Essays, Chapters, and Articles

Articles in Peer Reviewed Journals

Kirsty Robertson. “The Disappearance of Arthur Nestor: Parafiction, Cryptozoology, Curation.” Museum and Society 18.2,

Patricia Corcoran, Johanna de Haan Ward, Ian Arturo, Sara Belontz, Tegan Moore, Carolyn Hill-Svehla, Kirsty Robertson, Kelly Wood, Kelly Jazvac. “A Comprehensive Investigation of Industrial Plastic Pellets on Beaches across the Laurentian Great Lakes and the Factors Governing their Distribution.” Science of the Total Environment.

Sara Belontz, Patricia Corcoran, Heather Davis, Kathleen Hill, Kelly Jazvac, Kirsty Robertson, Kelly Wood (the Synthetic Collective). “Embracing an Interdisciplinary Approach to Plastics Pollution Awareness and Action.Ambio (November 2018), currently online.

Helen Gregory and Kirsty Robertson. “No Small Matter? Micromuseums as Critical Institutions,” RACAR (special issue: Critical Curating) 43.2 (2018), pp. 89-101.

Lianne McTavish with Susan Ashley, Heather Igloliorte, Kirsty Robertson, and Andrea Terry. “Critical Museum Theory/Museum Studies in Canada: A Dialogue,” Acadiensis 46.2 (2017), pp. 223-41.

Kirsty Robertson with Sarah Smith, Stephanie Anderson, Elizabeth Diggon and Ahlia Moussa. “More a Diplomatic than an Aesthetic Event: Canada, Brazil and Cultural Exchange,” Journal of Canadian Studies 47 (January 2014): 1-29.

“Erasing Environment: The Soldier of the Future and Utopian Smart Textiles.” In Scapegoat: Landscape, Architecture, Political Economy. Iss. 2 (Winter 2012), pp. 15-16.

“Capitalist Cocktails and Moscow Mules: The Art World and Alter-Globalization Protest.” Globalizations (Special Issue: Disciplining Dissent) 8.4 (2011), pp. 473-86.

“Threads of Hope: The Living Healing Quilt Project.” English Studies in Canada (Aboriginal Redress and Repatriation) 35.1 (March 2010), pp. 85-108.

“Embroidery Pirates and Fashion Victims: Textiles, Craft and Copyright.” Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture 8.1 (2010), pp. 86-111.

“The Viral Knitting Project and Writing on the Wool.” N.paradoxa (Activist Art) 23  (January 2009), pp. 56-61.

“’Try to Walk With the Sound of My Footsteps’: The Surveillant Body in Contemporary Art.” Communication Review 11 (January-March 2008): 24-41.

“How to Knit an Academic Paper.” Public 31 (2006), np (dvd format).

“Capturing the Movement: Affect, Anti-War Art and Activism.” Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Activism 34.1&2 (Fall 2006): 27-30.

“Resistance and Submission, Warp and Weft: Unraveling the Life of Ethel Mairet.” Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture (Berg Publishers) (March 2006), pp. 272-93.

“’Sister Susie’s Sending Soap to Soldiers’: Hygiene, Gender and Class in First World War Britain.” OeZG: Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften (Vienna) vol. 15, iss. 1 (2004), pp. 95-104.

“Exhibition Complexes: Displaying Nation in Canada’s Galleries.” Bad Subjects 67 (April 2004) Elisabeth Hurst, editor.

“We Stand on Guard for Thee: Protecting Myths of Nation in Canvas of War.” Journal of American and Comparative Cultures 24.3 & 24.4 (Fall & Winter 2002) Bowling Green State University Popular Press, pp. 99-108.


Synthetic Collective. “Embracing an Interdisciplinary Approach to Plastics Pollution Awareness and Action.” In The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge issue 04: SHORING, Blackwood Gallery, Toronto, 2019.

“Embroidery Pirates and Fashion Victims: Textiles, Craft and Copyright.” Textile Reader, Jessica Hemmings, ed. London: Berg Publishers, forthcoming, 2013.

“Capitalist Cocktails and Moscow Mules: The Art World and Alter-Globalization Protest.” Situating Global Resistance Between Discipline and Dissent, Lara Coleman and Karen Tucker, eds. New York and London: Routledge, 2012 [originally published 2011].

