information for details about the fee structure and payment schedule.