The theme of the 2021 symposium—“Textiles Across Time and Place: Examining a complicated past to create a more sustainable future”—places the story of textiles in our northwest Alabama community into a broader context by providing a timeline of textile history in the United States. This overview discusses the indigenous people who inhabited this area and the fibers they grew through the cotton economy of the antebellum south leading up to the Reconstruction era, sharecropping, and tenant farming. It also maps out the geography from the northeast corridor down through our region of the south, highlighting the once-thriving textile cities and towns.
Symposium speakers focused on the geography of textiles, material culture, sustainable fashion, and clothing of the enslaved. The list of speakers includes Carrie Barske-Crawford, Jessamyn Hatcher and Thuy Linh Tu, Dana Thomas, Katie Randall, Kate Knowles, and Julius Tillery.
This event was in partnership with the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, and Alabama Chanin.
All ticket sales will go to 501(c)(3) certified Project Threadways.
Director of the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area and an affiliated faculty member in the University of North Alabama Department of History
Founder and principal of Afore Preservation, a consulting firm offering historic research in Florence, Alabama
Clinical Professor of the Humanities, Liberal Studies Program/Global Liberal Studies Program, New York University
Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University
University of North Carolina Coordinator for the Black Family Land Trust; Founder of BlackCotton
Assistant Professor/CuratorDepartment of Design and Merchandising/Avenir Museum, Colorado State University
Author of Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes, Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, and the New York Times bestseller Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster