Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Our Trip's Dual Purposes

We've been talking a lot in this blog about our research agenda for our upcoming trip: searching for examples of patchwork from Shaanxi Province. Our trip to China has another purpose as well, however: to represent the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at Xi'an Jiaotong University's (XJTU) "University of Nebraska Week."

In April, 2012, the University of Nebraska (NU) and XJTU celebrated the opening of the American Exchange Center, an NU-wide initiative that aims to expose Chinese students and faculty to United States history, law, medicine, art, culture and government. The exchange center is one component of NU’s overall global engagement strategy to build relationships with key nations that will benefit Nebraska and the world. Only 10 such centers won seed funding from the U.S. government after a competitive application process.

This year's celebration of the NU-XJTU partnership will include performances by members of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's School of Music, as well as presentations by members of NU's administration, faculty, and staff. This schedule includes lectures by IQSCM Director, Patricia Crews, and myself. Dr. Crews will be talking about "Nebraska Quilts and Quiltmakers" (a related talk she gave in 2006 can be found here) and I will be speaking on the topic of "Behind the Scenes at the IQSCM," which will include a synopsis of the textile-preservation focused exhibition we produced in 2010, "Quilts Under the Microscope."

A week from today our team will be in Xi'an, and sharing information with XJTU students, faculty, and staff about American quilts and the IQSCM mission will be an important component of our visit.

Marin Hanson is the Curator of Exhibitions at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She holds undergraduate degrees from Grinnell College and Northern Illinois University and earned her MA in museum studies and textile history with a quilt studies emphasis from UNL. She is currently pursuing doctoral research on cross-cultural quiltmaking practices, with particular emphasis on China and the United States.

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