Textile Lecture Nov. 14 to Explore Commercialization of Hmong Art

Florida Tech Faculty
Wanfa Zhang to Speak

MELBOURNE, FLA. – Wanfa Zhang, an associate professor in Florida Institute of Technology’s School of Arts and Communication and expert in international politics, will present the final 2017 installment of the Friends of Textile Lecture Series Nov. 14 when he offers, “The Commercialization of Miao (Hmong) Art in Guizhou, China.”

The lecture, hosted by Florida Tech’s Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, starts at 6 p.m. at the Denius Student Center’s second-floor Hartley Room. A reception will precede the lecture at 5:15 p.m.

The lecture is presented in conjunction with the Ruth Funk Center’s current exhibit, Cloth as Community: Hmong Textiles in America, which will be on view until Dec. 16.

The Chinese province of Guizhou is home to one of the largest concentrations of Hmong people – an ethnic minority known as “Miao” in China. Hmong culture and artwork spread worldwide when its people were dispersed and relocated as refugees after the Vietnam War. However, approximately 3 million Hmong remain in China today.

Zhang’s illustrated lecture will discuss the evolution, commodification and social implications of the Hmong art and culture.

Zhang is an expert in international politics whose research includes international relations theory and Chinese politics and diplomacy. He has taught courses in international relations, international law, comparative politics, political science, American foreign policy, American politics and Western Civilization.

Before joining Florida Tech in 2008, Zhang taught at University of Alabama and China Foreign Affairs University. He previously worked as a research assistant for the prestigious Correlates of War project. The project established a widely used database for the quantitative study of international conflict.

Cost to attend the lecture is $10 per person for the general public. Admission is free for Friends of Textiles members and Florida Tech students or staff with campus I.D.

For more information, visit http://textiles.fit.edu/ or contact the Ruth Funk Center for Textiles Arts at 321-674-8313.


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