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Culture & Technology in American Quilts: A Symposium
Friday, November 15, 2019
1776 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20006

Submit Proposals to: 
Submission Deadline: Wednesday, May 1, 2019 

The DAR Museum in Washington, DC, invites proposals for our annual symposium on Friday, November 15, 2019. This year’s theme will explore how women engaged with the world through their quiltmaking, to compliment the museum’s new exhibit, A Piece of Her Mind: Culture and Technology in American Quilts. Each session will be 45 minutes in length.
Through this symposium, the museum aims to put 19th century quilts in context. The women making these quilts were not working in a vacuum; they were influenced by and had opinions on all topics of the day, from politics to pop culture. We would like to explore the world surrounding women quiltmakers and how they participated in it.
Previous symposia have brought in speakers and attendees from across the country and included museum professionals, academic professors, graduate students, and independent researchers. We look forward to an equally diverse group of presenters for this symposium. 

Topics of interest

  • Pop culture of the 19th century
  • Women’s participation in politics and reform of the 19th century
  • Technological advances, particularly in textiles
  • Relationships between quilts and other textile designs
  • Botany, gardening, and plant-related pastimes for women of the 19th century
  • 19th-20th century examples of quilts as expressions of current events
  • Women and the Aesthetic Movement
  • Women and literature
  • Sanitary fairs and other events organized by women
  • …and related topics

Guide for Submission

The deadline to submit proposals is Wednesday, May 1, 2019
You have two options to submit your proposal:
2. Send a PDF to with the subject line “DAR Museum symposium proposal.”
The submission should include:
  • Your name, phone, email, and mailing address
  • Your title and organizational affiliation (if applicable)
  • Title of session
  • 300-500 word abstract that states the topic of the session, summarizes the content, and emphasizes the relevance to symposium attendees. Include the types of sources used in your research.
  • Indicate any speaker fees or travel accommodations you are requesting (if any)
Proposals will be juried and accepted based on their relevance to the symposium theme, usefulness to the attendees, and strength of the written abstract. The museum aims to welcome a diverse group of speakers with a variety of experiences and areas of expertise.
We look forward to seeing you on November 15!