[URBANTH-L]CFP: SEA Annual Meeting: "Weaving Across Time and Space: The Political Economy of Textiles" (Los Angeles)

Angela Jancius jancius at ohio.edu
Mon Aug 4 13:15:02 EDT 2008

Annual Meeting: 2009 Society for Economic Anthropology Annual Meeting

"Weaving Across Time and Space: The Political Economy of Textiles"
April 2-4, 2009 at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of 
California, Los Angeles.

Co-Chairs: Walter E. Little (SUNY-Albany) and Patricia A. McAnany (UNC, 
Chapel Hill), Host: Charles Stanish (UCLA-Cotsen Institute)

Call For Papers

Textiles have been a central part of the economies and politics of human 
societies across culture divides and over millennia. The economy of textiles 
provides insight into the fabric of social relations, local and global 
politics, and diverse ideologies. Textile production and exchange represent 
a key node for the intersections of multiple aspects of ancient and modern 
economies, including social-class relations, gender, tourism, exchange, 
commerce, and trans-polity relationships. A political economy of textiles, 
discussed from a broad interdisciplinary perspective, offers ways to 
understand cloth and clothing as parts of mutually constitutive processes 
that shape and reflect economic practices, cultural ideologies, and 
socio-political rank.

Clothing is a material element of society that fosters the study of 
continuities and disjunctions in the economic and social realities of past 
and present societies. From stick-loom weaving to transnational factories, 
the production of cloth and its transformation into clothing and other woven 
goods offers a way to study the linkages between economics and politics.

Paper and Poster-presentation Topics

Topics might include, but are certainly not limited to, the following, as 
they relate to economic practices:

A. Textile production. From ancient to contemporary periods, how has textile 
production articulated with household, regional and global economies? How 
have techniques of production remained constant or changed over time? How 
are relations between gender and power constituted by techniques of 

B. Textiles as trade goods. How do textiles function in ancient and 
contemporary exchange systems as gifts and commodities? What mechanisms 
bring textiles into and out of the household and the marketplace? What is 
the role of textile commodities in core-hinterland economic relations (past 
and present) and exchange across political boundaries?

C. Textiles as symbols. How are textiles important media for political and 
religious iconography? Symbolically embedded, how have elaborate textiles 
been and continue to be markers of social or political standing? How is 
ethnicity reflected by fabric styles, as well as sacred elements of belief 
systems and cosmology?

D. Textiles in touristic process. What role does indigenous textile 
production play in tourism? How do tourist and indigenous economic exchanges 
impact textile production and local economic conditions? What futures does 
tourism development hold for handcrafted textiles and their producers?

E. Textiles within transnational process. How are traditional textiles 
connected to the global economy and what kinds of economic, political, and 
social capital are encompassed by these handicrafts? What changes have large 
clothing factories that employ outsourced labor for multinational industries 
precipitated in developing and developed countries? Why have these factories 
been a focus of controversy among both state authorities and activists 
concerned with globalization and its effects on the developing world?

Poster presentations

At the annual conference, the SEA always welcomes posters on any topic in 
economic anthropology.  Students and scholars whose work may not fit the 
central theme of the meeting are encouraged to submit a poster.  The special 
poster session/reception during the meeting is inclusive and a major event 
of the SEA conference. Poster presenters who focus on the meeting theme may 
be asked to complete a finished paper for publication in the annual volume.

The SEA meetings provide a rare opportunity for a focused and coherent 
program of presentation, with time for critical discussion in a convivial 
intellectual setting. About 15 papers are selected from abstracts for a 
program that allows 20 minutes for presentation and 20 minutes for 
discussion in a single plenary session over two days; around 30 additional 
abstracts will be selected for the poster session. Each SEA conference also 
produces a book on the conference theme. Submitting a paper for the plenary 
session represents a commitment that you wish to be considered for inclusion 
in this volume.

We encourage archaeologists, cultural anthropologists, economists, 
historians, geographers and other social scientists concerned with 
economy-textile linkages. Send an abstract for a paper or poster of 400-600 
words to Walter Little at wlittle at albany.edu or Department of Anthropology, 
AS 245, University at Albany SUNY, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12222 by 
December 1, 2008. 

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