Alicia DeNicola

Associate Professor of Anthropology


Ph.D.| Syracuse University| 2004

MA| Brandeis University| 1998

BA| Lewis and Clark College| 1989

Courses Taught








February 12, 2016: Mizell Award, for superior contribution in furthering the education of Oxford College students through leadership in development of Oxford's Ways of Inquiry curriculum

April 17, 2017 Rita Cobb Award, for going above and beyond with suport of the Black Student Alliance


•  2023 "Skill / Craft" entry, The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology, Wiley.
•  In Press "Surviving Revivals: why the work of resuscitating Indian craft is never done" In Creative Economies of Culture in South Asia: Performers and Craftspeople (with Clare Wilkinson-Weber). Anna Marcom and Neeelam Raina (eds.). Rutledge.
•  2019 "The Labor of Art and the Process of Making Visible," in RAW: Craft Commodity, and Capitalism, Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles.
•  2018 "Crafting History: Textiles, Metals, and Ceramics at the Univerisity of Georgia" Exhibition Review (with Catherine Chastain-Elliot) in The Journal of Modern Craft 11(2) 169-172
•  2016 "Asymmetrical Indications: Negotiating Creativity through Geographical Indications in North India" Economic Anthropology 3(2) 293-303.
•  2016 Critical Craft: technology, globalization and capitalism (with Clare Wilkinson-Weber) (eds). Bloomsbury.
•  2015 "Ways of Inquiry: The distinctiveness of the Oxford College General Education Program" (with Brenda Harmon, Jeff Galle, and Bridgette Gunnels) IN Blessinger, Patrick & Carfora, John M. (eds.) Inquiry Based Learning for Faculty and Institutional Development. Emerald Group Publishing.
•  2012. "Rescue and Redemption: Design Schools, Traditoinal Craft and the Nation-State in Contemporary India" Cultural Studies. 26(6) 787-813 (with Lane DeNicola)
•  2009. “Common Ground: Changing Land and Water Use by Traditional Textile Artisans in Bagru.” Context: Built, Living and Natural VI (2): 85–94.
•  2005. “Working Through Tradition: Experiential Learning and Formal Training as Markers of Class and Caste in North Indian Block Printing.” Anthropology of Work Review XXVI (2): 12–16.
•  2003. “Mediating Design: Manufacturing Tradition and Innovation in Bagru’s Hand-Block Print Industry.” In Institutions and Social Change, ed. Surjit Singh and Varsha Joshi, 88–105. New Delhi: Rawat Publications.


2019   "Authenticity" Invited Talk, Craft Conversation Series, Public Talk Series, Warren Wilson Colege, July 26

2018   Keynote: Shared Ground: Cross-Disciplinary Approaches to Craft Studies sponsored by Bard Graduate Center, The Center for Craft, Creativity and Design, Museum of Art and Design, Sept. 20-22

2018   "Authentic Bodies, Authentic Things" Invited talk, LeMoyne College, Syracuse, NY, Oct. 23

2018   "On Making Authenticity" Invited Talk, Hamilton College, Utica NY, October 25

2016   Alienating Markets: Vulnerability and Owernship Under Neoliberal Conditions" American Anthropology Association Meetings, Minneapolis Nove. 17-20

2015  "Asymmetrical Indications: negotiating creativity through geographical indications in North India" Society for Economic Anthropology, Lexington KY April 9-11

2013   “Critical Reflections On Craft: Two Case Studies” American Anthropological Association Meetings, Chicago, Nov. 19-24

2012   “Recasting Borders: Ethnographic Considerations of Caste in Contemporary India. Discussant. American Anthropological Association Meetings Nov. 13-18, San Francisco

2011 “Distinguishing Craft: Small-Scale Artisanship in India's Contemporary Fashion Industry” with Clare Wilkinson_Weber, Invited Session (Chair). American Anthropological Association Meetings, Montréal, Canada November 16-19 

2011 “Male Printers, Female Designers: geographical indications and the role of caste, class and gender in Indian Traditional Textile Printing” American University Washington College of Law Eighth Annual IP/Gender Mapping the Connections: Gender and Traditional Cultural Expressions, Washington D.C. April 1

2010 “Asymmetrical Indications: negotiating creativity in a North India textile town” Invited Talk, London School of Economics, London, October, 27

2009 “Developing the Rural: 'Contemporary' NGOs and 'Traditional' Artisans in Rural India” Invited Talk, LeMoyne College, Syracuse, NY April 2

2008 “Marking the rural in cosmopolitan discourse: Urban designers discussing traditional (rural) printers in North India” American Anthropological Association Meetings, San Francisco Nov. 19-23

2007 “Patrons of Capital: Artisan Accounts of Merchant Responsibility” American Anthropological Association Meetings,Washington, DC Nov 28-Dec 2

2007 “A Tale of Two Traditions” at American Ethnological Meeting, Toronto May 9-12 

2006 “Work(ing) Against the Grain of Class in Academics and Ethnography” at American Anthropological Association Meetings, San José, CA. Nov 14-19

2006 “Deep Roots: Narratives of Tradition in Logging Towns” at Society of Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings, Vancouver, Canada March 28-April 2

2003 “Rural Labor, Urban Design: The politics of tradition in North India’s Print Industry” at American Ethnological Society Annual Meetings, Providence, RI April 24-26

2003 “Designing Tradition” at the Society for Applied Anthropology 63rd Annual Meeting, Portland, OR. March 19-23

2002 “Innovating Tradition in Bagru’s Hand-block Printing Community” at the 31st Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Madison, Madison, WI. October 11-13

2001 “Printing in Bagru: Innovations in Rajasthani Traditional Identity” at the 4th International Conference on Rajasthan in the New Millennium, Jaipur, India Dec. 28-30

Research Interests

I research and write at the intersection of language, work and gender. As a reporter in the 1990s I covered the fall of the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest. As an anthropologist, my interest in labor and culture continues: much of my academic work has focused on artisans and designers in India's Hindi belt, and I have recently been working with artists and artisans in Costa Rica. I have published and spoken in numerous venues on the critical nature of craft, and recently was invited to spend a year as a core faculty member for Warren-Wilson’s new MA program in Critical Craft Studies. I am currently writing a book on Authenticity.