QMUL Network: A Conversation on Sustaining Craft Practice in the Digital Era
This vibrant conversation draws on international perspectives to explore contemporary craft practice and economy. Facilitated by feminist craftivist practitioner and researcher Dr Katja May (Goldsmiths), the panel consider the role of communities of belonging and how craft’s quality of hand-made, intimate connection is maintained across digital, development and diversity divides. Panellists include Professor Nick Bryan-Kinns (QMUL) and his AHRC funded project, Digital platforms for craft undertaken in collaboration with Hunan Uni, China; Dr Karen Patel (Birmingham City University) and her AHRC project Craft Expertise or ‘Supporting diversity and expertise development in the contemporary craft economy’; craft practitioner Yemi Awosile, who is active in the development of digital craft economies in Africa; and Suzanna Petot, who is a curator, writer and co-organiser of the interdisciplinary project Decorating Dissidence.
This event was organised by QMUL Network, a centre for the creative and cultural economy, directed by Professor Morag Shiach in the School of English and Drama. Network works to facilitate knowledge exchange and collaboration between the creative industries and research interests at QMUL, towards building a resilient, sustainable and socially inclusive sector.
On Conversation: A Conversation on Conversation
In the last year, conversation has been more important than ever. Celebrating our commissioned exchanges between artists and academics at QMUL, this event launched our week of events by hosting a conversation on the topic of conversation. We asked our panel: How have communications technologies altered the way that we converse with each other? Who is speaking, and who is listening, when we engage in conversation with ourselves? How can we experiment with the form that conversation can take? as they happen in our daily lives. Professor of Human Interaction Patrick Healey examined how conversations make us feel; Professor of Humanities Barbara Taylor discussed philosophies and representations of voice in solitude; and Lecturer in Experimental Cognitive Psychology Magda Osman spoke about the way conversations are brokered. Throughout this panel, Professor of Contemporary Performance, artist and activist of conversation Lois Weaver infused her work designing and facilitating new forms and protocols for conversation.
On the Verse in Conversation: Poetry and the State of the Nation
‘Listen closely, the one language speaks in scattered tongues’, writes poet Nisha Ramayya in States of the Body Produced by Love (Ignota, 2019). As a gathering of scattered tongues, this panel of poets from the UK and US discussed the role of poetry in the national conversation and how poetry helps us take personal and collective action in times of crisis. Nisha Ramayya (QMUL Lecturer in Creative Writing), Meera Dasgupta, 2020 Youth Poet Laureate of the United States; Asia Khatun, poet, founder and editor-in-chief for Thawra; Kashif Sharma-Patel, who as a writer and editor at 87 Press, focuses on queer and racialised experimental work; and Kay Rufai, poet, photographer and filmmaker together explored the power of poetry in creating solidarity, a place of dissent and to challenge state-fuelled crises.