“’Try to Walk With the Sound of My Footsteps’: The Surveillant Body in Contemporary Art.” Reprinted in Sorting Daemons: Art, Surveillance Regimes and Social Control (exhibition catalogue). Agnes Etherington Arts Centre, 2010.

“How to Knit an Academic Paper.” Reprinted in Craft Perception and Practice: a Canadian Discourse, Volume 3. Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2007, pp. 85-94.

Chapters in Books

“Secret Stash: Textiles, Hoarding, Collecting, Accumulation and Craft.” In Craft on Demand. Anthea Black and Nicole Burisch, eds. Bloomsbury Press, 2020.

“Textiles.” In Fueling Culture: Politics, History, Energy. Imre Szeman, Jennifer Wenzel and Patricia Yaeger, eds. Fordham University Press, 2016, pp. 353-56.

“Oil Futures/Petrotextiles” In Petrocultures. Sheena Wilson and Imre Szeman, eds. McGill-Queen’s University Press. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017, pp. 242-63.

“Shopping Cartographies.” In The Vancouver Carts: Photographs by Kelly Wood. James Patten, ed. London: Black Dog Publishers, 2016.

“Quilts for the Twenty-First Century: Activism in the Expanded Field of Quilting” In Handbook of Textiles, eds. Janis Jefferies, Hazel Clark and Diana Wood Conroy. London: Bloomsbury Press, 2015, pp. 197-210.

“Four Houses Never at Home: Tents, Capitalism, and the Fabric of Living.” In Breaking and Entering: The Contemporary House Cut, Spliced and Haunted. Bridget Elliott, ed. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015.

With Laura Murray. “Appropriation Appropriated: Ethical, Artistic and Legal Debates in Canada.” In Intellectual Property for the 21st Century: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Intellectual Property Law. Madelaine Saginur, Teresa Scassa, Mistrale Goudreau, eds. Toronto: Irwin Law.

“This is What Democracy Looks Like?” or, The Art of Opposition.” In Transnationalism Activism Art. Kit Dobson and Áine McGlynn, eds. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp. 171-91.

“Titanium Motherships of the New Economy: Museums, Neoliberalism and Resistance.” In Imagining Resistance, Keri Cronin and Kirsty Robertson, eds. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011, pp. 197-214.

“Rebellious Doilies and Subversive Stitches: Writing a ‘Craftivist’ History.” In Extra/Ordinary: Craft Culture and Contemporary Art. Maria Elena Buszek, ed. Durham: Duke University Press, 2010, pp. 184-203.

“Teaching Textiles and Activism (a Case Study).” In the Loop: Knitting Past, Present and Future. London: Black Dog Publishing, 2010, pp. 68-79.

“Screening the Call: Cell Phones, Activism and the Art of Connection” In Fluid Screens, Expanded Cinema. Susan Lord and Janine Marchessault, eds. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008, pp. 270-83.

“The Revolution Will Wear a Sweater: Knitting and Activism.” Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations, Collective Theorization. David Graeber and Stevphen Shukaitis, eds. London: AK Press, 2007, pp. 209-22.

“Whose Streets? Our Streets: Protest, Place and Justice in Canadian Society.” In The Audacity of Imagination. Nicholas Blomley and Sean Robertson, eds. Halifax and Ottawa: Fernwood Publishers with the Law Commission of Canada, 2006, pp. 23-43.

“Taking Quebec City: Protest, Photography and Tourism at the Summit of the Americas.” Festivals, Tourism and Social Change: Remaking Worlds. David Picard and Mike Robinson, eds. Clevedon: Channel View Publications, 2006, pp. 269-83.

“Webs of Resistance: Photography, the Internet and the Global Justice Movement.” In Le Mois de la Photo: Image and Imagination. Martha Langford, ed. Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005, pp. 147-58.

“Art of War/ Art of Nation: Canada’s First and Second World War Art Collection.” In Under Fire: War and the Canadian Imagination. Lorne Shirinian, ed. Kingston: Royal Military College of Canada and Blue Heron Press, 2005, pp. 51-64.

Feature Articles

“In Conjunction with Light: The Plastics exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 1967.” Programming for Plastic Heart: Surface All the Way Through. The Art Museum at the University of Toronto, 2021.

“The Afterlife of Clothing.” Guest essay for the exhibition Fast Fashion/Slow Art. Bibiana Osler and Phyllis Rosenzweig, eds. Washington DC: Corcoran Gallery.

“Plastiglomerate.” Feature Article. E-flux journal 78 (December 2016).

