Call for applications: MA in Critical and Historical Craft Studies

Call for applications: MA in Critical and Historical Craft Studies

Warren Wilson College

Catharine Ellis, 2019. Research interview. Photo: Nick Falduto (MA).

December 3, 2018
Call for applications: MA in Critical and Historical Craft Studies

Application deadline: February 1, 2019
Warren Wilson College
701 Warren Wilson Rd
Swannanoa, North Carolina 28778
United States

T +1 800 934 3536
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Building a field: Craft Studies

The term “craft” is employed today across contemporary culture, from beer to luxury cars, handmade pottery to contemporary art. Craft as a subject has received an unprecedented level of academic attention during the past two decades. To meet the needs of a developing field of craft studies, Warren Wilson College offers the first graduate program focused on craft history and theory in a low-residency model, a format designed to increase access to graduate education.

The MA in Critical and Historical Craft Studies brings together a rotating faculty from multiple disciplines and varied cultural and global locations to broaden understanding of craft as a field of study. Students investigate research methods from archives to oral histories; public modes of presenting craft from street fairs to museum exhibitions; forms of writing from exhibition reviews to academic journal articles; and alternative forms of documenting and communicating history, such as podcasts, symposia, online platforms, and curricular development. The program challenges the boundaries of craft and spans media-specific work to craft-like contemporary art, folk art to artisanal explorations. Research as an applied practice is the principle that connects students’ project work in the Swannanoa/Asheville area to that in their own hometowns, offering training in primary and secondary source analysis and experience while studying and shaping a new field: craft studies.

Program design
The graduate program follows a low-residency model. Students begin each semester in intensive on-site residencies alternating between July on the Warren Wilson College campus and January in downtown Asheville at the Center for Craft, the program’s Founding Partner. Residencies initiate independent semester study of craft history, research methods and materials lab, with regular online and off-site meetings with faculty and mentors.

The program consists of 2 years plus one additional residency, in which students share their Practicum Projects. Final projects may take a number of forms, from a formal thesis to exhibition, curricular development to creating a scholarly symposium, a collection of short form critical writing to podcasts.

To Apply
The Master of Arts in Critical and Historical Craft Studies accepts new students once per year for the semester starting in July. Application to the program includes: a personal essay, an object response to one of two objects from the Collection of the Asheville Art Museum, up to three additional materials, two letters of recommendation, and transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate programs, and a phone interview with the Program Director. Applications are available online; contact Nathan Wyrick, Graduate Admissions Counselor at nwyrick [​at​] for program questions. 

Applications received by February 1, 2019 will be considered for a limited number of merit-based scholarships. 

Faculty for 2018–19
Core Faculty: Namita Gupta Wiggers, Program Director, Ben Lignel (France), and Linda Sandino (UK)

Residency Faculty: Glenn Adamson (US), Christina Burke (US), Lisa Jarrett (US), Judith Leemann (US), Ezra Shales (US), T’ai Smith (US/Canada), Jenni Sorkin (US), Lisa Vinebaum (US), Marilyn Zapf (US)

Mentors and Residency Lecturers include: Glenn Adamson, Jeff Arnal, Cindy Buckner, Julie Caro, Dave Ellum, Fabio Fernandez, Louise Goings, Heather Harvey, Gary Hawkins, Faye Junaluska, Stephen Knott, Judith Leemann, Aaron McIntosh, Kristi McMillan, Jay Miller, Ezra Shales, Tara Leigh Tappert, Anna Walker, and Marilyn Zapf

Visit During the Winter Residency
Warren Wilson College invites you to find out how the program fits your interests during our Winter Residency, January 10–12, 2019 in Asheville, NC. Visit classes, craft organizations, public programs, and meet faculty and students. For more information and to register, contact Nathan Wyrick, Graduate Admissions Counselor, at nwyrick [​at​]

Craft Conversation Series
Join our evening classroom, where you can hear how people conduct, analyze, share, and discuss their work on craft history and theory. Craft Conversations is a five-part series organized by the MA in Critical Craft Studies and hosted at the Center for Craft in downtown Asheville. Programs begin promptly at 6:30pm and end at 8:30pm. Programs are free and open to the public; reservations requested through Eventbrite.

January 5: T’ai Smith and Namita Wiggers

January 8: Lisa Vinebaum and Linda Sandino

January 10: Ben Lignel and Judith Leemann

January 15: Christina Burke and Marilyn Zapf

January 16: The MA in Craft Studies at Warren Wilson College + Student Pecha Kucha

Warren Wilson College
This master’s in craft joins our acclaimed MFA in creative writing as one of only two graduate programs at Warren Wilson. Warren Wilson is an independent, liberal arts college in Asheville, North Carolina, and is the only national liberal arts college with integrated work and service components.

All of Warren Wilson’s degrees are accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools: Council on Colleges.

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Warren Wilson College
December 3, 2018

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