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Associate Professor Stella Minahan and her colleague Dr Julie Wolfram Cox explore the world of knitting and its significance. They examine how identity is developed and explored 'as the knitter casts on and off her creations and both draws on and distances herself from traditions of femininity' (p.38).
Minahan and Wolfram Cox argue that knitting groups are sites for gendered identity construction. Through interviews with grandmothers and granddaughters, their findings call for further empirical investigation of the construction of identity through craft. Highlighting again the connection between tangible and intangible culture, they further argue that it is gendered interplay of stories and images of grandmothers and mothers that helps to interpret contemporary young women's craft.
They have based their analysis not only on what was figural and material but also on what was absent or ethereal. They advise that further research into the separation or boundary between presence and absence, between what is discussed and what is deferred, will assist in the further development of the ideas raised in their work.
As Minahan and Wolfram Cox point out, :this study points to the importance of exploring both ethereality and materiality in nostalgic references, for identity has as much to do with distinguishing who we are (and with whom we see ourselves) as who we are not' (p.48).
Associate Professor Minahan and Dr Wolfram Cox's paper has been published in Material culture review : Revue de la culture materielle, vol. 72, pp. 38-50. This journal is ERA-listed and A-ranked in the ERA-2010 schedule. The journal is published by Cape Breton University Press, Sydney, Canada and is accessible at Material cultural review .
Associate Professor Minahan can be contacted at the following email address: