Faculty Convivium

The Faculty Convivium is a lecture series featuring SUNY Oneonta faculty who present their research and creative activity projects, accessible to the non-specialist, in a collegial atmosphere.

Questions? Comments? Email a member of the Faculty Convivium committee.

Fall 2021 Faculty Convivium #1

Wednesday, October 6, noon-1 pm
Otsego Grille, Morris Conference Center

Bharath Ramkumar (Human Ecology, Fashion & Textiles)

"Peering Through the Lens of Indigenous Women Textile Artisans: An Ethnographic Journey into Northeastern India"


In his theory of alienation, the 19th century philosopher Karl Marx asserted that in a capitalistic mode of production, “man is alienated from his product because the activity which produced it was alienated.” Fast forward to the 21st century, Marx’s prediction couldn’t have been better exemplified than by our relationship to our so-called “second skin” i.e., the clothes we wear. Rapid mass production methods that dominate the modern clothing industry provide minimal room for garment workers to form any real connection with the products they help produce. Moreover, with less than 3% of clothes sold in the US being made in the US, today’s American consumers are detached from the people and processes that produce their clothes.

Upon learning these truths, I asked myself, has industrialization and commodification devoured every inch of this planet? Or are there any hidden remnants of traditionally sustainable apparel production practices existing in our modern world that we can learn from? These very questions drove my research agenda a few years ago, guiding me to the world of indigenous women textile artisans in rural north-eastern India who have preserved and sustained their traditional textile practices in its authentic, eco-friendly form. In this presentation, I revisit my ethnographic journey of uncovering a deep connection between these textile artisans and their art, to answer my research questions.

Link here for flier.

Seating is limited. To reserve a seat please call x2517 at least several days before the talk. Vegetarian meals are available.

While we are unable to offer the traditional Convivium luncheon for the 2020/21 series due to the COVID pandemic, we've been able to present a full slate of Convivium talks in a virtual format followed by audience Q&A. Thank you to Maria Chaves Daza, Matt Murphy, Kiara Pipino, Cynthia Falk, Andrea Fallon-Korb, and Wesley Bernard for your excellent talks (see Previous Speakers/Events link to view these convivium talks). And, a huge thank you to Dave Geasey, who produced our virtual Convivium events.
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