Activation &      Engagement II


Purse or Sewing Basket

Artist/Maker: Harriet Barnwell

Location: North America, United States,Charleston County, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina


Collection: Spurlock Museum of World Cultures at Illinois



Objectives & Focus:


In our continued commitment to the study of material culture, race, and identity in #VastEarlyAmerica, we are pleased to call on historic tradespeople and foodways interpreters, independent makers, business owners, and others who ground their practice of (re)creating objects and other items using traditional or historical methods to participate in 2021’s first Materializing Race event: Activation & Engagement II: Making as Interrogatory Method. 


All historic trades and foodways interpreters, independent makers, business owners, and others who have a craft and/or practice rooted in early American objects or methods (see geography and time period below) with a special welcome to BIPOC, #WomenAlsoKnowHistory, and LGBTQ2+.



This panel will address a variety of topics and questions related to making, such as, but not limited to:

  • How do traditional methods of making intersect with historical issues of race, identity -- and current, urgent conversations?

  • How have historic making traditions, practices, and knowledge been sustained or kept alive over time?

  • What does it mean to continue or perpetuate historic trades or material methods of making or construction?

  • How can reproduction and replication of objects serve as a valid research method? 

  • What can/can not be apprehended from making or reproducing historically grounded objects? 

  • Can reproduction or replication of historic objects operate as a kind of spiritual practice in the twenty-first century?



Friday, April 9, 2021 at 1 to 2PM EST (free audience registration information will be announced soon!)


5-minute presentations for each panelist, followed by group discussion and audience questions, via Zoom, approximately 60 min. total


Geography and Time Period:

#VastEarlyAmerica,1450 to 1830, to include North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean


Recording of Event:

In an effort to safeguard our participants and their creative and intellectual property, this event will not be recorded.

Call for Panelists:

To be considered for participation as a panelist, please complete the brief, one-page online questionnaire below.

Note: If you begin the questionnaire, the form may not save your answers should you wish to come back to complete it at a later time. For troubleshooting, view this article about Google Forms.

DEADLINE: Submissions close at 11:59pm on Friday, March 12th.

Submissions Are Open!

Calling All Makers!

A Note on Participation Transparency


In order to alleviate any concerns regarding our motivation or intention, this call asks for volunteer participants who feel comfortable donating their time and expertise.


Materializing Race is an independent initiative run entirely by volunteers who do not receive compensation for this work. We seek to privilege new and emerging voices who are committed to furthering this type of conversation.

We are grateful to our panelists and participants who generously donate their time and expertise to Materializing Race. Thank you for being the core of our community and the embodiment of our vision.

- The Materializing Race Team

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