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LLC42: Textiles as Expressive Practice in the University Classroom and Campus Community


The members of this Working Group are avid and passionate handwork and textile craft enthusiasts who see making as central to their lives, and seek to establish best-practices of textile making, as an exploratory practice, into the university classroom in service to the aims of Humanities, Social Sciences, and STEM-based courses.

Open to New People

Active since: 2024

  • University of Rochester
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Hobart & William Smith Colleges

Collaborative Goals

  1. To provide support for Working Group members to innovate and experiment with pedagogy that sees making practices as central to academic wellbeing.
  2. To introduce, or continue to work with our university students – as applicable – handcraft skills and techniques that amplify our course objectives.
  3. To introduce to our colleagues beyond this Working Group, opportunities and new strategies to incorporate making, specifically around handwork, into their courses – if they are so moved.
  4. To more firmly establish, and acknowledge, the centrality of textile production, mending, creative problem solving, and viewing handwork as a tool for critical thinking, in the university classroom.
  5. To create a supportive, collaborative, and sharing culture among working group members about what worked – and what didn’t – for our respective classroom assignments, workshops and textile experimentation (in the university setting).
  6. To see making not as auxiliary but central to our journey as academics, and extending this belief that we should not separate making from “academic learning” in the university classroom.
  7. To become better acquainted, through site visits, of working sheep/alpaca farms, of the yarn production process.
  8. To become better acquainted with our local handcraft guilds, such as the Genesee Valley Handspinners Guild, so they can serve as resources and guides and potentially invited guests into the university classroom.

Group Organizers

Hinda Mandell

Professor, Communication, Journalism, Rochester Institute of Technology

Kirin Makker

Associate Professor of American Studies, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Stefanie Bautista

Assistant Professor of Archaeology, University of Rochester

Group Members

  • Cynthia Klima (SUNY Geneseo)
  • Alla Myzelev (SUNY Geneseo)


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