Applications are open for the Master’s in Critical and Historical Craft Studies at Warren Wilson College. This is the first program to focus specifically on critical theory and history of craft. Designed as a low-residency program, the program is well-suited for working students. WWC welcomes applicants from a variety of disciplines and experiences. The deadline for priority applications is March 1 for consideration for merit-based scholarships and financial aid; additional applications for this new program will be accepted on a rolling basis between March and June 1, 2018.
Craft has received an unprecedented level of academic attention during the past two decades. This burst in scholarship, historical study, theoretical investigation, and curatorial attention connects to parallel interest in material, labor, and cultural practices in the visual arts. The MA in Craft Studies is the first program in the US to focus its curriculum on craft history and theory, and it 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 will investigate research methods from archives to oral histories, public modes of presenting craft from street fairs to museum exhibitions, forms of writing in the field 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 will connect 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.
Students begin each semester in intensive on-site residencies alternating between July on the Warren Wilson College campus and January in downtown Asheville. Residencies initiate a semester study of craft history, research methods, and materials lab. 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 a curated exhibition, curricular development to creating a scholarly symposium, a collection of short form critical writing to a series of podcasts.
The international rotating faculty is drawn from a variety of disciplines, academic institutions and cultural organizations; educators are selected to emphasize craft as a global and multidisciplinary field of study. Students study with Core and Residency Faculty during residencies and semesters, and then work with Mentors selected in their region or connected to their individual research interests. A committee comprised of Namita Gupta Wiggers, Director, along with Faculty, Mentors, and students supports and evaluates each student’s Practicum Project.
Faculty for the summer/fall semester, launching in July 2018 includes: Glenn Adamson (USA), Lisa Jarrett (USA), Benjamin Lignel (France); Linda Sandino (UK), Ezra Shales (USA), Jenni Sorkin (USA), Namita Gupta Wiggers (USA), and Warren Wilson College Work Crew Supervisors and Students.
Faculty and Mentors connected to the program for upcoming and future semesters are not limited to but include: Elissa Auther, Annabelle Campbell, Julie Caro, Sonya Clark, James Darr, Anne Dressen, Daniel Duford, Christian Frock, Bean Gilsdorf, Jessica Hemmings, Ayumi Horie, Suzanne Isken, Garth Johnson, Love Jonsson, Jay Miller, Nicholas Mirzeoff, Perry Allen Price, Aram Han Sifuentes, Lowery Stokes Simms, T’ai Smith, Shannon Stratton, Tara Leigh Tappert, Jorunn Veiteberg, Lisa Vinebaum, Marilyn Zapf, and Emily Zilber.
Warren Wilson College
This master’s in craft joins our first rate 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.
Application deadline: 1/3/2018