Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Textile Narratives & Conversions: Proceedings of the 10th Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, October 11–14, Toronto, Ontario


Copyright 2006 by the author.


The Textiles, Clothing and Design Department in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska has a graduate program that offers Masters of Arts and Master of Science degrees. Students have the choice of completing a thesis, project or coursework for their degree. Students who elect a project emphasis, notably in textile design and textile history/quilt studies department enroll in a graduate seminar called TXCD 873 Design Perspectives & Issues, which is described in the course bulletin as a:

Seminar [that] combines readings and discussion of contemporary issues in design with creative applications. The course culminates in an exhibition in the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery.

This course requires significant work from the students to prepare for the weekly discussion of assigned readings, participation in and analysis of cultural events and production of exhibition quality creative or curatorial work.

We offer this course in alternate fall semesters and each time we teach it the theme and the readings change according to a topic the faculty member teaching the course decides upon. Fall of 2005 marked the forth time I taught the seminar and the sixth time we had offered it since its inception. The premise of developing the course was that students who do not engage in constructing a formal thesis need to have a forum for developing critical skills outside of the design studio similar to the research methods course required of students completing the thesis option. Because our department has a gallery dedicated to the exhibition of textile and apparel work, we felt it uniquely appropriate to devote a portion of the course to developing work for exhibition according to the theme of the seminar. Thus, we have been offering this seminar for 12 years, gradually increasing the credit hours earned from 1 credit to 3 credits as it became more and more clear how much work the students engaged in over the semester.