Why is it fruitful to study the connections and interrelations between consumption and politics? On the one hand, consumer politics and consumer representation have become an increasingly important political arena in the 20th century, not only in the U.S. and Europe, but – at least after 1945 – worldwide. On the other hand, (new) consumption practices and developments in the sphere of consumption have transformed politics: New forms of political participation have emerged and aspects of the social that were not considered to be political before have become politicized.
How the political sphere and the political can be conceptualized in consumer societies is one of the questions the workshop will tackle. Against this background, the workshop also aims to discuss the political dimensions of the historiography of consumption itself. Of particular interest for the research on historical consumption regimes and practices might be a discussion of the methodological implications of the notion of “consumer society” as it is related to some of the central narratives of the history of the 20th century.
Convenors: Peter-Paul Baenziger (Columbia University, New York/University of Zurich) / Maren Moehring (ZZF Potsdam)
Date: March 8, 2013
Room: Blinken European Institute, Columbia University, International Affairs Building, 420 W 118th St., Room 1219
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Maren Moehring (ZZF Potsdam): Consumption and Politics / Consumption as Politics – an Introduction
Peter-Paul Baenziger (Columbia University, New York/University of Zurich): Productivism or Consumptionism? “Consumer Society”, “Labor Society”, and the Politics of Historiography
Uwe Spiekermann (GHI Washington, DC): Comment
2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Malgorzata Mazurek (Columbia University, New York): International Consumerism and Consumer Movement in Communist Poland
Jan Logemann (GHI Washington, DC): Public Goods and Modern Consumer Societies: The Citizen as Consumer
Space is limited; RSVP to Lily Glenn at firstname.lastname@example.org
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