Sarah Anne Carter runs the Center for Design and Material Culture (CDMC) in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and teaches in the Design Studies Department. The CDMC focuses on the study of textiles, material culture and design thinking. The Malkha | Madison project encompasses all three themes as it seeks to design a more collaborative and sustainable world through the production and use of textiles. Carter has published and lectured extensively on material culture and museum practice and received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Harvard and an MA from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture.
A native of Hong Kong, Dorothy Ko teaches Chinese history at Barnard College in New York City. The work of Malkha brings many of her life-long quests–gender, economic, cognitive, and environmental justice–into a full circle. Uzramma’s vision of “reversing the industrial revolution” by rebuilding the organic connections between farmers, spinners, dyers, weavers, users, and other artisans is no longer thinkable in China due to the violence of modern development. What a miracle that this vision is still actionable in India, against all odds. (Photo by Annapurna Mamidipudi)
Yuhang Li is a Chinese art historian in material culture, gender, and religious practice in premodern China at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She encountered Malkha serendipitously. As a daughter in-law of a Mysore born, Tamil speaking Indian woman, who lived in America off and on since the 1960s and wore cotton saris on a daily basis, Yuhang was always amazed by the refined quality of Indian cotton, delightful color palettes and unique designs of her mother in-law’s saris. However, it was not until exploring Malkha that she started to understand the dialectic between the production and consumption of cotton saris. Malkha’s promotion of a sustainable way of living and the autonomy of small growers, spinners, dyers and weavers overlaps with Yuhang’s own research in the process of making as part of devotional practice.
Marina Moskowitz is the Lynn and Gary Mecklenburg Chair in Textiles, Material Culture, and Design, Professor at The University of Wisconsin–Madison. Marina has long had an interest in the “stuff” of human life. Early in her career, she worked in curatorial roles in history museums, using artifacts to engage communities with their local histories. After receiving a PhD in American Studies at Yale University, working on the role of material culture in building national communities of American consumers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Marina moved to Scotland to take up a post in History and American Studies at the University of Glasgow. At Glasgow she taught across various periods and subfields of American history, as well as teaching material culture and public humanities to graduate students and advising a cohort of wonderful doctoral students across a range of topics in political and cultural history, and especially material culture, including the history of textiles. To Marina, textiles are, on the one hand, intimate, and personal—we wear them on our bodies, we sleep under them, we use them to make our homes more private—and on the other hand, so resonant of larger communities, systems of cultural tradition, trade, and other forms of exchange, of both economic and emotional value.
Addison Nace is currently a PhD student in the Design Studies Department at the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her research focuses on cross cultural interactions through textiles and the boundaries of cultural appropriation or appreciation. Her work investigates relationships between makers, designers, museums, and global markets, and aims to strategize how to decolonize these spaces. Addison also serves on the board of Natik, which works with women’s artisan cooperatives and other grassroots organizations in Mexico and Guatemala. Addison is excited by the ideals of the Malkha commons and about building a global network of sustainable, maker-centered fiber producers.
Dr. Annapurna Mamidipudi completed her PhD at the University of Maastricht and is also the founder of an NGO that supports craft livelihoods in South India. She has since trained herself in natural dyeing techniques that were slowly becoming extinct, and actively assisted production processes of artisan groups. Presently she is a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for the History of Science where her project is titled, “Embodying Color: How Color is Made, Mobilized, and Owned in Traditional Craft Practice in South India.”
Born in Hyderabad, Uzramma gathered a random education in England that included artisanal goldsmithing and engraving for printing. Returning to Hyderabad, she has been involved for over twenty-five years in issues connected with the growing, spinning and weaving of cotton, advocating small-scale, dispersed and diverse production chains that could be owned and managed by producers themselves. This is the Malkha ideal: to replace the centralized, hierarchic structures of industry with democratic relations. The Malkha | Madison project is an important step towards this goal.
Artist in Residence:
Hong Huoisa is a Beijing-born visual artist who expands the notion of animation through multiple disciplines such as drawing, performance and mix-media installation. She has experiences in animation and video production, graphic design, and her works have gotten into multiple film festivals and exhibitions nationally and internationally. Huo received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2017 and is currently an MFA candidate at University of Wisconsin–Madison.