Conference: Call for Papers

Moving Around:
People, Things and Practices in Consumer Culture

4-6 September 2014, Gakushuin University, Tokyo

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Prof Frank Trentmann (Birkbeck College, University of London)
Dr Erika Rappaport (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Abstract Deadline: 31 March 2014 (now closed)

The History of Consumer Culture Group (HCC) in Tokyo would like to invite proposals for papers for the conference entitled ‘Moving Around: People, Things and Practices in Consumer Culture’ that explores the dynamic and mobile aspects of consumption in history.

Consumption is a dynamic, social and cultural practice. Even before the emergence of the ‘consumer society’, the act of consumption was based on the movement of goods, people and ideas. The appreciation of exotic products, for example, was enabled and informed by the opening up of inter-regional and international trade. Similarly, today’s online shoppers are largely dependent on the globalised system of production and supply as well as on transnational communication networks. It is not only goods that move; people and ideas also constitute consumption on the move. Travel is one of the oldest forms of mobility consumption, in which the consumption of material goods is bundled up with a series of other experiences of moving around. Communication involves the transfer of ideas, mediated by human agents or information technology such as writing, printing and various telecommunication devices. Considering such movements only as part of supply networks is inadequate, as it is often the case that changes in demand precede changes in supply: demand, fashion and trend travel far beyond what is considered as the site of consumption. As such, movement and consumption are almost inseparable, and we need to move beyond conceptualising consumption as a somewhat static phenomenon of purchase or exchange.

The programme committee believes that this conference, held in Japan (a historical crossroad of transnational consumption), would be a suitable place to discuss mobile consumption in action. The committee is also keen to include papers by early career researchers and research students. The conference papers will be published as proceedings.

The committee invites proposals for papers of 20-25 minutes in length. For each proposed paper, please send a short abstract of 300-400 words with the author’s name, affiliations, and email address, to: hiroki.shin[$at&] (Dr Hiroki Shin, University of Manchester, UK). NB: Please replace [$at&] with an @ symbol when you send your proposal.

Proposals should be reached by 31 January 2014, and notification of acceptance will be sent by 28 February 2014. Further details of the conference programme and events will appear on the Conference website.




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Updated: 2014-05-01