MASTERCLASS > Summer Workshop

Weaving Knowledge

This two week workshop aims to engage both the theory and practice of craft knowledge by teaching participants the Lanna techniques of weaving alongside expert weavers, at the same time engaging with the scholarly challenge of making embodied craft knowledge explicit. 


    As the students are trained in crafts by practitioners in a weaving workshop near Chiang Mai, they will discuss concepts such as tacit expertise and technological literacy, pedagogy in sensory and material knowledge, innovation and sustainability in traditional technological cultures, with the practitioners, as well as invited scholars and activists in history, anthropology, and sociology from around the world. Set in the rural environment around Chiang Mai, this workshop will bring together three conveners: one historian of science and technology, one weaving/craft expert, and one scholar of development practice in craft, to guide the group of doctoral candidates in reflexive practice – both of weaving and writing.

    We will accept up to 10 PhD students, whose scholarly work relates to these issues, who will learn Lanna techniques of weaving in a workshop near Chiang Mai while living in a basic setting near the workshop. Activities include daily weaving practice, pre-loom preparation, dyeing, field trips to Wat Pah Daed, Yang Luang, Karen and Lua communities to observe their weaving practice, to village co-operatives, local markets and private textile museums, as well as academic sessions.

    By requiring that students engage in learning weaving and dyeing, not as observers but as participants, and by re-instating craftspeople as experts and teachers, not just of the craft, but also in mobilizing knowledge about it, the workshop seeks both to invert the social and political hierarchy of knowledge that positions scholarly knowledge over craft, and to explore what craft knowledge can bring to academia, and to the larger societal challenge of sustainable development.  It will require sometimes strenuous physical labor as well as reflexive scholarly engagement by students.  It will require that students assume the role of apprentices as well as problem solvers and storytellers who, for example, use metaphors to capture how things look, sound or smell.  Focusing on these two different modes of thinking about and making knowledge -- the practice of weaving and scholarly work – will afford new possibilities to understand the nature of embodied knowledge.

    We welcome applications from PhD students whose research deals with the themes of the Summer Workshop.  No previous experience of weaving is required.

    The registration fee for participation at the Weaving Knowledge Summer Workshop is € 150. 

    (Partial) travel grants are available for selected participants. 

    General Information

    For whom

    The Weaving Knowledge Summer Workshop on Lanna Weaving and Dyeing is intended for PhD students whose research deals with the themes of the Summer Workshop. All applicants must be committed to or actively working on original projects that engage with the Summer Workshop themes.


    To apply for participation in the Summer Workshop 2017. The application deadline is 1 December 2016.

    Selection procedure

    The programme allows a maximum of ten participants. All who apply by the deadline will be informed about the selection results before 15 February 2017. Please note that we will be unable to provide feedback and comments to those applicants not selected for participation.

    Participation requirements

    Selected participants agree to attend and participate in all events from 6-23 July 2017, including practical exercises, lectures, group discussions and fieldtrips. Participants also agree to read pre-circulated background materials as generated by the convenors.

    Language requirements

    A working language of English is required.

    Registration fee

    All selected participants must pay the following registration fee: € 150.


    Accommodation for 18 nights (arrival 5 July, departure 23 July) is included for the selected participants.

    Travel costs

    Selected participants may be considered for a (partial) travel grant. 


    After you have received the confirmation of your participation, you will receive further information about the payment of the registration fee (due mid-April 2017). You can pay with credit card (Master or Visa) or via bank transfer. 

    Cancellation policy

    Participation in the Summer Workshop can be cancelled free of charge until 60 days before the start. If cancellation occurs within 60 days prior to the start of the programme, the fee will not be refunded. 


    Founded in 2014, the Center for Science and Society at Columbia University brings together scholars and practitioners in the social and natural sciences, humanities, law, medicine, and the arts to engage in interdisciplinary research, teaching, and outreach. The Center works across traditional boundaries of knowledge and aims to enhance public understanding of science in relation to pressing social concerns.  More information on the Center’s Research Clusters, sponsored events, and curriculum initiatives can be found at

    BAN RAI JAI SOOK (JAI-SOOK STUDIO) was founded in 2014 as a place to disseminate the Thai art of weaving and to preserve the traditional culture as well as way of life. The studio offers the hands-on training for the students to learn not only weaving techniques but also other processes in the manufacturing of the finished products. 

    Founded in January 1964, under a Royal Charter granted by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Chiang Mai University (CMU) was established as the first institution of higher education in Northern Thailand, and as the first provincial university in our kingdom. Since its founding, CMU has been aiming at becoming a comprehensive institution of higher learning providing a broad range of academic programs. In the field of research, CMU has launched innovative initiatives and development projects, the results of which are utilized to ever advancing standards of teaching, learning and technology transfer, all for the sake of social and economic development of the region and, naturally, the country as a whole.

    The Faculty of Social Sciences was one of the first three faculties of Chiang Mai University. Since then, it has expanded substantially in terms of its teaching, research, community services and other academic activities. Please visit for more information.

    The International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) is a research and exchange platform based in Leiden, the Netherlands. IIAS encourages the multi‐disciplinary and comparative study of Asia and promotes national and international cooperation, acting as an interface between academic and non‐academic partners, including cultural, social and policy organisations. The main research foci are Asian cities, dynamics of cultural heritage, and the global projection of Asia. These themes are broadly framed so as to maximise interactions and collaborative initiatives. IIAS is also open to new ideas of research and policy‐related projects.

    In keeping with the Dutch tradition of transferring goods and ideas, IIAS works both as an academically informed think tank and as a clearinghouse of knowledge. It provides information services, builds networks and sets up cooperative programmes. Among IIAS activities are the organisation of seminars, workshops and conferences, outreach programmes for the general public, the publication of an internationally renowned newsletter, support of academic publication series, and maintaining a comprehensive database of researchers and Asian studies institutions. IIAS hosts the secretariats of the European Alliance for Asian Studies and the International Convention of Asian Scholars. In this way, IIAS functions as a window on Europe for non‐European scholars, contributing to the cultural rapprochement between Asia and Europe. 

    The Dorothy Borg Research Program of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute was established to prepare scholars for the challenge of studying transnational issues involving the United States and East Asia and to explore new conceptual strategies and themes for understanding the study of U.S. – East Asia. A central goal of the Program is to encourage and support those who might work primarily in either the United States or East Asia to broaden their scope to focus on the transnational and global linkages and facilitate areas of convergence that can be drawn between the fields of East Asia and the study of the United States through postdoctoral training opportunities, graduate fellowships, collaborative grants to support enquiry that crosses geographic, temporal, or disciplinary boundaries, and the launch of four new research projects.  The Program is named in honor of Dorothy Borg (1902 – 1993), a historian of United States-East Asia relations.