Thursday Seminar on "Linguistic Mediation in Multi – Weaver Kashmiri Carpet Weaving"
Date: 16 March, 2017
Time: 15:30 - 16:30
Venue: Main Building Lecture Room - G1
Coordinator: Prof. Jyotsna Vijapurkar
Speaker: Dr. Gagan Deep Kaur,
This talk discusses linguistic mediation in multi-weaver settings in Kashmiri carpet weaving. I start by giving the overview of the practice in terms of its constituent domains: the designing where designs draw the designs on graphs and give color-codes to them, coding in which code-writers write these codes systematically in long strips of paper called talim, and weaving in which weavers decode these codes and weave them. Multi-weaver settings are peculiar in the practice wherein a group of weavers weave the design out of partial talims given to them. Since, not all weavers have access to talim except a few, the challenge is how to convey the talim instruction to other weavers in the group. Language was found to play a profound role in this context as a specific reading-aloud strategy was employed by weavers to address these concerns. The cognitive properties of this reading aloud mechanism are discussed in the talk and shown how variations observed in the reading-aloud, during recorded observational period, are embedded in contextual nature of the setting as well as idiosyncrasies of the reading behaviours. This suggest that reading-aloud is a situated activity, and not passive relay of instructions, and consequently, talim
is only a rough guide of weaving activity, and not a computer program which is followed literally by the weavers.
About the speaker:
Gagan Deep Kaur did her Phd in Philosophy of Cognitive Science from IIT Bombay in 2014. Her Phd dissertation has been on philosophical analysis of epistemological assumptions behind implementation of imagination in artificial systems. Before that, she obtained her Masters in Philosophy from Panjab University, Chandigarh and is a Gold Medal recipient. She just completed her 2-year Postdoctoral research in Cognitive Science at National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru. She has been working on situated and distributed cognitive processes in Kashmiri carpet weaving at her field-site which is Srinagar, Kashmir. She has recently been awarded the Homi Bhabha Fellowship, (2017).