Queering Textile Binaries

A Virtual Lecture Series

The Series

Like gender and sexuality, textiles are malleable and fluid. They exist in motion and are inextricably linked to performance. Textiles as a medium defy empirical categorization, manifesting equally as craft, art, fashion and more. Historically in the context of art, regardless of their universality and inherent power of pliability, textiles have often been disregarded and marginalized, siloed to domestic associations, rather than scholarly ones.

This summer we invite you to join a range of artists, designers, and academics as they explore textiles and queerness as medium of choice and identity. Through this series, they create an online space in which to call attention to, celebrate, explore, and challenge traditional binaries through critical dialogue. Across three lectures participants will learn how our guests connect their work and practice to their lived experiences; how their concepts work with and beyond the loom to interrogate a form, and how they employ dress as an expression of individual and group identity or both. Participants will leave with a renewed understanding of these distinct approaches and ideologies through a queer lens as a means to engender an expansive conversation. 

By siloing craft, fine art, and fashion as performance we also hope to locate the intrinsic and nuanced qualities of each. How do we embrace the separation and push against it? It is our hope that these similarities will surface with each session and that further connections will be made during Q&A sections moderated by Pato Hebert, artist, teacher, organizer, and Chair in the Department of Art & Public Policy at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

While we hope you will join us for the full duration of the series, you are also welcome to sign up for individual lectures on topics that interest you.

Session 1: Queering the Loom

Weaving is never not binary. Yet, such a definition is reductive, ignoring a multitude of factors involved in weaving and excluding people whose lives are written outside the binary. In the spirit of transcending weaving beyond the binary, this program will bring together Indira Allegra, Jovencio de la Paz, and John Paul Morabito, queer artists working at the intersection of weaving and contemporary art. Through presentations on their work and an open discussion, the artists will explore the embodied, ontological, and rhizomatic nature of weaving and expand the practice into a space for queer polynary thinking.

Wednesday, June 26th, 2024

5 – 6:45 pm ET

Session 2: Crafting Queer Identity

Making to mirror the flexibility and resilience in the queer community, to shield oneself from danger, to traverse physical transformation. These are just some of the notions the artists in this session explore to contend with, celebrate, and expand their understanding of what it means – like craft – to exist at the margins. Their laborious techniques demand a sleight of hand they have taken years to hone. Their choice to interlock, interlace, and push needles through cloth is a proclamation for who they are and the culture they belong to. Through presentations on their work, Brandi Cheyenne Harper, LJ Roberts, and Made in the Moment will share how they navigate their queer identity through their chosen craft traditions. 

Thursday, July 18th, 2024

5 – 6:30 pm ET

Session 3: Fashion as Performance

The way in which we adorn ourselves is an expression of our individual and group identities. But when the stage is our arena of choice, what role does fashion play in constructing who we understand ourselves to be and who we are attempting to embody? Does gender belong on the stage or is the rigid binary associated with dress blurred when the spotlight is cast? In an effort to understand the tension between queerness and fashion and its far reaching social implications, this presentation and dialogue will bring together Claire Fleury, Dr. Lady J, and Michael Roberson to examine what we can learn at the intersection of identity, fashion, and performance through the lenses of ballroom culture, drag, and runway.

Wednesday, July 24th, 2024

5 – 6:30 pm ET

Our Moderator

Pato Hebert is an artist, teacher and organizer. His work probes the challenges and possibilities of interconnectedness. His creative projects have appeared at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Quito, Beton7 in Athens, the Ballarat International Foto Biennale and the Songzhuang International Photo Biennale. Hebert is a COVID-19 long hauler, living with the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus since March of 2020 and publicly addressing the pandemic through creativity and community building. His solo exhibition about long COVID, Lingering, debuted at Pitzer College in 2022 and was curated by Ruti Talmor. His writing about COVID has appeared in Lastgaspism: Art and Survival in the Age of Pandemic (eds. Romero, A., Tucker, D., Wang, D.) and The Long COVID Survival Guide: How to Take Care of Yourself and What Comes Next (ed: Fiona Lowenstein). Hebert serves as Chair and teaches in the Department of Art & Public Policy at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

Dates & Times

Queering The Loom – Wednesday, June 26th, 2024, 5 – 6:45 pm ET

Crafting Queer Identity – Thursday, July 18th, 2024, 5 – 6:30 pm ET

Fashion as Performance – Wednesday, July 24th, 2024, 5 – 6:30 pm ET

Zoom, a link will be send to participants the day before each lecture

All sessions will be recorded. Following the live session, a link to each recording will be emailed to all those who register. Each recording will be available for one month following the live session.


Tickets for this event are sold on a sliding scale beginning at $15 with a suggested donation of $25, but if you wish to pay less or more than the suggested donation, you may select a different amount from the drop down menu. As always, we are grateful for your support, which ensures the continuation and preservation of textile knowledge. Thank you for making this series possible. 

Tatter Library is a registered 501(c)3. Our speaker series is part of our community programming and proceeds support the continued success of our talks with artists, scholars, and historians we admire. For this event, all ticket proceeds will go towards keeping this series alive. 


Scholarships are available for the full series. Please email [email protected] to request the scholarship application form.

Images in order of appearance:

John Paul Morabito, For Félix (scarlet like the memory of you inside me), 2023

Indira Allegra, BODYWARP: Doublecloth, 2017

Jovencio de la Paz, Warped Grid, 2022

Brandi Cheyenne Harper, The Dawn Cowl inspired by Octavia Butler from Knitting for Radical Self-Care: A Modern Guide by Brandi Cheyenne Harper, 2021

Made in the Moment Duck Sweater, 2022

LJ Roberts, Carry You With Me: Ten Years of Portraits, 2021

Claire Fleury, Future Memory, 2023, photo by Exum Fotografie

Michael Roberson, Portrait, 2020

Dr. Lady J, Portrait, 2023

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