Photograph: Copyright by Maritime City Photography and used with permission

Day One

March 27th


UVic Campus

10:11:00:  Talk and demonstration by Jean Kares on indigo.

11:15-12:00: University of Victoria Art History and Visual Studies undergraduate student, Claire Aitken, leads a tour of the exhibition she curated, Wrapped, Woven, Embroidered, and Stitched in Tradition: Women and Textiles in 20th c. Asia. The exhibition showcases heritage textiles and garments produced by women from various regions in Asia from the Uvic Legacy Art Gallery and on loan from private collections. The exhibition and Ms. Aitken’s talk highlights gendered textile labor, in contexts such as sericulture, which has historically been the purview of women throughout East Asia.

12:00-1:00: In conversation with the exhibition, kimono expert and independent curator, Hitomi Harama, discusses gendered changes in kimono fashion during the 20th c.

1:00-1:30: Lunch

1:30:- 2:30: Roundtable “Museum Matters” (Susan Bean, Christine Guth, Tzu-I Chung, Cristin McKnight Sethi, Sooa McCormack)

This roundtable brings together local and international curators for a dialogue with the audience on display, authenticity, and revival of heritage textile and garment production and use in Asia.

2:30-4:45: Panel “The Fabric of Identity” (Su Yen Chong, Zabeen Khamisa, Lynne Milgram, Rebecca Hall, Kyunghee Pyun)

Speakers in this panel examine how various examples of Asian textiles convey identity (communal, religious, gendered, national) and how their design, function, production, and meanings changed throughout the long 20th c.

4:45-5:00: Tea Break

5:00-6:00: keynote by Beverly Lemire

6:00-7:00: Screening of Threads: The Art and Life of Surayia Rahman, an award-winning documentary on Bangladeshi nakshi kantha textiles, followed by a discussion with the directors and producers Cathy Stevulakand Leonard Hill. 

7:00: Dinner for participants

Day Two

March 28th


UVic Campus

9:30: Coffee and light catered breakfast for participants on campus

10:00-12:00: panel “Identity and Authenticity: Heritage in Luxury Fashion” (Terza Kuldova, Claire Aitken, Daniel Cole).
In the past few decades, fashion designers in Asia have begun to appropriate styles, motifs, and materials from their cultural heritage in their designs for local and global markets. Presenters in this panel discuss flows of heritage motifs, styles, and materials in the fashion industry. In particular, they consider issues of gender disparities in the workplace, grass-roots revivals of heritage textiles, and the impact of globalization.

12:00-1:00: keynote by Pun Ngai

1:00-1:45: Lunch

1:45-3:15: Panel “Gender, Labor, Risk and Reward in the Garment Industry: The Lives of Those Who Make (and Reuse) Our Clothing” (Dipti Bapat, Melia Belli, Miriam Wattles)

This panel considers both the positive and negative impacts of the global garment industry on women labourers in Asia and concepts of ethical consumerism.

3:15-4:45: Panel:  “Labor, Agency, and Workers’ Rights” (Chaumtoli Huq, Maureen Kilgour, Sanchita Saxena, Emma Alexander)

Presenters discuss the human cost of the fashion industry, and ways policymakers, lawyers, and activists work to improve this.

4:45-5:00: Tea

5:00-6:30: Screening of  “Made in Bangladesh,” a documentary chronicling the lives and working conditions of garment factory workers in Bangladesh in the wake of the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse. The screening is followed by discussion and Q and A with political scientist Sanchita Saxena, who has written extensively about the garment industry and Rana Plaza in particular, and Chaumtoli Huq, Professor of Law at CUNY School of Law (with a focus on labor and employment law and human rights) and founder/editor of the law and media non-profit Law@theMargins.

6:30: Dinner

Day Three

March 29th


UVic Legacy Art Gallery

9:30-10:00 light breakfast for participants at the gallery

10:00-12:00: panel: “Women’s Work: Community, Domesticity, and Textiles” (Amena Sharmin Christin Yu, Millie Creighton, Kim Na-Jung, Medha Bhatt)

This panel presents cases of female professional artists,’ housewives,’ and tourists’ production and repurposing of heritage textiles from their cultural backgrounds.

12:00-12:45: Lunch at the gallery for participants

12:45-1:30: Concluding remarks by Christine Guth.

1:45-2:30: Yolanda Skelton and Caroline Butler-Palmer discuss their students’ collaborative exhibition at the Legacy, Urban Regalia

Westshore Stories, displaying the students’ button blanket robes that are inspired by Canadian Northwest Coast indigenous regalia.

2:30-3:30: RISING: Storytelling with Saris (textile-based performance by Monica Jahan Bose).