American Studies ETDs

Publication Date



Through a variety of lenses, contemporary crafting is examined as a complex and contradictory gender and class performance that serves as a form of communication among women that both enables and contains oppositional and gender role explorations. Crafting is created through myriad texts which transform into an individual form of expression, a societal spectacle, a fashion trend, a subculture, an addiction, a coping mechanism, an oppositional act, and a means of healing both physically and emotionally. This study investigates how the objects women make and collect reflect and define crafters' negotiations between personal desires and public personas, help them voice their own identities, tell their own stories, and connect with -- or distance themselves from -- other generations of crafty women. The role of objects and their multiple meanings in individuals' lives is examined. Specifically, how objects narrate gender identity and debates, are evidence of resistance to dominant gender and class narratives, enable acceptance of economic and gender norms, and incorporate aesthetics and consumption.




Crafting, Gender, Feminism, Folk Art, Cataclysm, Collecting, Folklore

Document Type


Degree Name

American Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

American Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Rebecca Schreiber

Second Committee Member

Michael L. Trujillo

Third Committee Member

Ronda Brulotte

Fourth Committee Member

Joyce Ice