Event — Conference

POSTPONED Textiles in Motion & Transit

POSTPONED - New dates to be announced in September/October 2020
Textiles in Motion & Transit explores the lives of textiles—their displacements and transformations—within the Asia-Pacific region as well as between the region and the rest of the world.

Textiles in Motion & Transit conference postponed
After careful consideration of the current circumstances, the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken worldwide, the Conference Committee, has taken the difficult decision to postpone the conference Textiles in Motion & Transit, which was originally scheduled from 5-7 October 2020 in Leiden, The Netherlands.

New Dates to be announced
We are carefully monitoring the situation and will announce the new dates in due course. 

We look forward to holding the conference in 2021, which will give participants the opportunity to present and discuss their work, participate in practical workshops, make valued connections, and build collaborations with colleagues around the world.

If you would like to stay informed about the Textiles in Motion & Transit activities, please submit your contact details via our online form.

There will be no new call for proposals. All individual presentation proposals that have been accepted for presentation will remain in the programme. 


    History is filled with references to textiles. Beyond their practical function to provide warmth and protection, textiles play a central role in social, economic, and spiritual interactions. Textiles and clothing speak volumes about the hierarchy of power relations amongst their users, including power that defines stratifications of class, wealth, and gender. Textiles also act as repositories of spiritual power that can be tapped into by following the correct prescriptions. These meanings and values of textiles are culture-specific, often unspoken, but fully understood within a given tradition. Due to their portability, however, textiles regularly move to and transit through foreign places. On these journeys and in their new environments, they sometimes lose their original values, acquire new significance, or communicate altered messages.

    Textiles in Motion & Transit explores the lives of textiles—their displacements and transformations—within the Asia-Pacific region as well as between the region and the rest of the world. In this conference more than 50 scholars from 15 countries have been invited to investigate the materiality, the making, and the use and reuse of textiles outside the contexts of their original cultures. In broad terms, their papers look into the agents that facilitate textile movements, the forces that contribute to accumulating new meanings, and the circumstances that allow these transformations to take place. One entry point of discussion is the global trade network, which resulted in cultural exchanges as in the case of Indian chintz trades and the Manilla Galleon trade. Another point deals with transmitted techniques such as the proliferation of lace making in China for the American market. Textiles in Motion & Transit also encompasses textiles used in devotional context such as wrappers for Buddhist manuscripts and Christian relics; many of which ended up in foreign lands. Several scholars address the challenges surrounding the stewardship of textile heritage in the post-colonial era and its presentation by museums and collectors. Others approach the conference theme by examining various choices of textiles and dress as part of individual and community strategies to project certain cultural and socio-political positions. A few scholars investigate how contemporary designers harness the power of textiles—either new, second-hand, or recycled—to broadcast notions of culture.


    Conference postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic. New dates to be announced in September/October 2020.

    Keynote speakers:
    Zhao Feng, Director China National Silk Museum, China
    Dale Carolyn Gluckman, Textile Historian and Independent Curator, USA
    Sumru Belger Krody, Senior Curator George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, USA

    The conference will consist of keynotes and paper presentations. Browse our keynotes and presentations overview to get inspired by the broad range of topics.


    Registration and registration fee payment will reopen once the new conference dates have been announced.

    Registration form
    In order to confirm your participation to the conference, please submit the conference registration form.

    Registration fee
    The registration fee includes: attendance of conference sessions, conference materials, coffee breaks, lunches and a welcome reception.

    Early bird (deadline to be announced): € 75
    Regular (deadline to be announced): € 100
    Late/onsite (deadline to be announced): € 125

    (PhD) students:
    Early bird (deadline to be announced): € 60
    Regular (deadline to be announced): € 80
    Late/onsite (deadline to be announced): € 90

    Please note that all persons (irrespective of your role) participating in the conference are required to pay the conference registration fee.

    Conference observers
    The above registration fees are also applicable to conference observers.

    Pre- and Post-conference Workshops and Excursions – 

    Optional pre- and post-conference workshops and excursions will be organised on dates to be announced. More information on the options, including (possible) additional costs, will be available in due course. 

    Cancellation policy
    If you would need to cancel your conference participation due to unforeseen circumstances, please send an email to m.c.van.den.haak@iias.nl.
    * Notification in writing 60 days prior to the event: full refund minus €20 administration fee
    * Notification in writing 59-30 days prior to the event: 50% refund
    * Notification less than 30 days prior to the event: no refund


    The Textiles in Motion & Transit conference will take place in Leiden, the Netherlands. The venue details will be announced once the new conference dates have been confirmed. 

    Travel & arrival

    Arriving at and Travelling from Schiphol
    If you plan to travel by air, please book your ticket to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. If you travel by train, the nearest train stations for international trains are Den Haag HS, Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam and Utrecht (when coming from Germany). All these train stations have a connection to Leiden Central Station.

    Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has a good train connection to Leiden Centraal Station (every 15 minutes). After your arrival at the Airport, walk towards the central hall of the terminal (the so-called ‘Schiphol Plaza’). Train tickets for travel within the Netherlands can be  purchased at the yellow ticket machines located in Schiphol Plaza, near the entrance to the railway platforms or at the ticket counters. These ticket counters are located in Schiphol Plaza, near the red-and-white-checked cube.

