As Ian Frazier has pointed out, consumption of patriotic materials has become in recent years one of the most important ways to demonstrate support for the nation. In the days following September 11, American flags began to fly in windows; bumper stickers came to memorialize the events within days; anti-Al Qaeda goods (dartboards, for instance) were suddenly items being sold everywhere. The trend continued with the war in Iraq, when the U.S. government released a pack of trading cards with the most-wanted Iraqi leaders.
This relationship between nationalism and consumption is not a new one: it is historical and complex. In America, consumption has clearly influenced the way we display nationalism, but nationalism has also influenced consumption, such as the rationing system during World War II and the removal from stores of goods associated with Germans during World War I.
This proposed panel will take place at the 2006 American Historical Association meeting in Philadelphia, and it will explore the ways in which consumption has played a role in the formation and celebration of America’s national identity. How has nationalism changed American consumer culture? How and why have Americans consumed nationalism, and how has consumption and consumer culture shaped America’s national identity? What are the ramifications of a national identity so heavily defined by consumption?
While the subject is a broad one and we welcome proposals on any paper related to these two subjects, some possible paper subjects include:
"buy American" campaigns
Union label campaigns and their relationship to American nationalism
consumer culture and its effects on nationalistic propaganda
war accessories (trading cards, action figures, etc.)
gender and patriotic consumption
Paper proposals should be sent to Daniel Opler at the e-mail address shown below by January 1, 2005.
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)