Traditional crafts, contemporary identities

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This Research & Innovation Doctoral Project brief summarises our priority areas of research interest under the heading of: Traditional crafts, contemporary identities: exploring the FTI Textiles and Dress Collection

We welcome all research degree applications aligned with and in response to this brief.

Project brief details

Now more than ever, there's an environmental imperative to consume textiles more thoughtfully; additionally the continuing discourse around diversity and inclusivity has prompted a re-evaluation of textile art and craft that considers the cultural and historical context as well as the socio-economic circumstances and protected characteristics of often anonymous makers from around the globe.

The Fashion and Textiles Institute's Textiles and Dress Collection houses some 3000 examples of everyday dress as well as the Germaine Greer Archive, which brings together women's textiles gathered during her international travel in the period following publication of The Female Eunuch (1970). Seeking to reveal diverse voices and stories of anonymous craftswomen, Ms Greer's eclectic collection is yet to be catalogued, contextualised or put to academic use.

The Ella McCleod Archive documents a 1940s Leverhulme funded pedagogical study of the relevance of textile craft training, which sought to validate and formalise the existing, but dwindling, skills passed on through generations of British women, re-centring craft as an economically important driver of good design and taste.

Employing an object-based methodology, project proposals that seek to draw out knowledge from the collection in areas such as gender, identity, sustainability and craft would be welcomed.

Strategic alignment

Projects deriving from this brief are expected to sit within the following Research & Innovation programme and department:

DepartmentFashion & Textiles Institute

As successful research degree project proposals must emphasise a clear alignment between the project idea and one or more of our Research & Innovation programmes, we recommend that you review details of the programme aligned to this brief before you complete the application process.

Project brief lead

Julie Ripley
Julie Ripley

Project Brief Supervisor: Dr Julie Ripley

Julie Ripley studied history of modern art, design and film at Northumbria University, where she went on to teach design history whilst completing her masters at the University of Sunderland and writing and editing a local cultural magazine, Vane. She subsequently taught at London College of Fashion, providing academic input into practical courses such as Fashion Design, Fashion Photography and Fashion Styling, as well as at Middlesex University on Textile Design.

Find out more

How to apply

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We welcome all research degree applications aligned with this Doctoral Project brief. ​To apply in response to this brief or learn about the application process click the button below.

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Project brief & project proposal enquiries

To discuss this project brief, ideas or project proposal responding to this brief, please contact: Dr Julie Ripley.


Application enquiries

For all other application related enquires please contact the Research & Development team.


T01326 255831

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