    The journey to Leiden Central Station takes 15-20 minutes and the train leaves every 15 minutes. A single ticket costs about €6. The train to Leiden usually leaves from platform 5 or 6. Should you wish to view the train schedules beforehand, please visit the website of the Dutch train service.

    If you would like to take a taxi, please make sure to take a taxi from a registered company and avoid unsolicited rides from taxi touts. Please visit the official Schiphol website for taxis for more information.

    Travel by Train
    Railway travel is a comfortable way to get around the Netherlands. You can plan your journey online or use the NS-app. You can use these features to plan your journey to any destination in the Netherlands, not just from railway station to railway station.

    Tickets are valid for the journey, the date and the class that are shown on the ticket and can be bought online or at the railway station. At the station you can buy a single-use chipcard or an OV-chipkaart (smart card) at an NS ticketing machine (available at every station) or service desk. The single-use chipcard is perfect for incidental travelers, but cost €1 more per trip. You don’t have to charge credit to the card but you do have to check in and out. If you buy a single-use chipcard or e-ticket, you can choose to travel 1st or 2nd class while buying your ticket.

    Tickets can also be bought online or in the NS-app with a credit card or using iDEAL (available to almost all customers of Dutch consumer banks). You can then download and print the e-ticket yourself or open the ticket on your smartphone. You can board the train with this e-ticket and open the gates that will be present at some stations. E-tickets are personal. As a result, they are only valid in combination with a valid proof of identity. Do not forget to bring your passport or ID card when travelling.

    If you plan to use the train more often while staying in the Netherlands and do not have a credit card, we recommend buying an ‘anonymous OV-chipkaart’. You can buy them at NS ticketing machines or at the service desk. There is a one-time fee of €7.50 for an anonymous OV-chipkaart (which can also be used on buses, trams and metros). Prior to travelling, you must charge credit to your anonymous OV-chipkaart, which can be done at an NS ticking machine. If you want to travel by train, you need at least €20 worth of credit on your OV-chipkaart! You must check in prior to every trip and check out at the end. Look for the OV-chipkaart pillars on the station.

    Travel by Metro, Tram or Bus
    Most destinations in Leiden city centre can easily be reached on foot, but busses are also available for longer distances. In cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Hague there are also metros and trams. These cities also offer special one to seven-day public transport tickets for tourists. Otherwise you can use single-use chip cards (that can be bought on busses and trams or at the metro stations but please note that you cannot pay cash in many buses and trams) or an ‘anonymous OV-chipkaart' (also for railway travel). You must have at least €4 worth of travel credit on your anonymous OV-chipkaart to use the bus, tram or metro. Once charged, you can use your anonymous OV-chipkaart on the bus, tram and metro right away! Always make sure to check in when boarding your bus, train or metro and don’t forget to check out.

    A practical site where you can plan your travel by public transport is: https://9292.nl/en (there is also an app). Another app to plan your travel is Moovit.

    Arriving in Leiden
    When arriving in Leiden you can consider visiting the Tourist Information Centre to help you find your way in the city of Leiden. The VVV – the Tourist Information Centre can provide you with ideas for trips, a city plan, advice on accommodation and much more. The Tourist Information Centre is very easy to reach; it is ideally located, near Leiden Central Station and the bus station. They can help you with transport, accommodation, restaurants, tickets and much more.

    VVV Leiden, Stationsweg 26, Leiden
    Opening hours
    Monday to Friday: 7.00 – 19.00
    Saturday: 10.00 – 16.00
    Sunday: 11.00 – 15.00
    Website: https://www.visitleiden.nl/en


    Participants are requested to book and fund their own accommodation during the conference. 
    Suggestions for accommodation will be made available once the new conference dates are announced.


    Foreign nationals visiting the Netherlands are required to have a valid passport and a Schengen visa. Citizens from many countries are however permitted visa-free entry for a limited period under certain conditions. In order to check whether you require a visa and for more information on visa requirements, please contact a Dutch embassy or consular office in your country or visit the following website to verify the latest visa information:

    The visa request form to require a support letter from IIAS for your visa application will be available once new conference dates have been announced. 

    Please note that visa support letters will only be issued to conference participants who have completed their registration. 

    To ensure you obtain your visa in time, we recommend that you start your visa arrangements well in advance. The processing time for a Schengen visa may take up to 10 working days, it is therefore strongly recommended to submit your application no later than 30 days before your travel. Applications can be made as early as 90 days before the time of travel. 

    If you have visa-related queries, please contact Ms Martina van den Haak (IIAS conference coordinator) at m.c.van.den.haak@iias.nl


    Sandra Sardjono, Tracing Patterns Foundation, California
    Christopher Buckley, Wolfson College, Oxford
    Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, Textile Research Centre, Leiden

    The conference is organised by the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Tracing Patterns Foundation, and Textile Research Centre.

    Questions: Ms Martina van den Haak (IIAS conference coordinator) at m.c.van.den.haak@iias.nl