Studying Traditional Crafts: Goals and Methods in Higher Education
International Conference "Studying Traditional Crafts: Goals and Methods in Higher Education"
Viljandi, Estonia, November 12–14, 2019
The concepts of tradition and heritage are often associated with preservation of cultural elements from the past. Traditional crafts refer to a combination of patterns, materials, tools – and tacit knowledge acquired from the previous generations through working together, just as one acquires one’s mother tongue. However, any tradition is a result of cultural interaction, adoption to new environments and technological innovations.
In a related way, higher education institutions (HEIs) offering study programs on traditional crafts become increasingly engaged with questions how to preserve and maintain traditional craft knowledge with a future-oriented approach. The academisation of traditional crafts means studying traditional handicraft techniques, carrying out high-quality research in the field and being involved in creative activities. It requires developing new teaching and research methods by combining and integrating specialized expertise in different fields within natural science, humanities and social sciences. However, it brings along many challenges such as economic pressure to adapt to large groups with less contact time; high teachings costs and need for well-equipped labs; balancing between theoretical research and practical training; balancing between tradition and innovation, etc.
Higher education on traditional crafts provides a framework for discussing tradition as a dynamic cultural process and describing heritage as environmental, cultural and societal assets for the continued development of society in local, national and global perspectives. It empowers people to make intentional decisions about their environment and material culture.
The conference provides an opportunity for workers across this diverse range of fields to communicate with one another around the intersections of traditional crafts and higher education in theory and practice. We invite proposals for presentations that explore the role of craft studies in higher education from several related perspectives (the list of sub-topics is not restricted to them):
- teaching/learning approaches; changes in the educational models
- definition of traditional crafts in different countries and contexts
- social responsibility and knowledge transfer: what we do and what is expected of us
- integration between science, technology, entrepreneurship and traditional crafts
- the process of creating a new professional tradition
- research methods and sources (museum repositories and documenting crafts)
- diversity and potential of traditional ways of production in the contemporary society
- professional development opportunities and increasing the level of competence
- philosophy for the reconstruction and preservation
- building local identities and doing international cooperation between HEIs
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
We invite to participate scholars, teachers, students, and practitioners. Cultural workers such as artists, craftsmen, and designers interested in developing knowledge in native crafts and its position in today’s society will find models and inspiration at this conference.
We welcome proposals for individual presentations reflecting the themes proposed above (20 minutes), and for poster presentations. Proposals should include title, name of presenter/co-presenters, name of institution/organization, email address, technological needs, and a 300-word abstract describing your proposed presentation.
The deadline for the abstracts was May 10, 2019.
Please see detailed information of the conference's home page: https://sisu.ut.ee/craftconference2019.
Video recordings of the conference lectures can be found on the event's web page and on University of Tartu web channel.