“Dancing Mounties, Flamingo Pink Jackets, Culture and Elitism,” Fuse Magazine 34.2 (March 2011), pp. 25-31.

“Crude Culture: Canada and Creative Industries.” Feature Article. Fuse Magazine 30.5 (Spring 2008), pp. 12-21.


“The History of Contemporary Survival: Tributes and Tributaries at the AGO.” In Topia 37 (Spring 2017).

“Review of Refusal of Images (A Space Gallery).” In C Magazine 114 (Summer 2012), pp. 44-45.

“Review of l’Invention du Sauvage: Musée Quai de Branly.” Fuse Magazine 35.3 (Summer 2012), pp. 37-38.

“Battlegrounds and Carpet Bombing: Afghan War Rugs at the Textile Museum.” Fuse Magazine 32.1 (December 2008), pp. 6-13.

“Review of Ned Rossiter: Organised Networks: Media Theory, Creative Labour, New Institutions.” Culture Machine, April 2008.

“Review of ‘Canvas of War.’” Fuse Magazine, vol. 25, no. 1 (February 2002), pp. 41-42.

Exhibition Catalogue Essays

“Craft in the Current Moment.” Guest essay for the first annual BFA in Crafts Catalogue and exhibition (Namita Gupta Wiggers, curator), Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, Oregon, 2017.

“You Cannot Know: War and the Unknowable Present.” Terms of Engagement: Averns, Feldman-Kiss, Stimpson. Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery; Agnes Etherington Art Centre; Esker Foundation, forthcoming 2014.

“F’ing Up Contemporary Art: Fiber in the Gallery.” F’d Up! Art Gallery of Mississauga, Mississauga, Ontario. Exhibition: September 26-November 9, 2013, pp. 4-6.

“Home, Home on the Range.” Rearranging Desires (Catalogue). Faculty of Fine Arts Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, 2008. Exhibition: October 6-31, 2008, pp. 22-24.

“Collecting Protest.” Art+Activism YYZine (exhibition material), Toronto: YYZ Artist’s Centre, January 2006.


“Felt Space: Responsive Textiles, Fabric Dwellings, and Precarious Housing.” Textile Society of America Annual Conference, Washington, 2012.

“’Global Villages’: Protest, Art and Politics in Canada, 1998-2002.” Canadian Association of Cultural Studies Conference Proceedings, Hamilton, 2004 (June 2004).

Encyclopedia Entries

“’Good Luck […] Dig In!’ The Experience of Trench Warfare during World War I,” and “Victims of a Greenish Cloud: The Experience of a Gas Attack during World War 1.” In Personal Perspectives: World War 1. Timothy Dowling, ed. Santa Barbara: ABC Clio, 2006, pp. 91-114, 115-26.

Public works (non-academic writing, newspaper columns etc)

“On Indirect Action: Twitter, Protest and Presence.” Le Merle Vol 1, No. 2 (Autumn 2012), pp. 9-16.



  1. I recently read and d/l your article ‘Embroidery Pirates and Fashion Victims: Textiles, Craft and Copyright’, on, which was very interesting. I’m a repro quilter and as such often reproduce 19th century quilts, indeed many designers do and these are to be found all over instagram, pinterst etc. What sometimes happens is a collector buys/owns a quilt and images of said quilt will be all over the web. A quilt designer will see an image of it and decide to reproduce and pattern the quilt, it might even end up in a book. Then along comes the collector saying that no one has the right to reproduce said quilt because they, the collector, owns it. But these quilts usually are outside copyright restrictions. The copyright has not been ‘willed’ down to descendants, the collector has not created or designed the quilt. Museums however often ‘allow’ a designer to copy, design etc a quilt from their collection, often going so far as to give the designer as much information as possible on the quilt, and many of the designers I know, where possible try to obtain permission. This situation is particularly relevant the antique, applique quilts. So are you familiar with this situation, and have you by any chance written about it.
    Yours sincerely

    Jennifer Murray

    • Kirsty Robertson

      Thanks for contacting me Jennifer. I haven’t written about this situation specifically. But, I did just upload a new essay about pattern sharing that shows how IP is often used over-enthusiastically and incorrectly in knitting and crafting communities (as in the situation you mention above). If you go to the link for books, and then click on the Putting IP in Its Place link, and then follow the link for the “No One Would Murder for a Pattern” essay, it will take you to a downloadable version of the essay. Thanks!

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