The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Jessica Hemmings

Textile & Animation Theory: Who Needs It?

paper considers the development of critical writing about textiles and animation as disciplines that share a common feature of residing in the shadow of disciplines (fashion and film) with established histories of critical writing and theorisation. The pressure for textile theory to ‘borrow’ or ‘make do’ with scraps of fashion theory it can appropriate does a disservice to unique and particular aspects that could benefit from development within textile writing. This paper will attempt a comparison with the field of animation in the hope that new approaches to critical inquiry can be discovered. It will consider how disciplines that use craft-based techniques benefit from critical writing. In particular, the role of fiction will be explored as an alternative tool for critical writing that may prove useful for both textiles and animation.

Biographical statement:
Jessica Hemmings writes about textiles. She also writes about fiction that contains textiles, materials that remind us of textiles and other things, as long as they are interesting. She studied Textile Design at the Rhode Island School of Design, Comparative Literature (Africa/Asia) at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies and wrote her PhD on textiles in Zimbabwean fiction at the University of Edinburgh. Jessica edited In the Loop: Knitting Now published by Black Dog (2010) and is currently Associate Director of the Centre for Visual and Cultural Studies at the Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland.