A Conversation on Curriculum as Aesthetic Text. The Powers of the Quilt: Renderings of Knowledge in a Geechee-Gullah Handicraft
Term of Award
Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)
Document Type and Release Option
Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
Committee Member 1
Ming Fang He
Committee Member 2
Committee Member 3
Committee Member 3 Email
“Conversations” in curriculum theory as aesthetic text are intended to engage interdisciplinary dialogue promoting critical inquiry to facilitate critical pedagogical theory and practice in and through the arts. This ‘conversation’ on the powers of the quilt as renderings of knowledge reviewed several bodies of literature on the quilt, which were conceptualized as “frameworks.” These led to the emergent theoretical context for the research. These were named Vlach’s (1978) “bi-cultural” framework, Ferris-Thompson’s (1983) African Diasporic “visual and philosophic streams of creativity” framework, Fry (1976)/Hicks (2009)/Benberry (1990) “practice-based historical” framework, and Wahlman’s “signs and symbols” framework. This creative research was administered through a Geechee-Gullah lens, and it consisted of crafting a quilt to divulge the epistemological art-aesthetic encodings and decodings imbedded in the quilt’s “critical aesthetic text,” art renderings of cultural-specific information (Pleasant, 2015). Enacting a quilt methodology to craft the art piece and write this dissertation, I drew from several methodological frameworks. Deliberately “piecing” methodological elements of social science research, art-aesthetic research, and feminist research buttressed by Indigenous Discourses and crafting as method, I “patched” the theoretical frame of this research enacting the improvisational, asymmetrical qualities inherent in all African Diaspora art forms, but quilts particularly. Using a thematic analysis, 4 types of knowledge were revealed: local knowledge, Geechee-Gullah Indigenous Knowledge, art-aesthetic knowledge, and self-collective knowledge. The purpose of this art research in education was to reveal the quilt’s “writings” and “readings” illuminating its distinctive, art-aesthetic epistemological “language”—a language of knowledge characteristic of the Geechee-Gullah, bared by the telling of my/our story(ies), through the resultant textile and its crafting. The significance of this research, conducted in and through the folk and traditional arts, tempered by the richness of the Geechee-Gullah counternarrative, elucidated the quilt as knowledge text. Understanding and applying the value and modes of creative expressions of the lived experiences of non-standard groups and, thus, their epistemologies is essential to a progressive, transgressive and transformative curriculum theory framework. It “complicates the conversation” pertaining to knowledge and knowledge production by facilitating “seeing things differently” in and through non-standard venues such as the art of the powers of the quilt.
Pleasant, Tahirih A., "A Conversation on Curriculum as Aesthetic Text. The Powers of the Quilt: Renderings of Knowledge in a Geechee-Gullah Handicraft" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2035.
Research Data and Supplementary Material
Available for download on Tuesday, November 18, 2025