A dynamic online community of crafters, artists and DIY "makers", connected by weblogs, photo sharing applications and social bookmarking websites, has come into existence over the last decade. This paper explores the relationship between accounts of making art and craft objects and the (re)emergence of a rhetoric and figuration of self inspired by the tekhne of practices such as sewing, quilting, knitting, embroidering, pattern drafting and textile design. Drawing on materialist theorisations of subjectivity and actuality, critical approaches to authorship and discussions of the self as narrative project, I will consider three key ideas. Firstly, the relationships between the figuration of self as maker and accounts of the affective (bodily) dimensions of selfhood. Secondly, the inflection of this rhetorical mode by the overtly gendered association of domestic crafts with "women's work". And finally, the implications of using the public space of social media to both facilitate disclosure and open to scrutiny previously private realms.
Crossroads in Cultural Studies: 9th International Conference