Quilt Scholarship: The Quilt World and the Academic World


From The Quilt Journal - An International Review, Vol. 3, No. 2.


By: Weidlich, Lorre M.

Editor Notes: The study of quilts has attracted a wide variety of students of very different backgrounds and with very different goals. Some have academic credentials, some do not. Ms. Weidlich here examines two contrasting groups who have studied and written extensively about quilts and quilting, comparing their methods, purposes and worldviews, and suggesting some reasons for their differences.

Author Notes: Dr. Lorre Weidlich has both academic and "quilt world" credentials. She has a B. A. from the University of Michigan and an M. A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, all in Folklore. Her 1986 dissertation was the first devoted to the current quilt revival and its associated culture. She is also a quilter and designer, quilt teacher and lecturer, exhibition organizer, etc. Her writing on quilts has been published in both academic and popular publications. Her anomalous relationship to the quilt and the academic worlds gives her a vantage point from which to practice the meta-scholarship presented in this article. Since finishing graduate school, she has pursued a non-academic path, but is moving back into the world of scholarship, with an emphasis on research on quilts and quilt culture.