Annapurna Mamidipudi

I am a post-doctoral researcher on the ERC project PENELOPE, which explores “Weaving as a technical mode of existence”.

I completed my Ph.d in the study of Science, Technology and modern Culture in Maastricht University supervised by Wiebe Bijker, in 2016. Using concepts from history of technology as well as traditional Indian music I explored how innovation and creativity in Science and Art follow similar cognitive processes. In order to do this I drew from my experience in both craft development and training in the classical arts of South India. Using the thesis as a base, I co-organised a seminar on Craft and Innovation in Kalakshetra, the premier Music and Dance institution, in Chennai in 2016, and a large conference bringing together more than 500 weavers and international historians of technology in Chirala in 2018.

I set up and worked in an NGO Dastkar Andhra from 1992-08 to conserve traditional craft livelihoods in South India. I was an awardee of the Global Social Business Incubator program of Santa Clara University of 2009 for this work. Under the aegis of Smt. R Vedavalli, senior musician and academic, I produced the CD and Book on Shaji Maharaja’s opera, “Pallaki Seva Prabandhamu” for the “The pallaki project” in October 2013.

My research interests include the study of how craftspeople innovate their material practices and how they make knowledge claims to build recognition in contemporary society. At the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science as a visiting post doctoral scholar I was co-editing a volume along with material historian Dagmar Schafer on “Ownership of Knowledge’ that seeks to look at knowledge ownership beyond IP frameworks. 

Some key publications are 

A. Mamidipudi and W. Bijker, (2018) “Innovation in Indian handloom weaving”,Technology and Culture 59 (3) pp. 509-545

Mamidipudi, A. (2018) “Constructing common worlds: Design practice forsocial change in craft livelihoods in India”, Design Issues, Autumn 2018, Vol.34 ( 4) pp. 37–50

Mamidipudi, A., & Frahm, N. (2020). Turning Straw to Gold: Mobilising Symmetry in Responsible Research and Innovation. Science, Technology and Society.

Blog posts

A recipe for crafting colour.

Counting on the body: Reflections on numeracy in Indian Dyeing practices


The Loom in the Weaving Marriage



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