Yarn Bomb

Yarn Bombing Lecture to be Offered at Hartwick College

April 3, 2014

Associate Professor of Art History at SUNY-Fredonia Dr. Leesa Rittelmann will soon offer a lecture at Hartwick College entitled "Soft Subversions and Tiny Revolutions: Yarn Bombing and The Politics of Craft." The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 24 in Anderson Center for the Arts Room 149 (Auditorium) on the Hartwick College campus. Her presentation is free, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Sponsored by Hartwick's Department of Art & Art History, Rittelmann's presentation will examine the critical political, gendered, and aesthetic merits and demerits of yarn bombing through the lens of cultural theorist Felix Guattari's theory of the "micro-revolt" or "soft subversion" and Julia Kristeva's advocacy of "tiny revolutions." Both theorists suggest that the current lack of a tangible power structure against which to revolt calls not for traditional, mass-political protest but rather spontaneous, sustained local protests against the "powerful disembodied knitting machine called global capital."

Broad content of lecture will also include, but is not limited to: yarn bombing as a fun phenomenon and a community-building experience, crochet/knitting serving as viable DIY media for students who don't have training/access to textiles and, finally, public craft/yarn bomb installations used as tools to convey messages (e.g. - political, social) and their effectiveness versus traditionally sanctioned aesthetic interventions.

Rittelmann has published and delivered papers in the U.S. and abroad on topics as diverse as Victorian American photography, virtual digital woman, global eco-art, fetish theory, Nazi aesthetics, and the relationship between social Darwinism and modern portrait photography. In 2013, Rittelmann curated the exhibition "Gone Viral: Medical Science and Contemporary Textile Art" for SUNY-Fredonia's Marion Art Gallery. Her current research examines the relationship between traditional crafts and political activism in the contemporary public sphere. Related to this research, she has coordinated several crochet workshops, knit-ins, and yarn bombings in upstate New York and western Pennsylvania.

For more information on this lecture, contact Professor of Art History Elizabeth Ayer at 607-431-4826 or at

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
Phone: 607-431-4031